Remembering “Radar” – A Slideshow of Pictures & a Eulogy from the Mayor

December 28, 2012 12:31 pm · 96 comments

If you haven’t heard, our friend Mike “Radar” Dunn passed away this week, he was 50 (at least that’s what he told me, haha, I think he was really 59).

We’re not sure exactly when he died, but it was possibly on Christmas, because nobody heard from him on Christmas. He wasn’t found until the morning after Christmas, which leads a lot of us to believe that he went to bed, and passed away peacefully in his sleep sometime on the 25th.

“Radar” was a life-long resident of Contra Costa County. He grew up in Concord, and graduated from Clayton Valley High School. He attended Chico State, where he majored in communications. He came back to Contra Costa County and worked for the Contra Costa Times/Concord Transcript for many years.

“Radar” came to on Christmas Day in 2007. As I’m writing this, I have chills & tears, because I just realized his first email to me was on December 25, 2007, meaning he passed away exactly five years to the day from when he first came into our lives.

Here’s what his first email to me said….

Hi my name is Mike Dunn AKA Radar I post to the blog sometimes. I have some photos that I took of BART opening day in 1972 while I was at DVC as a student photographer. I think I have other photos of the Concord/Clayton area will try to find them and get back to you. I also have a digital camera will keep it with me when I can. Thanks for a great resource!


Here is the first photo “Radar” sent to Claycord, which shows the first passengers entering the gates at Concord BART. He took this on opening day in the early 1970’s. He had a deep passion for history, and saved many of the pictures he took when he was younger.


“Radar” was a good guy. He was so excited when I started posting his pictures on Claycord, and throughout the years, he would always be so happy when the television news stations or newspapers would use his photography, and credit it “Radar –”. He was proud of me, and what he helped create with I was proud of him, too. We were a great team, he once called us the Batman & Robin of the blogging World.

He had such a passion for what he did and didn’t think of what he did as a job, but more of a hobby. He almost cried when I gave him a press pass and a set of business cards with his name on them, and also when I told him I would buy him a new police scanner. He was a simple man. He lived in an apartment, drove a small car, didn’t buy much for himself and made the best of what he had. He loved life, and was passionate about his friends & family.

“Radar” and I have had thousands of conversations, and got together to just hang out on several occasions. He made A LOT of friends through Claycord, and as far as I know, all of them remained his friends up until his death.

Early in 2012, he came out with the news that he had stage-4 lung cancer, which not only broke my heart, but the hearts of many. He never wanted to ask for help. I offered, as did many of his friends, but he always said “no”. Finally, in May, he said he was running out of money and couldn’t pay his insurance, so that’s when all his friends went into action, and I posted a quick note on Claycord asking for donations to help out a fellow Claycordian.

Little did we all know that we would raise over $15,000 for our friend. He was absolutely blown away. He kept hugging me when I saw him, just saying “thank you”, and he cried. I think deep down, he knew he didn’t have long to live, but he would never admit it, and would never accept that fact. He kept fighting until the end, and thanks to you, he was able to live life without the worry of whether or not he would have enough money for his next meal, or his next treatment for this unforgiving disease.

He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance on Thursday, December 20, 2012 while taking pictures at Clayton Valley Charter High School. Originally, it was believed that he had pneumonia, but he was checked out and given the “ok” to go home. He didn’t make it another week, the cancer had beaten his body, but the cancer did not beat his mind. In Mike’s mind, he was a healthy 20 year old with a camera and a ton of energy, and he proved that up until the end.

I knew the man known as “Radar” very well, and I know he loved each and every one of you. He considered many of you his family, and would have bent over backwards to help anybody, even the people he didn’t know. On Christmas, we lost a friend, but Heaven gained a wonderful photographer.


I spent many hours these past few days putting together the slideshow at the top. Please take a few minutes out of your day to enjoy the last five years through Radar’s eyes. The pictures at the top are only a few of the thousands that he took, but they’re some of the best.

The last picture was taken by me. It shows his car at Clayton Valley Charter High School, the site of his final assignment for the Clayton Pioneer.

Next year, I plan to give away the first ever Mike “Radar” Dunn Photography Award, which will be given to the person who submits the best photo each and every year on He might be physically gone from our lives, but his memory will never be forgotten.

Rest easy, Radar. You are very well loved.


Photo of Radar: Courtesy of Ann Notarangelo (thank you, Ann).

