Earl has been my friend for over 35 years and I see him a couple of times each year. He had some problems and no longer shoots ATA targets. He often gives me shooting tips. I wish things would have worked out better for him and us.
This not a reflection on anyone in particular but I have been around trapshooting for 40 years and I have met a lot more shady characters than Earl. He's upfront and you know where he's coming from. I would trust him a lot more than many I have met and they still strut around like they are God's gift to trapshooting.
He could sell a gun to a person without arms and could put you out in a custer in a heart beat. One hell of a man in his time. I agree with Bluedevil completely. I was at Indiana gun club years ago and I bought a shotgun. That was the days before I used plastic so I went to the truck to get my checkbook and realized I left it at home. He offered to let me take the gun and pay him later because it was 120 miles home. People who trust other people are generally trustworthy and he was in my opinion. I just like Pat wish things would have turned out better for him.
Earl scored at the SC State shoot several years back for our handicap squad (27 yd shooters) and was seated a good 10 yards beyond the 27 and when we finished he asked to look at my Kolar and while still sitting down called for a target and broke it shooting from the hip at about the 37 yard line equivelent. Needless to say I was impressed. I think he's paid his dues with the ATA. But until they let Pete Rose into the Baseball HOF, Earl probably wont get into the Trapshooting HOF. He's an accomplished shooter and an interesting fella' to talk with.
I seem to recall that Earl was given a chance to turn things around with the ATA with a few restrictions, but made the choice not to ... I do remember a thread on TS.Com where some of the details were mentioned but can't remember just how long ago it was ... Anybody ..? WPT ... (YAC) ...
Perhaps the saddest part of this entire fiasco is that Earl had some of the best natural ability and instincts you could ever hope for and did not need to do the things he did to "post" good scores. He was just plain tough. AND, he ran a fantastic shoot wherever he was. He was always interested in making sure the help was taken care of and that the shooters had the best targets anywhere.