Back to

Archive for November, 2007

Eric York – One of our very first customers.

Monday, November 5th, 2007

This weekend, we received bad news that Eric York died Friday, November 2.

Eric and I had a business relationship that went like this: In 1996 Eric contacted me to make coyote and bobcat VHF collars for him. Eric was very easy to talk to, he was straight forward, patient and friendly. Eric never tried to rush to get off the phone even when I had gotten completely off the subject. He never said, “Gotta go, “ He was patient enough to explain his projects’ goals to me when I asked even though I’m sure he had better things to do. In 1998 I met Eric in person in Thousand Oaks, CA. We were going to try out a new GPS collar together in the habitat where he worked. By this time we had established a friendly relationship and when Eric told me to meet him at 4 the next day he added, “that’s 4 in the morning, you desk jockeys don’t know that 4 o’clock comes around twice every day.” No offense taken, it was part of his friendly demeanor and we joked like this for years. I decided that I would show up earlier so that Eric would see first hand that I was just as able to be up early as him. At 3:30 the next morning I rolled into the parking lot and damn it, Eric was already there! By the time the sun had risen we were done with the hardest part of the hike and it was already 80°. We were testing the collar and Eric was checking traps. In the second trap he checked there was a skunk. He tranquilized the skunk and took it out of the trap. It was very hot outside. Eric laid the skunk in the shade and we moved on. Over the years we continued to talk by phone, the friendly banter continued and I always looked forward to talking to Eric. He recently went to Pakistan to trap snow leopards. That trip provided fodder for more long conversations prompted by me and possibly dreaded by Eric, but he continued his patience and answered all of my questions. In September this year I saw Eric in Tucson. As we shook hands Eric’s grip was extremely firm. So we hand a little competition in the hand shake department. Then, a week ago today I was talking to Eric on the phone. I told him that I had finally seen my first bobcat. He was excited to hear it until I told him that it was in a zoo. Then Eric declared, “Doesn’t count.” Then we had a fun conversation, I had no idea it would be our last. Like many people, I’ll miss Eric.