I had no idea he was having health issues. I’ve never been a Deseret News subscriber, but I was reading his articles online for a many years.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to him on a flight to Portland about a decade ago (he was on his way to cover a Ute basketball game at one of the Oregon schools). I recognized him and had started up a conversation while we were taxiing and taking off. I had a lot of work to do, and so turned my computer on to start working as soon after take off as I could. I had trouble focusing on the work, as I was sure it would be more interesting to talk with him.
We talked the entire flight, about Utes, local sports, our mutual love for the U, discovered we had lived in the same SLC neighborhood for years and had several shared acquaintances, and I’m sure many other things. My son who was about to graduate from High School was semi-seriously contemplating a career in Sports Journalism. I asked about his thoughts and he gave me a lot of good information.
As we were walking off the plane, he get me his mobile number and offered to meet my son for lunch one day and talk about the business with him. My son met him, spent a long lunch hour and half an afternoon, and received the best advice he could have been given.
I saw him a time or two afterward in the next 2 or 3 years, and he always recognized me and called me by name.
He was truly one-in-a-million. He was kind, polite, soft-spoken, very bright, and well informed on most subjects, had a great sense of humor, and generally just a fascinating and genuinely likable individual.
20 years ago when Meyer allowed me to watch practice (right before web reporting was considered media) I would hang out with Facer and Michael Lewis of the Trib.
They would come toward the end of practice, during the media time period, and were constantly joking around and trading quips, often from the movie Fletch. You would never guess they were reporters at competitive newspapers.
Sometimes Dirk brought his son, who was about 9 years old. Really good dude.