I did not know Eldridge Hardie well but for years he did superb illustrations of traditional field sports,like bird hunting and fly fishing for many of my friends.
I particularly envied the late Datus Proper, a man who died casting flies into Hyalite Creek, and who had a portrait of his beautiful little dark pointer bitch that he used to illustrate his chapter of “A Pointer of the Veronese School” in his book Pheasants of the Mind, not to mention an accurate drawing of his Woodward gun.
I didn’t get to meet Eldridge until last year, when he was illustrating books for my friend. the poet Tim Murphy, who also wrote eloquent poetry about bird hunting. Tim had written a poem about me and my hawks and he wondered if this would be adequate as it was his first picture of a Goshawk. I was stunned at how good it was. Though there were no Goshawks in the book, I immediately decided that I had to buy it. Although the price was $650, he gave it to me! This generosity of heart to a mere acquaintance is not a common thing.
Eldridge died a few months ago. He will be missed by sportsmen, readers, and artists, and many friends. I think I’m going to ask the painter Tom Quinn for a quote about him. I know he was an admirer.