Phillips: Dave Locke (1944-2012)

Long time fannish friends Dave Locke (L) and David Hulan (R), taken September 30, 2012 at Locke’s home in Vermont. Photo credit: David Hulan

By Curt Phillips: Dave Locke passed away over the weekend. His son Brian stopped by Dave’s house earlier today after returning from an out of town trip and found him earlier today. Dave had suffered from serious heart troubles for year and had a heart attack a few years ago. His long time friend David Hulan – who’d visted Dave at his home in Pownell, VT exactly one month ago to the day, was called by Brian a short time ago, and Hulan broke the news to the rest of us on the Southern Fandom Classic discussion Group on YaHoo – of which Dave had been a member and a moderator.

I only met Dave Locke once; at a Midwestcon several years ago. But as often happens in Fandom, we quickly became fast friends and I felt that we both knew each other very well through our fanzine writing and our extensive private correspondence. I’m going to miss that friendship for the rest of my life. In spite of the fact that I’m one of the laziest fanwriters in all Fandom, Dave somehow managed to talk me into writing a semi-regular column for his on-line fanzine Time and Again. That ranks as no small feat and I’ll always be grateful to him that he did twist my arm over those articles. Somehow he knew I’d enjoy having written them after I got off my butt and actually wrote them, and Dave gave me as fine a showcase any fanwriter could ask for in T&A.

Dave Locke was one of those folks we rarely meet in life; He knew how to cut through the nonsense most of us clutter our lives up with and he could do that in just about any situation. He knew how to connect with a new friend instantly. He was witty, sardonic, analytically critical – yet he could find the proper context for any discussion. And he was intelligent. Vastly intelligent. He was also a kind man. Intolerant of fools and scoundrels, yet endlessly tolerant, helpful, and understanding of the shortcomings of any honest friend. He was a damn good friend to have your corner. I’m glad he was in mine for a time.

Dave, I wish we’d had a thousand face-to-face conversations at a thousand convention fan lounges instead of just that one at Midwestcon, but I’m glad we did have that day. It was a very good day.

8 thoughts on “Phillips: Dave Locke (1944-2012)

  1. I am pretty much speechless. The past few years I corresponded with Dave regularly and knew his health was poor but he avoided saying much about it. He was one of fandom’s very best writers for more than four decades at least. Ever since I discovered fandom. Not sure he ever got all the credit he deserved but he wasn’t really looking for egoboo.

    You could always trust Dave to tell you what he thought, whether it was what you wanted to hear (or what fandom in general wanted to hear) or not. So in addition to being one of fandom’s best writers he was one of our best and clearest thinkers. His bullshit detectors were far more finely tuned than the TSA screening devices he despised.

    If not for his encouragement I would not have stuck with fandom as long as I have during this go round. He refused to let me Gafiate. His
    much too early passing blows a big hole in my fandom and in my life.

  2. Son of a bitch.

    I never met him, and my only direct contact was once to ask him here why he seemed to be mad at me, from the way he wrote at me. (It definitely felt at me, not to me.) But he lived with Jackie Causgrove in the midwest after I knew her, while both of them seemed to have an extended summer with Mike Glicksohn staying with them, and then the two of them moved to Torrance. I fafiated, and somewhere along the way I guess Jackie died because I’ve not heard or read her name since coming back online, and I didn’t know he’d retired to Vermont.

    But I read his fanzines — Donn Brazier gave me lots of his, Way Back When, and Jackie’s, and Mike’s, so I always knew who he was and liked his writing quite a bit. It’s like thinking another step is to come and being wrong and falling, to have seen a comment here just last week or the week before and then he’s gone, his candle flame snuffed out abruptly.

    I say again, time is short, the years are not long, and the evil days come all too quickly.

  3. Gak! After decades of old baggage moldering in my fannish attic, Dave and I struck up a fine friendship in only the last year or two! I was surprised to discover he was more moderate in thought than his crotchety mannerisms might led one to believe. Having developed many of the same crotchety mannerisms, and having found that I had so much in common with Dave after so many years, we were able to gossip, back stab and slander together like two old ladies poisoning pigeons on a park bench. He was a staunch loccer to Broken Toys and on several occasions backed my play in comments to File 770’s blog. While he still published it, I quite enjoyed contributing to Dave’s fanzine, Time and Again.

    As time goes on, I realize more and more that I’m losing friends and that I can’t afford to.

    From some of our correspondence, I knew he missed Jackie Causgrove terribly, and lived in rather modest circumstances. I don’t know if Dave had any beliefs in an afterlife, but I think he was half-looking forward to a chance to find out if he’d be reunited with Jackie or not.

  4. Oh, crap. Damn.

    Dave Locke and Jackie Causgrove kept me in fandom. After the events of 1978 I was thoroughly, deeply disillusioned with fandom and fans. Early in 1979, Dave and Jackie invited me to join their apa FLAP. FLAP turned out to be a haven for the “good” fandom I’d enjoyed so much before ’78. I got back some of my good feelings toward fandom. The next issue of my FLAPzine will be the 100th.

    So Dave Locke kept me in fandom. (Thanks, Dave.)

  5. David K. M. Klaus: Yes, I’m sorry to say that Jackie Causgrove, whom the obit. from David Langford’s ANSIBLE describes as: “long-time Cincinnati fan and partner of Dave Locke, died from lung cancer on 15 May, 1998” I never met her, but I do know that Dave missed her terribly. A year or so after her death Dave married someone he’d once worked with and they lived in Cincinatti for a time. A few years later they divorced and very soon thereafter Dave moved to the small town in Vermont where his son lives, and there began his fanzine TIME AND AGAIN.

  6. I’ll miss Dave a lot. We struck up a friendship when I re-entered fandom in 2004.

    He was always encouraging when I was publishing my fanzines “Catchpenny Gazette” and later “Pixel” (which he later “took over” when I stopped publishing it, morphing it into a new version of his “Time and Again) and while I tried mightily to get him to write something new he declined, feeling his fanwriting days were over. Instead he suggested articles that I could reprint. Which I did, in most every issue. Like others have said, I don’t think Dave every got quite the credit for his writing that he deserved.

    Dave could be prickly at times – his reputation for being crotchety was not entirely undeserved – but he could also be a good friend. You just didn’t want to float any BS his way and not expect to called on it. He and I used to meet a few times a year for lunch at a little town halfway between Indianapolis (where I live) and Cincinnatti (where he was living at the time), and I always left there feeling I wished we lived in the same city and could get together in person more often.

  7. I knew Jackie when she was Jackie Frank and still have a piece of her artwork on my wall. Dave and Buck enjoyed arguing and a variety of back-and-forthing fan talk, and Dave had a column in Yandro for several years. Somewhere around here I have a file of letters he and Buck exchanged, partnered with one where he, Dave, and Roy Tackett were in a round-robin of sorts. (Buck kept carbons of his letters, so the exchanges are fairly complete.) I don’t like my situation of becoming one of the last of the mohicans, or at least fans who’ve been around a disgustingly long time.

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