I just heard that Dell Hymes died peacefully in his sleep last Friday (13 November 2009). Linguists, anthropologists, and folklorists will all mourn his passing. According to the grapevine, there will be a memorial gathering to remember him at the upcoming American Anthropological Association meeting in Philadelphia (specifically: Saturday, December 5, 7:30-9:30 P.M., in Grand Ballroom III at the Courtyard Marriott). Dell's many scholarly accomplishments will be praised by others, people who know his work much better than I do; I have mostly admired his work from a distance, although I've often consulted his 1955 dissertation, The Language of the Kathlamet Chinook, in my efforts to understand the structure of the Northwest pidgin language Chinook Jargon. But I have always been most grateful to Dell for the role he played in my own career — I'm reasonably sure that I would not have gotten tenure, all those years ago, if he had not written such a detailed and generous letter about my few and flimsy publications.