Every once in a while out of nowhere we get a punch to the gut that takes the wind out of our sail, requir- ing a bit of time to recover from. Sometimes there
are warning signs, and other times it’s a complete surprise.
For example, this past August tropical storm Harvey landed
a devastating blow to the Houston, Texas region, leaving
a wide swath of land under water which will take years to
recover from. The Red Cross just recently left New Orleans
after providing help and support when Hurricane Katrina
hit in August, 2005 and will probably be in the Houston area
for another 10-years or so doing the same there. It will be a
massive undertaking and many residents will lose everything,
and some lucky to be alive.
Even though Houston residents received warning that a
tropical storm was heading their way, no one could have predicted the outcome. It was much worse than anyone expected
or could have prepared for. As with Hurricane Katrina, tropical storm Harvey will be felt for years to come.
Then there’s something else that’s shocking and will be
felt for years to come.
I spent an awesome weekend with Richard Allen Dickey
and Dave McOmie recently at the ALOA Security Expo here
in Rosemont, IL this past July. I hadn’t seen Richard or Dave
for a while and it was great to see them both. I’ve known both
of these guys for well over 20-years and they looked great,
not to mention several other friends and acquaintances I often
only get to see once a year or so. It’s always good to see them
all. Everyone was in good spirits and seemed to be doing well.
Two weeks or so after the show I get a call from Richard’s
girlfriend Dana saying that Richard shot himself. What! Did I
hear that right? Richard did what? I just saw him and he was
telling me about all the plans he had and places he was going
to visit. He even recently purchased an RV to travel the country in and came up to Chicago from Arkansas in it and parked
at The National Locksmith office where we visited and shared
more than a few laughs.
O.K., let me just try to process this for a minute. It’s not
April first, so it’s not a really bad joke, Richard did what?
Dana said there were no warning signs, no indication of a
problem and never a suggestion of suicide. Just a bang.
Could it have been an accident, you may ask? No. Richard
was a huge gun advocate, was retired military and had an
arsenal of guns, plus his guns were never empty. In his words,
“What good is a gun if it’s empty?” He knew the gun was
What brought this about is anyone’s guess. I knew him
well and I have no idea, nor does anyone else that knew him.
Then again, maybe I didn’t know him as well as I thought I
did. Hearing that Richard shot someone else in self defense
would have come as no surprise. But shooting himself? Never
saw that coming or would have ever imagined.
This event got me thinking about all the writers we have
lost over the years just since I’ve been here, names such as:
Jack Roberts, Gene Gentry, Sara Probasco, Don Probasco,
Shirl Schamp, Carl Cloud, Jim Langston, Bill Reed, John Blan-kenship, Jake Jakubuwski, and now Richard Allen Dickey.
The National Locksmith has had the good fortune to have
the best pool of writers ever assembled, past and present.
Names like Dave McOmie, Robert Sieveking, Sal Dulcamaro,
Michael Hyde, and Steve Young, to name a few, are all pinnacles in this trade and unmatched with their technical prowess and contributions to this magazine and locksmith trade.
Then you have names like: Harold L. Heidenreich, Tyler
Thomas, Ron Hertz, Lauren Hollon, Ken Holmlund, William
M. Lynk, Matthew Myers, Bill Phillips, Giles Kalvelage, Joan
Yarrington, Tom Mazzone, Dale Libby, Brian Kleiner, Tony
Blass, Ron & Chris Curry, Don Shiles, Don O’Shall, Mark
Daniel, Randy Mize, Tom Seroogy, Tom Lynch, Ray Hearn,
Dave Hency, Mike Griffin, Todd Kern,
Randy Mize, Raymond Moreno,
John Robert, Woody Quinones,
and Jym Welch, all of whom have
contributed to this magazine over
I apologize for any I may have
As if losing Richard
Dickey wasn’t bad enough,
about a week later an old
friend and past contributing writer Steve Geb-bia visited the office
with a face mask on
A Shot InThe Dark