Thank you visiting the Guestbook for David L. Hitchens. Please join us in sharing stories and memories of a man who touched our lives as friend, teacher, family man and more. The value of story cannot be underestimated in its healing and life preserving qualities. Thank you for being here and adding to the dense collection of significant moments at the intersection of your and Dave’s lives.
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Prof. Hitchins made History ‘a lively debate’ while teaching his Rollins College students about “The Gilded Age” or “Robber Barron” era of American History–was fortunate to be one such student. We became friends and I received many of Dave’s personal Books before he left Rollins… Books which were put to use when I served as Chairman of the History Department of Trinity Preparatory School of Florida and as Adjunct Professor of American History at Seminole Junior College. Dave, along with Prof. Jack Lane, were stimulating educators and sound role models. Dave’s Books are still with me as is his educational input and example. Please accept my sincere condolences. Randy Moore from Thailand.
I took as many classes with Dave as I could. 2 different year long programs the so fun Fifties and Sixties summer classes. One of those programs started in the fall of 9/11. It was such a crazy time and often I would stick around after class just to kind of process what was going on in the world and gain perspective by having a conversation with him. He was always kind and upbeat. In that program we the secrets of the temple and I was first introduced the federal reserve. We also read Milton Freeman. Dave said something in a lecture that year that took me 10 years to understand. It was prophetic. He said that the issues around enron and the deregulation of banking would have a longer and more lasting affect on the lives of Americans then the events of 911. I couldn’t get my head around it for years. Some time in the fall of 2008 I had a one of those light bulb moments and it all made sense. He was right. we were on the verge of an economic collapse and 911 had become this historic event. In the summers we would discuss Halberstein’s work on the fifties and then after class discuss the most recent episode of South Park. He was in his 70′s telling me just how brilliant South Park was. A kind and inspiring man. Thanks Dave
Much like the previous post, Dave saved the day by taking me on for an independent study in 1995. I was in my third trimester of pregnancy and due to graduate in June. He had been my former prof for 2 trimesters of American South with Richard Alexander, and we knew each other quite well. When I finally walked to accept my diploma, the announcer called both my name and the name of my unborn child. It was an incredible experience. I can say with all sincerity that Dave was the best teacher I ever had. Kind, engaging, knowledgeable, entertaining, inspiring… there aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe him. God speed, my old friend!
Dave helped me out a great deal with my last twelve credits or so, in order to finish up my degree over fifteen years ago. I did an independent study on American Cultural Studies, including Native American, and Feminist Histories. Dave helped me put together all the things needed to not only finish my degree in a meaningful way, but he also provided an interesting story or two along the way, and was very cooperative of the special “state” I was in at the time. I was about seven to nine months pregnant, and in fact the quarter was interrupted (but in a good way), by the birth of my son. I had moved out of the area immediately following, but had completed and turned in my last few papers via mail. I remember reading about Wounded Knee, and other such stories while nursing my infant son. All those hormones and such, I had to put the book down and dry my tears quite a few times. Dave had guided my studies of American History in such a way that affected me personally and deeply. On the lighter side, we also chatted casually about children, parenting, and family life in general. What sticks out in my mind the most about Dave is his Earthy, yet inquisitive Father-like spirit, which couldn’t have been more perfect for the situation I was in at the time. I’m sorry I hadn’t the chance to know him better, I know he will be greatly missed, and greatly remembered.
Dave and I got to be very good friends while he was at Murdoch University in Western Australia. He was also my teacher, and a really good one (I based much of my own teaching on what I learned from him).I also met his lovely daughter, Dawn, of whom he was incredibly proud.
Dave was a wonderful and rare mixture of physical energy, artistic ability and intellectual power. We spent many hours together drinking, arguing, laughing, and for me, learning. He had his demons, but that sustained and honest effort to be a good man in the face of life’s tricks was one of the things I respected most about Dave. He was determined to live life to the full, and he did. A good man has left us, but his life was a good one and he has left us plenty.