An Olympia icon

Dave was the coordinator of Individual, Citizen and the State, the coordinated studies program that first year. My seminar leaders were David Marr, Betty Estes and Kirk Thompson; I never had a seminar with Dave but I well remember his lecture that first day, when our program met in the Methodist Church in downtown Olympia because the campus wasn’t open yet. How young we were! How exciting it all was!

Over the next forty years our paths crossed in bizarre ways. He played a role in the Olander incident, which led to the resignation of the chair of the board of trustees and I was appointed to fill the remainder of her term. Our kids were in Y care together at McLane and we’d be picking them up at the same time. We’d see each other at cross-country meets and practices when our teenagers were running.

We didn’t know each other well and I’m sorry because everybody in town knew that Dave was a fantastic teacher. And, after reading 37 pages of tributes in this guestbook, it’s clear that he was also a good friend.

He Kept Me in School

Dave Hitchens kept me in school. My freshman year was very trying for me. My mother had died of cancer just a few weeks before school started, leaving me orphaned. I had no home but Evergreen, and no real guidance but my mentors, Terry Setter, and Dave Hitchens.
I had first met Dave at a writers camp in Port Townsend,during my mother’s illness. For the very reasons that made him a great teacher, he made me feel that I had the talent to succeed.

At one point, I was on academic probation, because there were days when I just couldn’t go to class. Dave took me aside and really talked to me about how much pain I was in, how well he understood that and how he would be there to help. He guided my path.
I am so sorry to hear of his passing, and hope that he has found a very comfortable chair by a fire, in a room filled with books, and dreams. Love you Dave!

Great professor

Dave was a great professor. I had him for only one quarter, yet he left a deep impression. He is one of the reasons I look back upon my days at TESC with such fondness. My condolences to his family, and I hope TESC can continue despite the absence of one of its great founding members.

Independant Study Sponsor

Dave was my profesor for an independant ethnography/ biology study I did by going to Togo, West Africa in 99′. I never would have been able to do it with out him. I ocasionally still pull out and read the coments he left on my work when I need a pick up and rememberance of my youth. Thank you Dave. You were in my life a short time but your kindness and guidance still reverberate in my life today. Bless, James Lively

Memories from Western Australia

Everyone who worked with or learned from Dave when he was at Murdoch University will remember his inspiring lectures and perspectives, and his convivial chuckle/laugh.

I also played music with him in one of the first Bluegrass bands in Western Australia. Dave called it ‘Turkey Sweat’. (See above!) We played for a year at the local tavern ‘Clancy’s’, and helped form a musical tradition there that is still vibrant. (Lucky Oceans, from Asleep at the Wheel still plays there every Sunday with his band Zydecats.)

Dave recorded a 45 (remember them?) of an adapted version of the Kingston Trio’s song MTA to help the local efforts to save the Fremantle to Perth railway. The catch line ‘Poor Old Charlie’ was pertinent as it was the name of the train-hating leader of the government at the time. The song got airplay. It worked and we still have the train service.

Thanks mate, for all of the above.