Scott Charlton

RIP Bear (Kennebunk Bait and Tackle Shop owner)

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Just saw this online, not sure if you ever had a chance to stop by his store and listen to his extremely tall stories, but I spent a good chunk of my summers hanging outside his garage and trying to take in his infinite collection of fishing tackle.  I'll miss him a lot.

 

-Scott

his obit can be found on the pressherald website Barry-D-Welch.

 

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/11/26/obituarybarry-d-welch/

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Wow Scott, Barry and I were very close. I hadnt seen him in about a month. I am floored. He beat covid this last year, and was lucky to survive. Surprised I never saw you over there. Ugh, never met anyone with that much tackle, unreal stuff. I know he had his will filled out, and Mark Weeman, is his beneficiary. That is going to take some time to clean out. he only had a niece living..Ugh, I am shocked at this..

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He was a real staple to the town.  I lived in Kennebunk for almost 20 years, and visited him on the first warm day in May that I lived there.  Bought tons of tackle from him, sold him some as well.  He always had a story to hold your attention.  My fav reels came from him.  He had a remarkable network of folks to help him buy and sell some remarkable gear.  I don't think I ever spent less than an hour with him no matter what I was buying.  He will be sorely missed.

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I feel like a piece of me is gone, what a shock. I used to do a lot of reel repair for him. He would be at the Arundel flea market every morning at 4 am, buy all the hunting and fishing gear that was decent, and return to his shop. I fixed hundreds of reels for him that he resold. I have known him for close to 30 years. He also used to make during the winters some of the best tube and worm rigs around. He had lost a lot of friends the couple years that had worn on him. Brent, Dick, his girlfriend in obit picture, he told me this was his last year being open. Man, I am wiped from this. The stories, just unreal, the pictures, ugh. Lost for words. RIP Bear, you were one of a kind..

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lol, I think so.  sounds about right. At first, a few years ago, I had helped him trap some, we took them down to Parsons beach, that road, and let them go. Over the last couple years, he had a big heart for them, started to feed them. He has a picture in his kitchen, of him with a peanut in his mouth, and a chipmunk taking it out of his mouth, cool pic, Hopefully I can a  picture of it.

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10 hours ago, Skunkoff said:

I've driven by there many times, never even knew it was there.  Is anyone carrying the torch since he passed?

He had asked me a few years back about it, but, I think he just wanted to be done with it. He had talked the last 5 years or so after every season, about getting done. He would make thousands of those tube and worm rigs I posted every winter. He was a hell of a fisherman, but it had been 3 years since he was able to take his boat out, his balance was bad, his sight for driving was going down hill. Like I said prior, he had lost his fishing buddies over the last three years. His girlfriend Marge, passed away about 8 years ago, that took a toll on him, she liked to fish more than he did. Hid buddy Henry passed about 3 years ago, and this past March, Brent, his other buddy, died of covid up the street. I know people that used to watch and follow him in boats on the Saco river, they said he would be the only one catching..The pictures dont lie.  The guy was local LEGEND and just was a riot to listen to. 

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I loved when I bought anything from him, he simply took out a notepad and a pen and itemized your purchase.  This wasn’t a receipt for you, rather it was for him to help him balance his books.  He never had the same gear twice and he always told you about where an item came from.

 

he’d buy cartons and cartons of goop from the dollar store and use it on his equipment.  He will be incredibly missed.  I’m assuming the town grandfathered his license as his home wax’s zoned residential years ago.

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I talked to the beneficiary of his estate today, believe it or not, there is some one in line to buy all the fishing tackle, another two guys to buy the guns, and some one to buy the property.  Mark told me it would be easier to move that way, I agree, but, you have to have some coin to do that.  He had about 700 guns, probably 1000 rods, 2500 or so reels, and probably 8000 lures or so. There were areas he hadnt been to in 15 years.. Those are low estimates...

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3 hours ago, 7 Rivers said:

I talked to the beneficiary of his estate today, believe it or not, there is some one in line to buy all the fishing tackle, another two guys to buy the guns, and some one to buy the property.  Mark told me it would be easier to move that way, I agree, but, you have to have some coin to do that.  He had about 700 guns, probably 1000 rods, 2500 or so reels, and probably 8000 lures or so. There were areas he hadnt been to in 15 years.. Those are low estimates...

I think your gun estimates are low believe it or not!  The wooden lures he had 55 gallon buckets over flowing with them.  There’s no way it could ever have been auctioned it would have lasted for days and people from all over the world would have come for it.  I imagine it would have taken a bank to buy it, not an individual, so that blows me away.  Very sad to see it go.  The bear logo should be donated to the local museum on Main Street.

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Besides his being very a gentle chuckling truly nice guy. He was also a shrewd and savvy gun and tackle dealer at Arundel Antiques, Last few years he would just sit in truck wheelin and dealing.There is unquestionably a house and garage of unique and special stuff. :rav:

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7 hours ago, Scott Charlton said:

I think your gun estimates are low believe it or not!  The wooden lures he had 55 gallon buckets over flowing with them.  There’s no way it could ever have been auctioned it would have lasted for days and people from all over the world would have come for it.  I imagine it would have taken a bank to buy it, not an individual, so that blows me away.  Very sad to see it go.  The bear logo should be donated to the local museum on Main Street.

Thats why I put that in my quote. There really is now way of knowing for sure. I can say, I have been in his house, many times, over the 30 year time frame I knew him, and watched it fill in. He was a hoarder for sure. He has a couple shelter logic storage zip up sheds out back full. Thats why I went to talk to Mark yesterday, I was interested in some stuff, but, When Mark said he had a buyer for all the tackle, I said, he must have some coin, he said he did. He also said he two guys that wanted to buy all his guns, which surprised me as well, they must have some money. He then said the property has someone interested as well. It is an old house, will need a lot of work, or teardown. Mark said there will be a dumpster hauled in soon, and they will start to clean the place out. I did manage to get some nice stuff off him over the last couple years, Harnell rods, glad I did. I am a collector, so I have some stuff from him.. If they would have had to sell stuff in small amounts, it would of taken a life time.  Sad to see,end of an era, will be weird not stopping in there anymore. Barry has a lot of friends with money, and a lot of them had tried buying stuff from him over the years. 

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