Tribute To My Friend

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!
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Friend, Husband-In-Law

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.

Flat Top Mountain, Lake Powell

Over Dudley's shoulder in the background is Flattop Mountain which we landed on in the helicopter
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Dudley flying up to Flattop Mountain
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On top of Flattop Mountain
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Dudley and Stafford on Flat Top Mountain, Lake Powell
\r\n\r\nDudley flying us to the Top of Flattop mountain. We were the 62nd and 63rd people to have ever landed up there. Not sure if it was legal. Dudley in his mickey mouse tee, shorty shorts and tevas. Official pilots attire.

Runaway-6 Interview

Dudley Gaylord Hale interviewed on Runaway-6, a Vietnam War Satire that he and his brother Frank wrote about renegade chopper pilots. Check out www.runaway-6.com for more info. On with the show*!\r\n\r\nhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB0_1KDiC_k\r\n\r\n*Filmed after Dudley had undergone two strokes making it tricky to remember—let alone play chordes in his signature right-hand guitar flipped upside-down playing style. A true sight to behold.