Alan and I met when we both lived in metro Cincinnati back 40 years ago. I had newly caught the collecting bug, but there were few decoy reference books around and there were no active clubs in Southwestern Ohio. Collectors were scattered and largely unknown to me and each other.
Alan had run an ad in a decoy publication looking for good original paint decoys. Having recently purchased a Mason Premier mallard of which I was particularly proud, I responded to the ad and Alan suggested I bring it up. He took one look and let me down easy . . . it was an old repaint! Although he did not buy it, that chance meeting began a long friendship.
He offered to teach me by following his lead. He was the consummate teacher and scholar, patient with a breadth of expertise. As my knowledge grew, we became business partners. I brought professional marketing skills. Alan offered good business acumen. We had the best kind of partnership – one that had no written agreement – just trust and honesty. As the decoy market expanded, so did we. Three books and many trips later, we were business complementors (not competitors). This lasted over 40 years.
Alan was like the brother I never had. He will be missed as a teacher, partner, and friend.
L-R: Russ Goldberger, Alan Haid, Frank Schmidt, Jim Allen at the 2014 Waterfowl Festival