Your Gift to Us

Dear Dave,

You were an important part of my Evergreen experience, David, and I want to thank you once again.

I have periodically wondered how you were doing. I know you valiantly and successfully battled cancer and won years ago now. Somehow I didnʼt believe you would get it again. I didnʼt want to think that you would. I saw you as living a nice long life. You
have lived a good life, one with challenges as all of us but a good one all the same. Your life has been rich with family, friends, music, students and the passage of time put to words…history.

You have been so fortunate to have a passion for both teaching and learning and been able to pass that onto your students. What a gift to us all. But what I think your greatest gift has been your gentleness and compassion and caring for others while doing so.

I want to share my deepest appreciation for you supporting me at one of my darkest, most difficult hours as 25 years later I faced the reliving of my motorcycle accident that you witnessed. I guess it was something I needed to face in order to move on with life. I
know going through something like that with another person leaves one rather helpless.

There is not much that one can do but again be a witness and be there. You were loyal. You did not need to have been. I will forever appreciate that. I know your mind and life energy is focusing on taking life one breath at a time and being with those who have carried you through all these years. I am glad you have family and the Evergreen community that holds you dear. However, if you are able and wishing to see visitors, please let me know. It would be an honor and a gift to visit you. If not, I hold you in loving thoughts during your journey of life at this time. Be at peace, dear
friend, be at peace.

Recently saw a movie Quattro Volte which was a depiction of the Pythegorean theory of Transmigration. I sort of liked it. It depicted an old man, a goat shepherd, in a remote Italian village up in the highlands who dies out in the fields. Upon his death a baby goat is born, grows stronger only to get lost in a storm and die under a big tree that the following spring is cut down for a village ceremony. Later that same tree is cut and in a very interesting old traditional process made into coal that warms the remaining villagers all the while the smoke of which wafts off into the winds…Human, animal, plant, mineral.

I thought you might also enjoy hearing about it.

We are all connected through mystery. We do not have to understand it, but just keep opening ourselves up to the love and the process of life wherever it takes us.

Sincerely, Corinne Dee Kelly

First Year

Dave ,

I think of our time at Evergreen often. The fall of 71 was an exciting time. You may not realize it, but in those troubled times I personally did not think I would make it to 25. I thought I would either be dead in Viet Nam or in the streets protesting the war. During the time I spent with you and the I.C.S. group I began to realize hope. With your encouragement, I went on an internship to Colorado and New Mexico with the National Movement for the Student Vote. While we didn’t do much for the election, Nixon won all but 2 states, the next year most of the major cities we worked in turned over.

In the 40 years in-between then and now, I have gotten married (only once and am still married to the same person), worked over 20 years in the public sector, helped raise 3 children , continue to play music and continue to be a rabble rouser. That hope for the future sparked to life so many years ago continues today, thank you.

Tom

A Small Kindness

I am sitting here listening to Viva Terlingua!, the Jerry Jeff Walker album that Dave and I used to listen to over whiskey and smokes. Makes me think of him and remember the wonderful person I knew ‘back in the Day” outside of school.

My first encounter with Dave was my first class at Evergreen. We all gathered in a room in the library building, sitting on the floor since there were no chairs or desks there yet. As we waited for the “professor” to arrive we all began talking about who we were, our names, backgrounds, Viet Nam stuff, what state we were from, where we were living in Olympia, where we found good beer and better pot, married or single, scoping out who we could hook up with, and finally wondering what was taking this professor so long to show up. Well, we waited for over 45 minutes and were just about ready to leave when one of our group stood up, introduced himself as Dave Hitchens, and said the class was over and see you back here on Wednesday. How cool was that?

After I finished my first year (1972), they made me graduate since I had too much credit from Georgia Tech before I was drafted into the Navy in 1970. I petitioned to stay an extra year, Dave went to bat for me and it was approved; even the GI Bill part so I still got my tuition money. Dave and I began a contract on Executive Power. Watergate was going down, Sam Ervin was holding hearings in the Senate, John Dean was blowing Nixon’s cover, and a taping device was found in the White House! I was taking a self-study with Dave on constitutional law and the fight between Executive Privilege and Congressional powers. I was watching the hearing on TV in the morning, reading the Federalist Papers in the afternoon, and debating the issues with Dave over a beer at night. It was wonderful!

The most important things he did for me was to include me with his children and some of their family events since my family was in Florida and I was really all alone. His divorce was final and the sadness was palpable. We hung out often. The most memorable time was on Christmas Eve, 1973 (I think). All of his kids were with their mom and I was “between” women. We had a few beers in the afternoon. We moved to a bar downtown until it closed early for Christmas. We then went deeper into Olympia to a bar we never had been in before but, very importantly, was open. It was raining a typical Olympia December rain and was probably 40 outside. God! I hate that weather! We ended up closing that bar at 2:00 am on Christmas Day. We went to my house to find some whiskey, had a few more drinks and crashed. We both woke up around 9 in the morning and we both agreed that bars need to stay open on Christmas Eve and that this was the most depressing Christmas of our lifetimes.

Dave went to Australia to start an American Studies program and left his entire record collection with me! Ask him about Scatter Creek and his music from Australia.

When Dave remarried we sorta drifted apart since I had gone to Western for Grad School and then got a teaching job in Tacoma and Dave got into his new life as a happily married man.

I met a wonderful lady, married her, had a son, and moved back to Florida in 1991. I have never forgotten Dave. I think about him every Christmas. As I sit here listening to” London Homesick Blues”, I have a tear in my eye and I smile on my face. I know he has much better friends all over the world and around Olympia. I know this was a very sad time for both of us and I know how it affected me. He was there for me when I had nobody and I was there for him when his life was shattered.

Please tell him how much he means to me and let him know he will always be my Mr. Bogangles.

Thank you and love to you, Dave!

George Schroeder

Welcome!

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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