Martinez Family December 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

R.I.P. Radar, thanks for all the photos, prayers for your family and friends. never be forgotten and great idea Mayor for the contest, break out your camera’s Claycord Family see who has the Radar eye. December 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM

@Martinez Family, it was actually a fellow Claycordians idea for the award, which I loved.

Thank you for your kind words.


RIP Radar December 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Hi Mayor- This is a lovely tribute to Radar. You gave him a wonderful opportunity and in turn, he gave you photographs and more.

I love your photography award in his honor. May he rest in peace.
A Long Time Claycord Reader

marinemom December 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Mr. Mayor
It brings tears to my eyes to read this and look at the great pictures Radar left behind.
We lost a great person and heaven gained a great guy.
RIP Radar

anon December 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM

awww, you made me cry :'(

Don't Censor Me Bro December 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM

: ^ )

Dragon December 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

What a wonderful eulogy, Mayor.

Thank you.

Atticus Thraxx December 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Beautifully written dude. Really choked me up.

cici December 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Thank you Mr. Mayor, thank you for being there for Radar to brighten his life these last five years.
I know there are Angels among us and Radar sure sounds like one.
Going home on Christmas Day. God Bless his kind soul.

Schmee December 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

That’s by far the best peice of writing I’ve ever read you post mayor.

Diana December 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

You will forever be missed Mike! :'(

kudleme December 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Well said Mayor. Brought me to tears. And I’m so glad you are doing the award. RIP Radar…

SK December 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Oh, Mr. Mayor, we really have lost a jewel, haven’t we? Your eulogy brought me to tears, and that was such a lovely slideshow you put together.

It was amazing how fast Radar could be on scene to get a great picture that he would then send to you. He was such an asset to this blog. We will all miss him very much!

Gladys Kravitz December 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Beautiful job Mayor! It was sad but not depressing as I was happy to see all the photos again.

julie December 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I’m sitting in my office with tears streaming down my face..god bless you Mayor for sharing the Radar story…we will miss him

Jodie December 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

He is sure missed and my prayers go out to his family.

RD December 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Dear Mr. Mayor,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a loving way. You truly honored the memory of your friend, Mike Dunn “Radar”


Rebecca December 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Mayor, beautifly done. I am sorry for your loss and the loss to Claycord. He was a special person for sure. Rest in peace dear Radar.

annie2u December 28, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Heartfelt condolences Mr. Mayor.

Sal Contreras December 28, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I will remember Mike as my go to guy for doing the story on our Mike’s Auto Body’s Annual Benevolence Program. He was such a giving person and there was never a time that he would make you feel like you were bothering him. He and I would text or email back and forth at all odd hours of the day or night. I remember where there would be times that we would phone commute together, him at home early in the morning and me on the road. He was a goof ball..but he was our loving and caring goof ball!! You could tell his passion through his pictures. He will be missed but not forgotten…Sal

RanchgirlCA December 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Beautifully written Mayor. It moved me to tears. I never had the pleasure of meeting Radar, but have loved his images through the years on the Claycord website. I look forward to seeing how he inspired the photographer in us all. RIP Radar :’-(

BMW Dave December 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Thank you Mr Mayor for this wonderful eulogy and letting us in to the great relationship you got to have with Radar. I think he felt like family to us all, and it truely made my heart sank when I heard the news.

RIP Radar.

Jeff December 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Such a touching tribute. I can only hope to be as good a friend to those around me as the Mayor was to Radar, and as Radar was to everyone he encountered.

Godspeed, Radar. See you when we get there.

Great job on this, Mayor…..

SAR December 28, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Very Nice!!!

GoGo Gomez December 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM

I am going to miss my buddy Radar…good job with this Mayor.

Linda December 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Perfect Mayor.

Clayanon December 28, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Radar sounds like a great man who was rewarded in life with great friends. You, Mayor, are a great friend. Thank you for sharing your memories. Peace to you.

Kirkwood December 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Radar was kind enough to reply to my question on about an artistic shot that was published here. That brief encounter now has much more meaning to me.

Excellent tribute, Mayor.

Matt December 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Very nice eulogy Mayor and well written. Is it known when and where services will be for Radar? Or if condolences are being accepted by the family?

David Molstad December 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Mr. Mayor, that is a wonderful tribute to your friend and the friend of all Claycordians. Radar was a man of his community. I am delighted to see the community rally around Radar’s passing with the dignity and grace that I know the community has to offer.

We all could use a lot more men like Radar, but he was one of a kind, he was the one for this generation.

