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The caller ID on my cell displayed the name of a friend of 30+ years who calls randomly, and I always answer. This time, the news was unfortunately sad. A friend and business colleague we had known for decades had passed away.
Dave Myers, former real estate reporter for the Los Angeles Times, died at 62 years young. Another dear reporter friend, Ralph Bivins, editor of Realty News Report, noted that Dave shared in Pulitzer Prize wins for team coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
He was an incredibly brilliant writer who never shied away from digging deep into a story. He was fearless, wickedly smart, crafty, sly, and mischievous, with a great sense of humor who loved to laugh. And Dave partied hard – sometimes a little too hard, but he loved to have fun.
Dave was a vibrant and energetic soul who loved to be around his friends when we went out together during many events at real estate conferences and conventions.
Most importantly, Dave had a heart of gold. He was remarkably empathetic. He was gregarious and gracious, and if he had a mean streak, I never saw it, and we spent a lot of time together over the years. Dave and his wife came to our wedding and reception in Seattle.
The NAREE connection
Like many friends I made through business activities early in my PR career, Dave was a member of NAREE, the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
When we met, I worked for Great Western Financial Corp. in Beverly Hills, California (Great Western Savings’ parent, which became Great Western Bank). He was my primary contact at the Times.
I first met him during a NAREE dinner at a steakhouse in NYC in the 1980s when I joined NAREE. I had just come out of grad school at USC, joining Great Western.
In addition to his real estate reporting for the Times, he wrote their Your Mortgage column and was a mainstay at the LA Times Homebuyers Fairs. Later, he added the About Real Estate column to his repertoire, syndicated to 100+ newspapers through King Features Syndicate.
Dave also was an original contributor to Inman News when it was founded back in the 1980s. He and Brad Inman (NAREE President 1992) created a co-written subscription-based newsletter called “Western Exposure,” which took an inside-baseball look at the real estate business, including nuggets of gossip, often to the dismay of PR people (like me!).
According to Ralph, Dave won over a dozen NAREE writing awards and wrote a book for first-time homebuyers called “If You’re Clueless About Buying a Home.” He was published in a slew of leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Money magazine, AARP and Urban Land, among others.
Raising a glass
I saw Dave a few years back when he stopped by the press room at a National Association of Realtors convention. It had been years since we had seen each other, and a flood of memories came rushing back.
This past weekend, I flew to DC to celebrate the 80th birthday of another NAREE colleague, legendary real estate columnist, and former NAREE President (1981) Lew Sichelman (The Housing Scene). Lew and his wife, Sandy Bell, also celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Our mutual close friends, Steve Kerch (NAREE President 1991) and his wife Stephanie, were in attendance. Steve was once the Real Estate Editor of the Chicago Tribune and had just retired as assistant managing editor at MarketWatch in Chicago.
We raised a glass to Dave, as he touched all of our lives.
He was a guy who was hard not to love, and now miss.
Kevin Hawkins is president of WAV Group Communications, the media and communications division for real estate consulting firm WAV Group.