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Thread: RIP Dave Hyman

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,692

    Default RIP Dave Hyman

    Sad news from Misko Kranjec

    Many of the older forum members will remember Dave and Misko. They were both quite active in the forum for many years. Eventually a difference of opinions in how the forum should be run, and when photo critiques were appropriate led to Dave resigning in anger and starting his own site. I've always been saddened by that decision, but we had tried to reach an agreement in the past and our management styles were simply too different. Dave went on to found his own site, and ran it as he saw fit. The site was fairly successful, and I think it met his expectations.

    Misko quit at the same time as his good friend Dave did, obviously as a show of support for Dave. He was not banned or asked to leave, but made the choice to leave on his own. I don't recall for certain, but I'm pretty sure he simply stopped visiting rather than deleting all of his previous posts.

    As you'll read in Misko's message, both Dave and his wife struggled with serious illness for many years. Many folks wondered why Dave never went far from Alliance. As it turns out, that was dictated by his health issues.

    Misko posted the following on an e-mail list. It's posted here, with his permission, in it's entirety and without any edits. References to "this forum" are to the e-mail list it was originally posted to, not RRF.

    Upon my return from a brief travel to Tuscany, a sad news waited for me in my e-mail inbox - my dear friend Dave Hyman passed away.

    Many will remember Dave, a.k.a. Willarddave2000, as it was his forum name, for his postings on this forum, many of which sometimes irritated some among you. This perhaps has created the impression that Dave was an irritable and grumbling, sometimes even obstinate man, but that was far from the truth. He was a photographer, by calling and by soul, an outstanding one, and if there was something he could not tolerate, it was a sloppiness or incompetence he saw in photography. Being foremost photographer, much more than railfan, perhaps he didn't fit in always to this forum, but whatever he said about photography it had the solid, professional foundation. He didn't do anything else but observed what the forum's description says: "Strong opinions and a sense of humor are encouraged..."

    Born in Bath, UK, he retained his British character and his love for the homeland and the British railroads even after spending most of his life in the USA. Now, as I write these memories and try to recall all the bits and pieces from the life of my friend, I realize with great sorrow how little I actually know of his past. In spite of hundreds of mails exchanged during the past eight years, in spite of my visit, I don't even know where, when, and how he met his wife Penny who he worshiped so much. I am sure he must have wrote me this once at the beginning of our friendship, but this fact is now buried in some old, passť mailing program's file that cannot be opened anymore. Albeit too late in this case, this is a good lesson for me, and it should be for many - know your friends really and thoroughly, while they are still around, and keep your correspondence in more lasting form. I don't even remember exactly how and when our friendship started; I only know it was some other forum, RailroadForums it was, some 8 years ago. I've noticed him soon after I joined, not only because of his replies to my postings and earnest critiques of my photos, but also because of his professional photographer's replies and critiques of others' posts and photos, which even there often stirred emotions and caused heated debates. Pretty soon Dave and I discovered we have much in common in our approaches and views to photography, and not just railroad one. Alas the fact that railfans and photographers, like the cat people and dog people, don't mix well, proved true, and after demonstratively deleting all his posts Dave left the forum.

    Most of his railroad photography was done from the platform of the Alliance, Ohio, station. At first I didn't knew the reason for this immobility, and I have even drawn a caricature showing him how he railfans, cozy relaxing under the sunshade on the deck chair. Only later I understood he couldn't walk at that time more than few paces because of horrible pains in his legs. But, he never resented me this mockery; quite the contrary, he liked it and I had to send him the hard copy. Such is how he was, always making jokes about his medical problems, and he had many, much more than the average guy of his age. In the last six, seven years I knew him more intimately, he was often, too often in the hospital, mostly suffering from the slowly deteriorating capacity of the remaining kidney, and from the consequences of the preceding chemotherapy when he lost the other kidney. And yet, no matter the pains, which would dispirit many others and deter them from any, even less demanding activities, he never lost the good spirit and humor. As long as he could, he was regularly visiting the tracks and photographing trains, not only at Alliance but also at other places. Willard, Berea, Akron, Collinwood were places where he took many excellent action photos, but it was likewise in his hometown Canton, where the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR trains called during the seasons' rides. He photographed this line a lot and with the time he made many friends among its staff, alas some of them lately deceased too. Still others will remember Dave by his photographs of the track workers. Contrary to the majority of the railfans who rarely, if ever photograph the railroaders, to him they were attractive and important subject and therefore often photographed. Not surprising as Dave was first and foremost a photographer, and only then a railfan.

    Besides his own health problems it was also his care for his beloved wife Penny, bedridden for years with MS, which prevented him from more intensive railfaning or longer than daytime trips. In my life I haven't seen many so devoted to their wives as was Dave to Penny. Actually it was his love and his care for her which kept him alive so long. Once in the past, when hospitalized because his remaining kidney's capacity dropped to only 10%, he tore off the tubes and walked away from dialysis because of the wrong treatment which even worsened his condition. They told him if he goes he won't live six weeks. But he did, for almost three years, stubborn as he could be, because in his words, he couldn't leave Penny alone and helpless. When she passed away, almost exactly one year ago, I knew he wouldn't last much longer, and so it was. He just couldn't get over her death and he was just getting weaker and weaker. With the help of his friend Ed he managed to get couple of times more to the tracks, the last time being the on August 7th when the NKP 765 came to Alliance during her summer excursion trips. On the early morning of that day he wrote me: " Misko, today is the big day! 765 is coming to Alliance. It's 4:30 am here and I'm getting psyched up. Batteries are charged, card is clean.." As if he knew that this photo session is his swan song, he managed to get few great photos of 765 in action, one of which now adorns my little private gallery.

    Right afterwards his own life batteries started to drain fast and last Wednesday, when they emptied completely, Dave joined his beloved Penny.

    I have posted 3 images in the Photo Albums section, in the album named Willarddave200: the aforementioned caricature, the photo of NKP 765 - a very last photo Dave took, and his photo of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR observation car. I think it might be befitting in memoriam of Dave if this photo would be posted for a while on the forum's home page

    Misko
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadForums.com Host

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,692

    Default

    Since Dave removed his images from this site, I don't have any that I can share.

    You can view his work, as well as the work of some of his railroad photographer friends on Dave's website at http://www.davesphotopages.com/
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadForums.com Host

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    4,549

    Default

    I remember Dave quite well from here. As a newbie, he welcomed me here along with a few others before the forum crashed, and at that time I was known under csx5000. I had hoped to meet Dave sometime before he passed, now it looks like I have to pay my respects. RIP Dave, you are missed.

    Walk a .1 a mile in my shoes; see what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel, then maybe you will understand why I am the way I am!
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  4. #4

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    He had some great train photos. RIP.
    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cypress (Houston), Texas, USA
    Posts
    4,544

    Default

    For all his issues, Dave was a super guy and a darn good photographer in anyone's book. He really did encourage me often and helped me find my own style and techniques. He was totally devoted to his Penny and that in itself made him pretty special in my eyes. He is still missed. I still cherish the comments he made over the years on some of my gallery pics.
    More pics in Kenw's Gallery

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