Farewell to Yazoo's most interesting manBy JASON PATTERSON,
Dos Equis beer had a huge hit with its commercials featuring “the world’s most interesting man.”
Yazoo lost a man this week who lived a life that was far more interesting than the gentleman described in those commercials.
Dale Crews is probably best known to most Yazooans for the later chapters in his life. Maybe you knew him as a Sunday school teacher at First Methodist or maybe you remember his sincere reciting of “Ragged Old Flag” during Manchester Academy’s Veterans Day programs.
I first became aware of him when he was working as a disc jockey for a local radio station. I had no idea at the time what a fascinating life he had led before he began his career in radio at age 62. I also would have never guessed that he was in his 60s because he seemed younger.
Mr. Crews did two tours with the US Navy in Korea, and after getting out he hopped in a convertible with a Navy buddy and drove across the country from San Francisco to Tampa, Fla. There he began a career as a professional ballroom dance instructor.
I knew that he could dance with above average skills, but I had no idea he was a pro.
He moved on from dancing to begin his third act as a hotel manager. This chapter of his life took him many places. He even served as the manager of a new hotel in Nigeria.
Crews was in his 40s by the time he began what he considered the most important chapter of his life. That’s when he married a Yazoo City girl named Dianne.
They traveled all over the world together and eventually settled down in her hometown of Yazoo to establish some roots. Their two children, Nick and Cobie, are both great friends of mine. Nick and I developed a friendship over a shared love of music, and Cobie was one of the best interns who ever worked for this newspaper.
They are both successful people now who share their father’s love of life. He was always quick to tell you how proud he was of them.
He was also very encouraging to my wife Jamie and I with our work for this newspaper. He always had positive things to say when he saw us, and I told Jamie that he was the kind of guy who wouldn’t say it if he didn’t mean it. That meant a lot coming from one of the coolest guys who ever lived.
Yazoo has lost its most interesting man, but he influenced enough of us that he won’t be leaving a dull place behind. The best way we can honor his memory is to love our family and friends with all our hearts and make the most of every single day we’re blessed to spend with them.