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Death of a Friend
by June Allen


May 06, 2004

As I approach the venerable old age of 75, I find myself mourning the death of a 46-year-old friend. Dana Bushnell died of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident on North Tongass just days ago. Dana was above all else a biker. He even looked a little like Hollywood's version of the renegade biker - big, leather-clad, wind-messed long hair, weather-beaten, craggy faced partyer - sometimes overdoing it, but he was my friend and I admired him.

Dana had none of the Hollywood bad-boy biker traits. Dana was kind and considerate, he was dependable and mostly happy and straight with the world. He also was an ace cab driver. If you think "ace cab driver" is an oxymoron, you're wrong - there's a great difference between a cab driver and someone who just drives cab. He could drive safely - and still dispatch from the car, keep track of the other cars working, chat with his passenger, and do a good job of all of those things at once - as well as show up for work every day!

For quite awhile he drove and dipatched for Yellow Cab. He liked the job and did it well. If he saw me downtown picking my way over ice patches or leaning into diagonal rain, he'd lean over, open the passenger door and yell, "Climb in! Where you going?" No charge for those short lifts around town. I wasn't the only one he helped out. On grocery hauls (paid), he carried my bags and bags of groceries up all those stairs as if he enjoyed doing it. I think maybe be did.

Dana was a great guy. I will miss him every time I see a biker, a parked Harley, or a yellow cab, here or anywhere.

June Allen
Palmer, AK - USA



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