Yesterday was Phil Braun's funeral and a chance for a lot of folks around to say their final good byes. If you didn't know Phil, he was a fixture in most of the local shops throughout the year. A retired Athletic Director of a New Jersey School District, he's been in the area since the early 80's and loved fishing just about as much as anyone could.
Phil would spend a couple hours a day or two every week just hanging out in the shop, pretty much ever since we opened in 2000. I grew to enjoy having him around as he always had some great opinions about politics, sports, women, and life in general.
I'll miss saying his name in the same way the the Cheers crew yelled for Norm when he walked through the door. I'll miss his fish stories and fly shop gossip. Mostly though, I think I'll just miss the Phil that I consider my friend.
No one loved fly fishing lakes with his wife and friends more than Phil Braun.