In HinzSight, one of the best friends I never met, I met at Redstate

Dave Hinz, who died in an auto accident on his way to work early Friday morning, will be missed.  Steve Foley broke the tragic news at TMR, and the local paper gives us more details on Dave’s life and death.  Below, Gamecock remembers him.   The Directors and Contributors share the grief of our readers at Dave’s loss.  – Dan McLaughlin.

The first time I moved to Atlanta was in 2001 after losing my father, best friend and pastor in South Carolina. Now, three months after moving back, this time from North Carolina after a 30 month absence, I lose one the best friends I never saw.

Dave Hinz and several other close friends I made on-line over the years, beginning at Redstate.com, helped to fill part of the void even though we never met face-to-face. I don’t like to leave the house, you see, unless I just have to.

After yesterday’s tragic loss of my good friend, I never will see Dave in the flesh, but am thankful that I got to know him so well and learned so much from him via telephone, email and the web. God surely sent Hinz my way to help guide the DeVine dinosaur (He always forded me to make technological leaps, as he said, beyond communication via smoke signals through Tweets!) in his new Atlanta, 21st Century life.

My first Redstate memories of Dave was as a life-long conservative who brought a more mature and grounded perspective to this rabid right wing convert.

My next memory was when this professionally trained journalist asked me to join him and a few others to start The HinzSight Report. I was humbled and honored and credit much of my ability to market myself to major newspapers since then, to the experience of being edited by Dave as well as the confidence his choice of me as Legal Editor, imbued.

I remember Dave sharing his new terrorism novel for me to read. No, God help us, not for Gamecock chicken scratch to proofread! Dave was the proofreader and substance. But he just wanted to see if I liked it because he knows that if I didn’t, I would say so.

It was good. I liked it. Dave was a real writer, not just an opinion hocker like me.

Dave was good at whatever he decided to do. I’m sure he was the best Fedex had to offer, and Dave was an Olympic-calibre track and field athlete and prolific cyclist.

But Dave’s passion was to turn his “citizen journalism” idea into a Drudge Report equivalent, only with more substance. I guess Dave mistrusted the Drive-by media even more than I, but he wanted to do more about it, and with the new 73wire.com venture it looked like his dream was becoming reality before our eyes.

My last communication to Dave was a “tweet” in which I stated that I had made 73wire one of my must reads several times a day to look at what headlines Dave and his partner at the new sight as well as TMR and MFOB, Steve Foley and the staff deemed important. I trust their judgment.

Now, two days on, and after two attempts to define the most American of holidays, the real meaning of Thanksgiving slaps the rooster in the face:

I am thankful for having friends like Dave Hinz. I miss you already buddy. Thanks for indulging this hot and cold Southern Fried Gamecock, and for gosh sakes, now you can have some of that good Eastern North Carlina Bar-be-que up there, that you came to love when you lived down in the Tar Heel State! Pork, not chicken or beef (You know the drill…)!

And Gamecock will be pulling for the Central Michigan Chippewas on College Football Saturdays, equally, right along with my USC and Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, from now on!

God bless Dave Hinz and his family and loved ones.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published @ TMR’s The HinzSight Report and MFOB.