by Carmen Macdonald
A couple weeks ago I got one of those phone calls that as soon as you see the caller ID it gives you pause. Cheryl Posey doesn't phone this early in the morning.
"Dick passed away."
At 88 years old it didn't come as a surprise. The world lost one heck of a man though.
At maybe 100-pounds soaking wet, Dick Posey was the toughest man I've ever met. Not tough in brawn...tough in conviction, work ethic, compass.
The man was so principled, such that even though I was often on the other side of the discussion and in total disagreement in meetings, it was impossible to leave without complete respect for his decisions. Dick didn't mince words. He didn't sugar coat. As difficult as that can be, there's also a clarity and comfort that accompanies it.
Dick Posey had represented Lamiglas since the early 1960's. At the time Lamiglas was a blank company. In that period, the blank builders built blanks and rod brands were separate. It wasn't until 1977 that he became the owner of Lamiglas Fishing Rods, lead competitor to the Fenwick brand that was also a home-grown local company. And in those first early years, it was Fenwick and Lamiglas that introduced graphite fishing rods to anglers. Man how time flies.
Posey spent 50 years behind his desk at Lamiglas. In that period, many notables crossed through the doors. Gary Loomis was a Lamiglas employee before founding G. Loomis rods. Most every guide in the region began with Lamiglas. Bass fishing superstar Skeet Reese got his start with a Lamiglas rod in his hand. So many names, they just go blurry.
Dick Posey had many, many people who measured their tenure at Lamiglas in decades. Dick wasn't just committed to his company, he was committed to his people. In the office he was a tough guy. Away from the office, the other compartments of his personality opened. Within those arenas Dick had an amazing warmth and a full-body laugh that was contagious.
Six years ago I left my employer to start my own business. At the end of the first show I attended as a new business owner, I walked past Dick.
"Hey Carmen," he flagged me over. Looking quickly around the table at which he was seated, he grabbed a Lamiglas catalog off the table, rolled it up in his hand and stuck it out to me.
"I want you to have this," was all that he said.
I looked at the catalog, looked him straight in the eye and told him, "Thank you, Dick."
What he'd actually told me in those few words is that he cared for me, wished nothing but the best for me, and would help me however he could.
But the toughest man in the world wouldn't use so many words. He was unable, however, to hide the glimmer from heart of gold.
Dick Posey wasn't a front man. He needed no recognition, didn't need to command a room, never wanted to be the center of attention. And because of that it becomes difficult to place the milestones. Nevertheless, few in the world could lay claim to Posey's level of influence on fishing rods.
If he were here right now he'd say, "Arrgh, that's bullshit."
But he's not here, so it stays.
It's my hope that Dick Posey's balance is now renewed, his fly cast fluid and that he's sharing that laugh with many, most importantly, his son Steve.
I feel blessed to have been able to call him a friend.