I think Radar’s passing has shocked us all. Made us reflect upon our own lives a little differently. Made us look at loved ones with a new light. What a huge and wonderful legacy for Radar.

Now G-d has this wonderful man and heaven is a better place because he is there.

D December 28, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Mr. Mayor, this is a wonderful tribute to a friend thank yoiu for sharing the story and taking the time to do the pictures. I never met him, but was always impressed that he could get the great pictures on here even before the newspapers published them. Heaven is blessed, and we have an angel watching from above.. Rest in peace, and wishing prayers of comfort to his family.

Ridiculous December 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Thank you, breathtaking photography and heart felt Eulogy quite a tribute to a wonderful person.

Lori December 28, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I didn’t know “Radar” personally but enjoyed his photos very much. Very nice tribute Mr. Mayor !!!!

CV Grad December 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

A life well lived and well remembered. Vaya con dios, Radar

Cathy December 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Mayor, that is an absolutely beautiful and very touching tribute to a very fine man. I know how much he respected you and was so excited with any assignment he was working on. I loved seeing him at the sporting events at CV, downtown Concord during a 5k, a homecoming parade or anywhere – you never knew where he’d show up with his camera!

The last few days have been very sad I know and I’ve enjoyed our reminiscing.

Mike had some very nice friends and I’ve had the great pleasure to meet a few of them the last few days . It’s a testament to the man he was to have so many caring friends.

All: his family is now in town, and arrangements are being made w/ Ouimet Bros in Concord. Services will be announced soon. My hope too is that after the shock, and family led services that we can have a larger Claycord memorial-get together. I know many of us want to do this. For him. For us. We’ll be working with family, friends, Mayor, etc to get something planned and there are some things being thrown around for a casual, friendly gathering to remember and share memories.

I will say, that not many people get to see the HUGE outpouring of support one has before they pass. I’m so grateful Radar knew how much we all cared, how much the community was pulling for him. The fundraiser we did for him earlier this year showed him that. We raised more than we ever imagined, and so much good will and so many kind words were said at that time, that he knew. May we all be so lucky. Take care of each other. Tell your family and friends how you feel. I will always be grateful that Mike was a friend.

Michelle December 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Thank you Mayor for sharing your video…. Radar will stay with us in our hearts…. RIP MIKE
Love all of us here at MDSS

JWB December 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Nice words Mayor ….. RIP Mike

Armydadca December 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Beautiful, Thanks Mayor.

RIP Radar

Nikki P December 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Such a talented man….he’ll be missed

Raiderforlife December 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ve seen quite a bit posted about him and I can tell that he meant a lot to you and the community. It’s nice that you have such good memories. Hold on tight to those, and think of him often.

concord res December 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

That was an awesome picture Radar r.i.p. took of the BART opening. I’m definitely going to miss seeing his photos here on Claycord. Hope they’ll post some more of the photos he took when he was younger. The black and white pictures of old Concord are just awsome to look at.

mamatosix85 December 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

What a beautiful tribute to such a wonderful man. So sorry for your loss Mayor. What an incredible gift you and he had for these past 5 years. Much love to you. And thank you so much for sharing this and his incredible photography.

Mz Jones December 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Amazing Photos. Rest in peace Radar!

BARTNinja December 28, 2012 at 2:44 PM

That was simply beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. RIP Radar.

Hank Hill December 28, 2012 at 3:10 PM


Thank you for the nice memorial posting on Claycord. Mike is going to be missed. I never knew or met him. His pictures always told stories. I no longer live in Concord. I am in Woodland near Sacramento, but I always come here to Claycord for the news. Your sight is like TMZ, it hits here before the main local media gets it. We are certainly going to miss Radar. We lost a good man. May he go in peace……

God Bless you Radar December 28, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Thank you Mayor.

I am sorry I never took the time to meet Radar, but I saw him out a few times working. I’m in one of his pictures, and I think there for a couple more.

Amazing how life is,…we really are bound together..and guys like Mike remind us through their pictures.

God Bless “Radar”.

Jeff December 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM

It’s amazing, looking through those pictures, the eye Radar had for photography. He took some amazing “action” shots – but he also took some of the most simple and beautiful things in life. It’s clear in his pictures that Radar appreciated everything about life and took a great deal of pride in what he did.

Also amazing that it was 5 years ago to the day. That sent a chill up my spine.

