Dudley Gaylord Hale passed away on March 25th, 2012 at 6:00 AM. He died at his home in Tucson, Arizona surrounded by loved ones. He mattered because he was loved—and he mattered to the last moment of his life.
It’s been two years now, and Dudley still pops up in thoughts and conversation. I know he loved this song, so here it is, on this your second death-day.
Lyrics for your eyes, while they are still in your head.
The Hearse Song – Harley Poe
Don’t you ever laugh as the hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you up with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
Then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
And that’s what you eat when you are dead.
Last night I was thinking of Dudley since we hadn’t spoken in some time and having changed my cell phone I realized Dudley might not have my number. While sitting on the couch I picked up my computer and typed Dudley Gaylord HaleTucson AZ in to google search bar. I was crushed to hear of Dudley’s passing but overwhelmed and happy to see this web site. Dudley would have want us to celebrate his life and boy did he live life. My wife Julia and I have some funny stories and fond memories of adventures with Dudley. I still have to laugh about our whale watching trip off the WA coast, that trip was so crazy and I laughed so hard my ribs hurt for days. I still bust up just talking about it with my wife and friends, WOW!
Continue reading “Tribute To My Friend”
This is Chuck Beamus, and Dudley was the man that introduced me to The Doors. We were in the Army and he was the California Kid, somebody that I had never seen before—coming from Kansas—pretty sheltered. Dudley had opened my eyes to what the ‘hip california Dude’ was all about and The Doors and the whole thing.
Dudley toasted me prior to going out partying all night long at the HAI in Anaheim, 2001. This was just before finding out he had bladder cancer.
I met Dudley Hale when we were working together on a frost control contract in Madera, California. Dudley, Tuan (an ex-Vietnamese military helicopter pilot) and I flew our three helicopters into Fresno the day prior to the start of the contract. This is when I introduced Dudley to Diann, his future wife. She happened to be my wife at the time… which probably explains why I’ve enjoyed such positive karma ever since.
Now… I told you that story, so that I can tell you this story:
I was working for a Seattle billionaire as a helicopter pilot, and I, along with his entire flight department (consisting mostly of jet jocks) where attending an HAI convention… somewhere. We’d had a tough morning of walking the convention floor, and had found a group of couches in the middle of a expansive lobby upon which to rest, when I looked up to see Dudley descending upon us. We were all clothed in proper corporate attire, while Dudley was adorned in proper Dudley attire: Levis, plaid shirt, vest, leather baseball cap, work boots, and a crooked smile. Correctly judging my companions, He gave me monstrous hug: “HOW THE FUCK YA DOIN’”
Trying to figure how to explain Dudley to my somewhat button-down fellow employees, I said, “gentlemen please allow me to introduce my husband-in-law, and consummate helicopter pilot, Dudley Hale.” Whereupon, Dudley proceeded to wow them. He gave them his “A” program, and they looked on entranced, their expressions quickly shifting from humor, to admiration, to shock, to horror, and back again. He gave them fifteen minute of Dudley, he pulled them in, he scared them back, he chewed them up, and he spit them out, and then somewhat abruptly, with a genial wave, announced that he had to be on his way. Poof!
To this day, whenever I talk to one of those guys, they always ask after Dudley.