A good and dear friend of mine, who was known throughout Star Trek Prop colletcing has passed away. Darrell Hyde, known as Phaserfetish on numerous prop boards, passed away from complications from the flu. He was young, in his 40's I believe, and leaves a wife and son.
Darrell and I had become very good friends, though we had never met. We spoke a few days ago after playing some phone tag. We would spend 30-40 minutes on the phone every couple of weeks. We spent a lot of time talking about his experience with Mark English fakes. He and I were finally going to meet at the end of the month when I came out to California.
Darrell had been in the hobby for 20+ years and had seen the hobby change a great deal. He knew a lot about Mark English fakes and was upfront about being taken in by ME fakes. I would talk to him just to learn about the history of Star Trek Props. His knowledge was amazing. He had so many friends in this hobby, and everyone is really saddened by this.
He also was instrumental in my identifying my TMP Klingon Death Sting. I spent about 4 hours on the phone with he and Brett Jones when trying to determine if it was real (we thought it was fake) and then after I got it we spent another 3-4 hours on the phone trying to figure out if it was real. Darrell produced the photo that proved it was after some digging.
Darrell had decided to go into counseling and that was why he was in school. I had a lot of respect for him for doing that. As was mentioned previously, he had just bought his dream car, a black Corvette.
I am truly saddened by this and send his family my condolences. Darrell will be sorely missed.