I'm lucky to say I knew Duane Hagadone, worked closely with him at times over two decades, respected the hell out of him and sometimes disagreed with him — and lived to tell the tale.
When Duane died in his winter home office on Saturday, April 24, working — of course he was working — my initial instinct was to get my butt to the office and write the front-page story about the man's incredible life.
But there's a journalist who knew him better, in different, far broader settings than I was accustomed to. When I had to put our very best on the job, I quickly acknowledged that was not me. It was a man who worked for Duane as a reporter, as his captain and personal skipper, as editor of his CDA Magazine.
It had to be David Kilmer, and David did not disappoint. His masterful tribute assembled in just a few hours would have made Duane proud. And frankly, that was always one of the goals for the thousands of us who worked for him over the years. Make that man proud and you know you've done something very, very good.
A hefty chunk of this issue is an extension of Kilmer's work — Duane Hagadone as seen through the eyes and experiences of others. For my part, I wish simply to add a personal touch to the tale-telling.
When my eldest son Jay committed suicide in 2012, one of the first calls I received was from Duane. He was emotional. He was compassionate. He offered me anything — anything at all — whatever my family needed.
When I was diagnosed last year with stage 4 throat cancer, there he was again — on the phone before my first prescription had been filled. Encouraging. Generous. Available for whatever my family needed.
And when I was cleared of cancer just a few months later, Duane Hagadone called again, and there was triumph in his voice and in his heart. He said he knew I'd beat cancer, that he was damn proud of me. And when Duane Hagadone tells you he's proud of you, it doesn't get any better than that.
Duane was all about business. The business of life.
— Mike Patrick, BJNI editor