A Goodbye to Dave

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The name Dave Stringer won’t mean much to many. His reach wasn’t quite Bourdain level; his death won’t trigger quite as many tributes. Nonetheless he was a great inspiration to me and to all who read his blog.

Dave was a nonsmoker who, because life is unfair, got lung cancer anyway. His diagnosis being terminal, he decided to cash in and spend his remaining days travelling and catching Oldham Athletic games with his son, Chris. He lived to see Oldham relegated, more’s the pity, but I hope England’s recent semi-success at the World Cup provided some consolation.

Dave refused to go gently into that good night but his refusal was tinged not with rage but with bravery, with the sort of resigned strength that comes when you haven’t got a choice, with unfailing good humour. Every post of his I saw on the Reader was a reminder to me to not let my own life get away unlived, even as he held on to every little bit of his. I followed his sojourns — not just to different countries, but to different hospitals, from near and far parking spots to entrances, up and down rail-less stands, into business class seats bought with points at a bargain. More than once I wondered how it might feel if — when — I learned more posts would no longer be forthcoming.

I won’t have to wonder anymore.

Dave is dead, long live Dave.

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