Dennis Boardman, Fort Bragg Homicide Victim: He Beat His Devils Only to Be Murdered by One
Posted with permission from Bruce Anderson of the Anderson Valley Advertiser:
DENNIS BOARDMAN lived in the Anderson Valley for about a decade of what might be called his lost years. The late Homer Mannix gave Dennis a place to stay in the old Mannix Building, and some nights Dennis would sleep up on the hill west of town on property Homer owned and walk all the way into town from up there. I picked him up one rainy night as he staggered westbound past the high school. He was on his way up the hill. And he would have made it, too.
A tall, handsome man, Dennis was a tough old boy. He’d been a star high school athlete at Fort Bragg, and even in middle age he had the upper body of a weight lifter although the only weight he lifted was his own. It’s no discredit to Dennis’s memory to say that he drank heavily and was often drunk in public. But drunk or sober he was a man of enormous personal charm. We all liked him, and we all wanted to see him stop drinking. And then he did, and everyone who knew Dennis rejoiced.
With the steady help of the Philbrick family, among others, Dennis soon had his own place in his Fort Bragg home town, and the years passed and Dennis passed them sober, so thoroughly sober he got his driver’s license back. He was proud of himself, and we were proud of him for pulling himself together. It was positively inspirational to see Dennis drive up in his new red pickup with his old dog as road company. A skilled wood worker, Dennis built a unique, hand crafted camper on the back of his truck, and everywhere he went his dog Bugsy went with him.
Most of us had thought Dennis wouldn’t survive his years at the bottom of the bottle, but that one magic day he got into one more rehab of the many he’d been through and darned if he didn’t sober up and darned if he didn’t stay that way.
To know that he’s died would be sad enough, but to know he was murdered is way past disgusting. And the killer will be someone he was good to because he was good to everyone, and it will be twice as disgusting to know that he died because he was good to people. To beat all his devils only to be murdered by one is not the way Dennis Boardman should have gone out.
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