Anna, The Lemon Lady December 28, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Mr. Mayor,
Very touching tribute.
I valued my friendship with Mike. He may have been the very first person to follow me around my fruit harvesting adventures. I know he submitted the first photos to Mike would often visit at harvest locations and enjoyed helping out on dozens of missions with my family and I. He was always welcome wherever we were. We are so sad he will not join us on any more harvest missions.
Mayor, Thank you for commemorating Mike’s work.
– A Friend
Anna “the lemon lady”

Christmas Gift December 28, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Well now, Heavan certainly received a wonderful Gift . .

Casey December 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Mr. Mayor what a beautiful and touching tribute you pay to Radar – I’m sure he is smiling remembering how fortunate he was to have you as a friend.

Lorelei December 28, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Only a true friend could write such a heartwarming eulogy. Thank you, Mr. Mayor for saying it so beautifully. We could always count on Radar to show us what we heard about, and he never disappointed. R.I.P. good neighbor…

Sparkerdoo December 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Mr.Mayor, what a wonderful post for such an extraordinary man.
Unfortunately, THIS is a horrible time of the year for anyone passing, especially if he or she were alone at the time; it sounds as though RADAR was.
Back in 1965, when I was 8 years old, my dad passed away the day before Thanksgiving, his services were on Thanksgiving evening.
Then, in 1984, my mother died and we buried her on December 24th (Christmas Eve). The holidays were not my most favorite time of the year, but with small children, I made them happy and fun.
On December 15, 2004, we get a call from the Sherriff in Nevada, that my sister had been murdered.
As alone as I feel this time of the year, I have come to realize I am NOT alone as a survivor of those ‘Holiday Blues’.
Let’s pray for his family and friends, and recognize that Mike is in a much better place right now, and how how fortunate for ALL of us to have had him in OUR lives, looking through HIS eyes in HIS photos.
The Holidays CAN get better for some us.

kiarfy December 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Wonderful eulogy. Radar is blessed, I’m sure this helps in his journey.

chief661 December 28, 2012 at 3:55 PM

RIP Mike, AKA Radar, you are in a better place. I feel that, although I never met you in person, I knew you through your great photos. Claycord just lost a wonderful person and talented photographer.

Cowellian December 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM

What a nice tribute, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for posting it.

Radar had an uncanny ability to be at places where pictures needed to be taken, and he always got such great shots.

I liked Radar, but I suspect everyone who knew him liked him. Rest in peace, my friend.

Dee December 28, 2012 at 4:06 PM

This is just a fantastic tribute to Radar. Like many others I never met him but felt like I knew him from all the great work he has done here. This tribute and eulogy you have put together shows the love and respect you had for him. R.I.P. Radar

Anon December 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Sparkerdoo I understand where you are coming from. I lost my Mom in January of 1962 at a young age. This time of year is especially difficult when often I catch myself thinking how would things have been different if she hadn’t past. Each day I try to complete an act of kindness. This morning at 6:30 AM it was almost 30 degrees out there. I gave a lady a ride who was walking to her job in Concord. You are not alone, but take time to help someone else – it does help.

Anon December 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM


Since I assume you have connections it would be nice if the City of Concord would dedicate a “Radar” day. I know they do this kind of thing.

claytonnative December 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Mayor, I sit here reading your words and have to keep wiping the tears from my eyes. Radar was a great man and so proud and happy to have been a part of Claycord. When I first talked to him he was so proud of the meeting you had with him when he received his press pass… You two were a pefect match. Your words for him simply spectacular. Thanks you for sharing your kind thoughts and words.. Amazing eulogy Mayor.

J. December 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Hey, Radar, R.I.P., he even had a CLAYCORD license plate frame on his car!

Let’s all buy one in remembrance.

Cee Cee December 28, 2012 at 5:17 PM

What a talent he had ! Weather it was something simple or something serious , he knew when to “click-it” !
Thank you, Mr Mayor

Mr. J December 28, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Well said, Mr. Mayor.

Michelle December 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM


Rich December 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Thank you Mayor for the history and tribute. You captured the moments and man. We are all lucky to have had Radar pass through our lives. In August at the Clayton Relay For Life we will light and dedicate a personalized Luminaria in honor and memory of our friend.

Cee Cee December 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

correction : whether instead of weather .sorry……..# 61

Emily December 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

So well done, Mayor. Such a lovely tribute to someone who became over the years ‘a friend not yet met’ but admired all the same.

