Eric (at right) and me in Longview, Washington, last November. Here we pose in the parking lot of Pie@Trios, a pizza joint that is the successor to the once-popular pizza chain Pietros. My squinting is no reflection on anything other than a bright autumnal sunlight.

My friend Eric D. Dixon died yesterday. His friends and co-workers and family now condole each other on his Facebook page, and some of us just grieve in solitude.

Eric was a kind person. Unlike many people in politics — he was working for the Libertarian Party as an editor and technology developer when he died — he was not an a**h*le, not even a little bit. But he wasn’t a pushover, either. He was a “connector.” He helped people work together and helped people form friendships. He had a lot of knowledge, from the trivial (he played at “trivia” contests) to the profound. I would have liked to have known him better, but for most of the last 20 years we were on opposite sides of the continent.

He came to Liberty magazine in 1998, where I labored as Executive Editor at the time, leaving in 1999, a few months before I did. We had a more than a few interests in common, like progressive rock and keyboard playing and odd music in general. I just got an email from the California Guitar Trio, for instance, a group that I never would have known about had it not been for Eric’s enthusiasm. Same goes for Béla Fleck and Guy Klucevsek — and it is worth noting that Eric was a fine accordionist. Another of Eric’s and my shared interests was cinema. I probably would never have taken notice of the quirky films of Hal Hartley had it not been for Eric. The “feel” of a Hartley film seems to capture my mood right now.

Through Eric I met Paul Jacob and Justin M. Stoddard, and I heard him mention, on many occasions, his many other friends, such as Michael Malice — who has referred to Eric on his show more than once.

Eric, professionally, was a first-rate proofreader and an expert technician in online technology. His own writing was always clear and dignified, reminding me, actually, of John Hospers’ style. Eric also had a clean design sense.

When I first moved to Portland, Oregon, 41 years ago, I found an apartment on Alameda, not far from where Eric was living at that time. I often wonder whether in one of my perambulations I met young Eric and smiled at him (as one does with kids), perhaps giving him a nod. Were life a circular affair, as in comedy and fantasy, I would seek his boy self out, on the streets behind Sylvia’s Italian Restaurant. And wink, or nod — as if to foreshadow a life to come.


The presence of Bene the Cat in this filtered photo reminds me that Eric enjoyed the company of felines, probably more than I do.
His cats, surely, will miss him too.