Dave Hotz will never be forgotten


I was happy to see that a reader noticed Dave Hotz’s name was missing from The Times-Independent’s annual list of departed folks in 2019.

The writer, David Vaughn, called attention to it – I have since learned the newspaper did not receive an obituary for Mr. Hotz – and expressed his concern that Dave would be forgotten.

David Vaughn, please know that regardless of being left off of the T-I’s list, our Dave will never be forgotten by all the folks who loved and knew him, both here and in Old Mexico.

Yes, there were folks who passed him by and never saw or knew him, but for those who called him a friend, Dave will never be forgotten.

I could fill the paper with stories, but due to the parameters of Letters to the Editor, I will stick to the following:

He lived in Mexico and was left in charge of an entire small village of women and children in the spring, when the men traveled from the Yucatan Peninsula to the U.S. to work. The men knew that not only would the ladies not be bothered, if anything broke he could fix it with his small bag of tools using whatever materials were available and his willingness to disassemble, troubleshoot and fix nearly anything.

He only had one pair of pants and he tended to keep them until, well, they could pretty much stand by themselves and probably yield enough oil to lubricate anything.

A young friend showed up one day while he was enjoying his first cup of coffee and urgently demanded, in Spanish, that he needed Dave’s pants. After hours of waiting patiently, pantless, they were returned, sparkling clean. It was a silent testimony to how much he was loved by the ladies in the village.

A mutual friend years ago said, “Dave is one of those folks who will tell you the most unbelievable thing, then prove it, like how to pull gold out of the air with static electricity from a television, or that he was once worth $1 million – on paper.

I am a wiser, more thoughtful person due to having known Dave. He lived the life that suited him and thanks to Shawn, he enjoyed as much as possible in his last days in Moab.

A couple of things he said will always be with me. One, “enjoy what you can,” which was his parting advice as I trudged off to work the early morning shift at Denny’s. The other was in response to my heartbreak and grief after my ancestral land had morphed into Silicon Valley. “Don’t grieve, the entire planet is your land,” he said. “You can live anywhere. You live the same as you did in Santa Clara.”

So, yes, my friend. Dave tended to be somewhat overlooked, but forgotten? Never.

— Patrice Lee Mason