Craig Cannon December 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

It would seem some people are born Photographers, and some learn how to take Photographs. Radar qualified as both. He could bring us a story in Pictures, and he learned from his own excellent work, and only became better. Radar, if you are out there, somewhere, you know I still owe you that trip to Reno. Maybe next time! Our world, my world which in Pictures is similar to Mikes will go on. It will go on, enriched by the privilege of knowing a simple man, doing a simple thing. Taking a Photo, not any Photo, but one that every time told its own story. Only the way “Radar” could tell it. You made many of us Smile, stop a moment, and take a second look! Thanks and Rest in Peace my good Friend/Fellow Photojournalist. 🙂

Sue December 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Well done Mayor. I just found out from someone in the Singles group that Mike and I belonged to that he had passed, then I read this blog. We hosted a movie night every month. Sometimes there were 10 people, sometimes just the two of us. He loved the movies and it was fun to talk about them with him. I don’t know what else to say. He loved life and fought until the end. I will miss him terribly. Rest in peace Mike.

Fig Newton December 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I went to Clayton Valley,, Mike was the Class of 1971, I used to ride the bus with him, he grew up over by Treat and Cowell, by Plumlieigh dr! He was one smart guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Renee December 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Beautiful tribute Mayor.

tamara lea December 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Rest in peace Radar, and thanks for your contribution to the world! You will be missed.

Thanks, Mayor, for such a heartfelt post recognizing someone so important to our community.

ChampagneKitty December 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Mr. Mayor, I can see that your heart is broken over Radar’s death. That was a very special eulogy that you wrote. I did watch the slide show. We are not going to forget Radar. Many of us will remember him for a long time to come.

Shasta Daisy December 28, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Beautiful. Thank you, Mayor. I think your words speak for most of us.

I am truly blessed to have known Radar.

G-non December 28, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Really enjoyed your written words and the photos you choose. Sorry for the loss of your friend Mayor and the family of Radar. His photos are truly special.

Acc December 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Excellent tribute Mayor. I viewed the photo array on my way to work today. Very bittersweet. Beautiful photos from a beautiful man. He is irreplaceable. Noone could ever take his place. His spirit will always be with us and his legacy will always be available for us to see. I’m sorry you lost your friend. He will be missed greatly in so many ways. RIP Mike aka Radar. God needed you more than we did. How great that u are in his kingdom now. I really wish I had a Radar pic of heaven right about now.

Mr. Anon E. Mouse December 28, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Well done Mike

I wish I were 1/10th the photographer Radar was.

Sorry for your loss, Mr. Mayor.

Grateful December 28, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Outstanding Mayor. So glad to have seen this!

Teeg December 28, 2012 at 9:59 PM

I hope when I pass I can be spoken of 1/10th as fondly as we speak of Radar. I first “met” him (online) in 2008 when the hills in front of me on the Pittsburg Clayton/Concord line caught fire next to the Kirker Creek Apartments , I was newly sober, living on my own for the first time and I was scared. I turned to Claycord for up to date news and lo and behold, Radar lived in the same apartments as me! He caught some great photos and let us me know it was nothing to be worried about. When he was ill, I donated to his cause and I have never ever done anything like that before, but he was that awesome a person, even only knowing him on line. I’ve since moved from the area but still check Claycord daily cause I miss the sense of community created by this site. I wonder if we could somehow get a scholarship together for a budding photography student? I bet he’d like that! What a terrible awful blow this loss is.

B. December 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM

I’ve kept up on my old community by reading Claycord. I have enjoyed Radar’s pictures, he was right on the spot at breaking news events. I am so sorry to hear he has passed away. Mr Mayor, thank you for a touching eulogy. And Farewell to Mike Dunn, a great photographic journalist.

Sarks0909 December 29, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Claycord .com won’t be the same without him. He left a great legacy behind. I am happy he passed peacefully in his sleep, at home. God bless, Radar.

femshep December 29, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I hardly ever cry but you made me cry Mayor. I’m glad you are going through with the Photography Award. That was a great idea and a great way to honor his memory.

US_DOJ_Gov December 29, 2012 at 1:47 AM

VIDEO of PICTURES was awesome to watch.

Would be great to have a Section only for A-GRADE Photos . . . Best-of-the-Best Photos

Good heart December 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM

A great tribute for a great soul. Thank you again to the beyond Radar for sharing your talents and passion with us. Thank you mayor for bringing him into our daily lives and a befitting tribute for all he gave. God Speed Radar!

Happy One December 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I hope Radar’s family realizes how much his community admired and cared about him.

anonymous December 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Mayor – I am so happy that you held the claycord fundraiser for Mike this year. It absolutely made his last months easier financially, and it did a world of good for him emotionally – to know that so many kind people on claycord contributed to help a good guy down on his luck.

