While he may not have been a founding member of the Talbot Rod and Gun Club, he was a foundational pillar of its present membership. Always there to help and mentor; always there to teach a young shooter; always there to make sure things ran well and safely. Always there. Now, only in spirit.
When I read the obituary a few weeks back, I prayed that it was for someone else. However, his first name was too unique for it not to be his. My son noticed my demeanor and asked what it was I was reading. I changed the subject, as I needed a moment to absorb the blow. I also required the time to soften the stunning news to him, as Philemon (or Phil, as he was known), had been as kind and patient to my son, as if he were his own.
We talked later and both reflected on the times that the three of us had laughed together discussing everything from small town events to my son’s latest lessons learned in the field.
Phil always offered sage advice and had a quick wit. He was a gentleman in the best sense of the word and I am honored to have known him. More importantly, though, I am thankful for my son to have such a gracious, considerate and amiable man to befriend him.