Homer was very dear to me and I will miss him a great deal. Due to our geographical separation, I was only able to visit with him once a year. I always looked forward to my visit and I think he did as well.
We first met when he discovered that I had a 1903 Cadillac engine. He would call me about once a month to ask what I was going to do with it. I was scheduled to make a trip to the midwest to pick up some parts and he asked me to bring the Cadillac engine along and discuss a trade. We made a deal where I ended up with parts for a 1906 Cadillac. I had picked up the parts and he looked them over. As you know, he had a memory that was unbelievable.
He called me a few months later and wanted to trade for some of the parts that I had picked up that were not correct for my project. I returned the next year with the parts and again made a trade. From there on, we always had some deal cooking. It started off with getting the 1906 Cadillac and a 1906 Buick Model F complete. It seemed like he always had some excuse for me to stop by the next year. After a few years, it was just assumed that I would stop by to see him. I would stay a few days and we would do our business and visit and have a good time. I would call him a couple of times a year to just say hello or to work on some dealings.
Whenever I was there, he would call me Billy Boy and introduce me as the Kid form Vermont and make a big deal that I came to see him every year. Homer was surely a people person. Homer was very good to me and if I needed something for one of my projects, if he had what I needed extra, we would deal on it. If he had what I needed but felt that he needed it, he would let me borrow it to copy. He knew it would come back the next year. I would bring back the original part and show him the new parts that I made. He was always impressed and made it a point to tell people of my accomplishments.
He trusted me to the extent that he was going to take something I needed off his 1908 Cadillac for me to copy. I would not let him do that. I think this is the first year that it ended up that I did not have anything of his and he did not owe me anything. We were working on a couple of deals, but they were not closed. He was trying to figure out what he wanted to do. It always was interesting to talk to him for his knowledge of early cars, his outlook on life and just as a friend.