Thank you mayor, and thank you all of the good claycordians who contributed.

Patricia December 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Mayor, Thank you for putting this together. It reminded me of things, made me sad and made me smile. It was wonderful!

J. Anne-Marie Boyland December 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

What a very kind thing to do for a really good guy. Beachcomber Singles will miss him, he was our Webmaster. He really did a lot for our group as well and will be sorely missed. AnneMarie B.

Antler December 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Mayor, thank you for gifting us with Radar’s photographs one more time. The one I shall always remember as being his most dramatic did not happen to appear in the slide show, but it will stay in my mind’s eye: The situation might have been a home fire, perhaps in Clayton. It was nighttime, and to capture the scene, Mike took the shot from close to some firefighters strongly silhouetted against the brilliant flames they were trying to quench. The composition of the photograph was elegant, and I realized that he had not used a zoom lens…that he was so trusted by the authorities to be accurate and discrete, but never obstructing them in their work ….that they had permitted him “inside the tape”.

Thank you for having shared some details of your mutual friendship and the business catalysts you were for one another. Please accept my condolences during your sadness now.

Butch December 30, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Mike was indeed 59, the same age I am. Mike was in my graduating class of 1971 at CVHS. I remember Mike as a Freshman being the target of teasing and bullying because of his slight stature. Being a late bloomer myself, I could relate. But Mike would end up in his Junior and Senior year as a popular kid at school, always with his trademark 35mm camera around his neck. Mike took pictures for The Daily Talon when I was editor in our Senior year. Mike also took pictures for the yearbook. I hadn’t seen Mike in 40 years, since my first year at DVC, when I read his story on I’ve lived in San Diego since 1975, but have been a long time reader of SF Gate, where I discovered this blog. It was amazing to see the outpouring of love for this guy. Truly a measure of a person’s greatness. Bon Voyage Radar!

coolmarigold December 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I will miss seeing the world thru your eyes Radar. Thank you for all the wonderful shots.

anonamiss.. December 30, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I just returned from visiting family in Southern California. I checked Claycord like I usually like to do, as soon as I got back. (Today) I am disheartened to hear of Radar’s passing. I met him when we had our annual neighborhood watch ice cream social. He seemed like a gentle soul and a very talented photographer. I enjoyed his many contributions to Claycord. He will be missed by many……..

Anon December 30, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I go to Clayton Valley. I’ve known Radar since I was probably 12 or so, I’m 16 now. Now I’m a trainer at CV, and I was talking to him while awaiting the EMTs to arrive at CV on Friday. And I knew, that might be the last time I would see him. And next thing I know, I was the last person he saw and talked to, other than medical personnel, before he passed away. Which is what gets me the most. Radar has been at every football game standing on the sideline with me, we would talk, and he would take pictures of me because my mom told him to. There was one picture he took of myself and my friends after we won the Claycord Cup that he favorited. I’ll never be able to look at that picture without thinking of Radar.
RIP Radar.

Steph December 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Thanks for putting this together!! It really is a beautiful tribute to his work, passion, & life. Reading on Claycord that he had passed was saddening, truly losing a Claycord pillar who has almost been contribution to this blog as long as you. 🙂 I never got the chance to meet Radar but was able to get to know him when we used to have the Thursday night Clayord chat & we continued communicating on Facebook out our love of Chico. His passion for life & photography was evident through the way he lived. We lost a good one but only the good ones die young. RIP Radar. December 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Hi Steph! It’s been a long time. Nice to see your name on here!! Hope you’ve been well.


CN December 31, 2012 at 12:46 AM

I always enjoyed reading Radar’s notes to the Mayor in the blog that he has pictures on the way. I think the first picture of Radar’s I saw was a large high pressure welding-type air tank abandoned on a Pittsburg street.

I will miss Radar’s byline credit for photos.

Thank you Mayor for bringing Radar to us and for being a very good friend to him. He will be missed very very much. And thank you for sharing your stories.

Valiii January 1, 2013 at 3:19 AM

So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I knew him from the Beachcomber’s group. He was such a nice guy, will be missed! (Note: He told us it was liver cancer, not lung cancer. Also, I never saw him smoke.) He mentioned that he had photos posted on this website, but I never got a chance to look at them. I’ll have to get caught up now.. Mike had lots of friends, who are deeply saddened by this loss..

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