A Memorial Tribute to Les Brown
written by Diane Miller
A special friend
I sit at my computer today I am trying to figure out the words to describe how my friendship with Les
I've been told by many that you can count your true friends on one
hand. Well Les was one of those, and I will always cherish our friendship,
one that lasted for over 45 years.
My husband and I first met Les in the 1960's when we joined the
Professional Archers Association. Little did we realize at that time
what a big part archery would play in our life and that the friendships made would last a lifetime.
It was during that same time we met Hall of Fame Founder, Dave Staples who
would later become my mentor. Les was the Tournament
Director for the PAA and Dave was in charge of promotion. As time passed the
four us became quite a team
promoting, setting up and running tournaments. Dave later became the
President, and I was the Promotional Director.
Jim became head referee. Les was in charge of running most tournaments and
Jim was his right hand man. This went on for over 10 years. So many great
memories that time will never erase. As time passed my husband and I
left the PAA for other interests, but we never forgot our friends, and Les
was definitely one of those special people in our life that we would never
forget. Les was for real, he was a very compassionate person, he wasn't
afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. Did we have some misunderstandings,
of course we did but we worked them out, that is what real friends do.
When my husband passed away in 2001 , Les and Dave were two of the first to call,
even though a few years had passed since talking they were there when
I needed a friend. It
was shortly after that Dave called and asked me if I would consider becoming Executive Director for the
Archery Hall of Fame. After five calls and a lot of consideration I
finally agreed. That was nine years ago. We immediately asked Les if he would be our
historian, he was a walking talking archery encyclopedia. When ever we did
not have an answer to a PAA question or an historic archery question, Dave would say call Les, he will know.
Sure enough he would know, for 2 decades he was the heart and sole of the
Professional Archers Association. The PAA was where his heart really
was. He never got over
Les was a strong supporter of the Archery Hall of Fame and believed so much
in our mission. In fact he was one of the handful of people sitting around
the dinner table in the late 60's when "The Dream" was born. I remember that
meeting like it was yesterday. I am so happy that he was at our last
induction and was able to witness the Dream become reality. He later told me
he would not have missed it for anything. Even though he drove all night and
was just about to have cataract surgery the next week. His health was
failing yet he didn't want to let the rest of us down, through hell and high
water he had to be there for the opening of the museum. He wanted to see so
many of the people he new so well being honored after all the years of
waiting. We need more people like Les in this world. To many of them have left us and
the circle is growing smaller every day.
If there's archery up in heaven and hope that there would be, right now I'll
bet Dave, Les and Jim are planning a new adventure.
Hey guys, put it on hold for a little while,
you have to wait for me.