When an unimaginable tragedy occurs, everyone copes differently. As I sit here in the v-dog office typing this, things seem plasticy and surreal. I can't accept that Dave is gone. His grey swivel office chair is empty and I feel like he is just out on his normal afternoon errands he ran each day, to the post office and bank.
When I started working for v-dog soon after I moved to California from the east coast, I felt immediately welcomed and entrusted by Dave and his wife Linda. Having no family out here, it was beyond amazing to have Dave and Linda, basically as my second parents. My parents in Connecticut never got to meet Dave, but my mom spoke to him once on the phone and laughed as Dave asked if he and Linda could adopt me. She told me even speaking to him just that one time, she could feel his amazing energy and spirit.
Dave's style of management was having nothing but full trust in his employees and empowering us to make decisions and have equal input, and therefore do our best work. The number one thing I learned from Dave was that there is no need to compromise your ethics to be a successful business person. Or your sense of humor, or your kindness. And that there is always "executive time" to watch the World Cup :)
On Fridays, Dave always took the time to ask me what my plans were for the weekend. He was genuinely interested in what fun I was up to on my days off, even when he was so busy, buried in emails and phone calls. I will miss that a lot.
His generosity was enormous and his love was always made clear for his family, v-dog family, and friends. And especially for his "beautiful bride" Linda. I always thought it was so incredibly sweet that he referred to her as that, even after 50+ years of marriage.
The night following Dave's death, I had a short dream that made me feel overwhelmingly sad, but then comforted and happy at how real and how "Dave" the dream was. He was in the office packing his suitcase for an upcoming veg fest we have set up to table at, and I said, "Dave, I don't think you can go to the fest, because...you're not alive." He grumbled something and kept packing. Even Linda said, "No, no, it's ok - he's going! He has his mind made up!" I was confused, but in my dream state, accepted that even in his death, Dave had to get stuff done! I awoke feeling Dave's sense of urgency and how he is always "go, go, go" about everything, and it brought me comfort and peace. Anyone who knows Dave may have a giggle at this and I hope it brings you visions of the joyful, wonderful Dave we all know.
The photo above is at my 24th surprise birthday party. The celebration was only a few months after I had started working for v-dog, but both Dave and Linda came to celebrate with me and I remember feeling incredibly fortunate to have them there.
This is a photo of Glacier National Park where Dave spent his last day hiking, with family. A beautiful place that fully embodies Dave's spirit of adventure, drive, and love of nature.
Thank you for changing my life and inspiring me. Love you, Dave.