The unexpected death of someone we know is one of those things that we can’t schedule in
— not on our calendar, not on our list of things to do or events to attend, not even as the subject matter of our next column. “Unexpected” is the keyword.
We’ve probably all known various family members or friends who either were very old — such as grandparents or even great-grandparents, or that neighbor down the street who just celebrated his 95th birthday — or were very sick, and it didn’t come as any great surprise to learn of their passing. If we liked them or loved them, of course, we would
feel the loss, but it wouldn’t have felt “surprising” or shocking.
While I didn’t know Dennis Hof like a friend, I was getting to know him like the candidate he was, and even shared lunch with him on one occasion. He was a sometime visitor to the Senior Center in Pahrump ever since he became a candidate, and as it happened, we were always at the same table, even though I didn’t even know he would be visiting on those days.
We had several conversations, some of which were about his politics, and we even developed a running joke between us, since he had trouble either remembering or pronouncing my name, but I fixed that early on by telling him that every time he mispronounced my name I’d mispronounce his, which became a quick incentive for him to get it right.
During one of his visits to the Senior Center, it was clear he was in
a lot of pain — but it was also obvious that it was his back; apparently, he had had an accident when a chair he was sitting on — not at the center — collapsed, causing him to hit the floor. He was doing his best to not let his pain show, but he couldn’t get it past me. Anyway, I’d like to think he took care of that problem, since things seemed progressively better during subsequent visits. He also had another, much less serious problem, about which he allowed me to offer some non-medical advice that I’d give to anyone. So the next
time I saw him, there was no sign at all of that other little problem.
Maybe he took my advice… or not. I’ll never know.
One of the things that makes itself very clear whenever someone passes away is that there is NOT always a tomorrow. How many times have we said to someone something like, “Oh, don’t worry, we can do that tomorrow,” or “I’ll give it to you when I see you tomorrow,” or “Let’s sleep on it,” or something to do with “tomorrow is another day.”
Well, tomorrow is not another day for Hof, but I’m hoping that there will be many more tomorrows for me as I set out on the new adventure with that new startup online newspaper called Voices in the Desert, by and for the citizens of Pahrump and Nye County, a newspaper that will debut on Nov. 16. I have been asking all of the various candidates I’ve gotten to know when they visited the Senior Center in Pahrump if
they would write something for our new paper, and I’ve had a good response. Of course, only time will tell if they all come through, but one thing is now for sure: Hof will not be among them.
For those who might be interested in what’s doin’ in Pahrump, you can always go to our barely existing website page at VoicesInTheDesert.com to see what we will be doing once we’re in full swing. As you’ll note if you go there, we’re still looking for local writers knowledgeable about local issues in Pahrump, but if enough of them don’t show up for our first issue, we’ll just keep plugging along until they DO show up.
Pahrump is a relatively small town, but it’s obviously big enough to have its own kind of corruption and major problems. And that very fact is probably the reason why a group of Pahrumpians decided it’s time to have an alternative paper to the Pahrump Valley Times. Lucky for me I was in the right place at the right time to take on that challenge.
Well, Hof is gone for good. Guess it wasn’t meant for him to have his own column in our new newspaper, or for him to even undertake any other new projects of any kind. His number was up…and there was no reprieve. He had lived his life his own way, yet everyone who knew him will remember him in their own way; some will have good memories of him, some maybe not so good.
But the strange thing is that he still has a chance of winning his Assembly District 36 seat since his name gets to stay on the ballot.
Wouldn’t that be something? Nothing like a big win even after you’re gone!
Fare thee well, Hof! From one who barely knew you.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at email@example.com.