Dear Valerie, Hey Valerie this is John Hewitt, your former neighbor on Old England. Susan and our two kids are out of town on vacation, but I found this blog today as I kept looking for news about Doogie on the internet. As I have been painfully slowly piecing together what has happened I called her this morning in FL and told her the news. She was very sad as I was. I heard it second hand from a neighbor, and did not want to believe it. Then I called a friend I have at Skywest who said the name of the person who was injured was Gordon Hyde. My mind just jumped to the immediate thought of relief that that was someone else. I wanted to believe so bad it was not Doogie because I did not now him by that name at all, but then I realized later that is also his Dad’s name. Probably like so many people today just has been a day of unbelief and sadness.
But since I found this blog I just wanted to say write a few of the nice memories that have come to mind. We have such nice memories of you all as neighbors even though it was several years ago now. I really enjoyed talking to Doogie over the fence about all the many things we talked about. He just amazed me at the things he did forming his business, working closely with his Dad, the friendship and trips they made together, flying, etc., all at such a young age. He was and still is an inspiration to me because I think so much of that is just a good spirit and attitude.
I remember one time we were talking and I must have mentioned that I needed to run a TV cable back to our bed room. Well, the next thing I know he went and got his tools and put it in despite my telling him he did not have to. And you know there any kind of feeling of needed return the favor or anything.
I remember the morning after a big wind storm and many of your roof shingles were blown off. Doogie and his Dad were out in the back yard surveying the damage. I went out there and Doogie looked at me said all enthusiastically with a big grin on his face “wow, wasn’t that an awesome storm?!” and his Dad just rolled his eyes an said, “yea some storm”.
I remember once him coming over and asking if he could play basketball. Yesterday a little boy came and asked the same thing. That’s only the second time anyone has ever asked me that. Now I’m going to always think of Doogie when I think of that basket ball goal.
I even remember looking out the window and seeing him get to reading the paper while you all were sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner table and I thought “man, I wish my wife would let me do that!”
When you all had ended the electronics business you were in I went over and was talking to Doogie in your garage and I said I thought it was pretty slow in the airline business as far as hiring and stuff goes and he just said “I just love flying”. And sure enough everything worked out fine there. Of course once again he gave away to me some things since I was over there.
I saw once several years ago at his Dad’s and we stopped and chatted. That is when he told us about landing the airplane in the tree top. Then a couple years later, and the last time I saw him, was in McDonald’s at 13th and 10600. This was maybe a year or two ago. He was Skywest then. He was just as friendly and enthusiastic and interested in talking as ever.
I’ve come to realize recently that when your life ends your spirit and influence can really live on and be far reaching. It is in how you interact with people, treat people and know people. I honestly think when you are nice to someone it lives on and on. You all are one of those families who quietly make a lot of good karma. I can tell he certainly made a strong impact on a lot of people reading your blog.
It also did not surprise me to see the sweet note you posted he wrote to Josh. He was nice to Daniel my son. That made me think of I think it was the first Halloween for Josh when you all brought him to our door. Of course I opened the door and there Doogie was with a grin on his face holding a Josh in his arms.
You all were very nice sweet people and I think that is the most important thing of all, and I think that will help you all get through this. We Hewitt’s were very glad to have had you all as neighbors. Back in the days when you all lived next to us Neil was a big part of our good memories also. After you all moved it seems he really grew up fast. We are thinking also of him and Gordon and everyone else during this time.
All the best to you in the days and weeks ahead. If you are up here please stop by and visit. We would love to see you.