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Taps: DJ Goodwin, US Navy Veteran, Veteran's Organizer and Advocate, Collector and Dealer


gwb123

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If you were part of the collecting community in Dallas, Texas in the 1990's onward, chances are you knew DJ Goodwin.  Whether it was from his tables at the shows at Market Hall, his stall at the Canton Flea Market, or one of his shops stuffed full of militaria, he was everywhere.   And if you met him once, and spent at least 10 minutes talking to him, you'd probably never forget him for his sense of humor and his outgoing attitude.

 

I was absolutely shocked to hear the news of his passing. I had just traded messages two days ago with DJ, mostly talking about the lousy weather in Texas. (At least he apparently did not lose electricity or heat, a blessing in itself.)

 

When we first moved to Dallas around 1990, I was immediately drawn to DJ's shop that was in this Antique Mall that was out of the Twilight Zone. At the time, he had his Vietnam Museum on full display, and I was duly impressed.  He actually had more items on display than he actually had merchandis for sale.

 

I became a semi-regular down there. When work was scarce, he provided me a job for a while. We disagreed on so many things, and that is what made it fun. He taught me a lot about the ins and outs of the current collecting scene; who to trust and who to avoid.

 

I remember he told me to come down one Friday night... there was going to be a young and up and coming dealer out of California that I should meet. I walked in while the sun was going down there at the counter swapping tales was non other than young Bob Chatt. All of his wares were in suit cases. I bought every patched Vietnam uniform that Bob had brought on the spot. Little did I realize I'd made another friend for life. 

 

DJ was totally dedicated to Veterans, and was constantly organizing meetings and events on their behalf.  

 

DJ always welcomed me at the shows in Dallas. He was my safe harbor, and always allowed me store my stuff under his tables. (With me wondering if any of would be sold by his helpers before I got back! LOL!)

 

Famously at one show, I was there when he confronted a notorious Vietnam era patch faker. We knew his name, and were both familiar with his wares. DJ just let the scene play out, and let him dump out a duffle bag full of his bogus patches. After letting him talk his spiel, DJ laid into him with both barrels. Him and three other people chased this guy right out of the arena, barely getting his stuff back in his bag. The fake artist was never seen at a Dallas show again!

 

I hope within the next day or so more of these stories come back to my fading memory. To say DJ was unique is an understatement. I have to say he was truly one of the most interesting people I've met in my lifetime. I am sure a good number of his friends in Dallas will be mourning him. I hope to see you again DJ... sometime soon I am sure.

 

(Photo is from his Facebook page with his wife beside him.)

DJ 1.jpg

DJ Card.jpg

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I've known DJ for 35 years. Sad to hear of his passing yesterday. I started going into his store at Lone Star Bizarre about 1985. Traded and bought a LOT of militaria from DJ. The 10 years I was gone, every time I came home, I went to hang out with him at his store on Garland. His number one phrase, "I'm amiable", when working out trades or letting me leave his store with goods I hadn't paid for. He was a good friend to me for a long time and I'm sorry he's gone. Seems he quit smoking about 10 years ago, but I'll always remember him with a smoke, 2 liter of Diet Dr. Pepper and a sleeveless t-shirt. He was always reading the Trading Post too. RIP DJ! You had the best game in town!

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vintageproductions

It has taken me a couple of days to let this sink in.

 

I could write DJ stories for the next two months if I put my mind to it.

 

DJ was one of a kind and I mean that in the best way possible.

 

I started dealing with DJ when I was still in high school and sending our Xerox sales list. He was usually the first person to call to buy pieces. Over the next couple of years we talked all the time, maybe 2-3 times a week. We older collectors all know that when you talked to someone all the time on the phone you pictured what they looked like. I pictured someone who was a professional, maybe a lawyer.....Well we all flew down to do the Astro Hall gun show and started setting up. Now at this time I am maybe 18 or 19 tops. Well I start unloading my suitcases and a buyer just keeps beating me up and bugging me for some Viet Cong items I had. I asked him, "Please just let me get set-up and we can talk when I am done". He keeps hammering me about the VC bits and I kind of lose it on him and he walks away. Twenty minutes later he comes back with this scary looking silver back gorilla / Biker looking guy wearing a Vietnam Veterans vest, who had a scowl on his face. The silver back has an attitude and so I gave it right back. About five minutes into the arguing silverback stops talking, looks at me hard, and says, " Are you from California, and are you Bob Chatt?". I said yes that is who I was, and the silverback broke into a huge smile ( that I can still picture today) and said, " Hey Bob it's me DJ". Well he was far from what I had pictured him being and I went to shake his hand but he put me in a bear hug and I spent the rest of the weekend hanging with him ( the person that kept bugging me was AL Kermeandy who was his partner at the time). This was the same show I met Ron Burkey at also.

 

So jump ahead a few years and I tried to never miss a TMCA show. At the time DJ was managing the Lone Star Bazaar and he would always say come stay with me. Little did I know what was involved with staying with him. You hung out in the mall and shopped during the day, went out for dinner, came back and playing pinball  until 1 or 2 in the morning. He would have his "Milk & Cookies".Then you rolled out a piece of foam and a sleeping bag, and slept on the floor between booths ( my favorite was always next to the comic book booth). Then at around 8 or 8:30 in the morning the lights would slam on ( Cockroaches or water bugs would scatter), and DJ said go get your shower done so we can go get breakfast taquitos at Whataburger..... I did this for many years and wouldn't have given it up for anything.

 

My favorite, and DJ's favorite story was about my wedding. He came out to be here with us and was here for maybe a week. My wife and I got married at Knott's Berry Farm in the Chapel on the Lake. After the ceremonies we were all going back to my warehouse in Gardena for the reception. Well the limo takes Danielle and I out, but before we got in it DJ said he would go tell everyone else that they were all riding in the other limo. Well we take off thinking nothing about it, and a couple of hours into the reception, I am looking around and can't find him. Some reason I went into the office and saw a message(s) alert on the phone. I pick it up and there's DJ asking if someone could come get him as he'd like to be there. For almost 24 years, every year on our anniversary, he would remind us......

 

The militaria community lost a great friend a couple of days ago, and a few of us lost a great family member that will never be replaced.

 

Love ya DJ, and I know I am not the only one who is going to miss you.

 

RIP,

 

Bob

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Condolences to DJ’s family and friends and may he RIP.

 

I either spoke to or exchanged emails with him a few times but I never got to meet him.

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On 2/19/2021 at 11:48 AM, gwb123 said:

 

  Bob provided a link to this article on DJ from the Dallas Morning News:

 

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts-entertainment/2013/02/16/dallas-life-dallas-vets-find-a-home-away-from-home-at-recon-militaria/?fbclid=IwAR2wN2vvnC7a_J6ckDZEuOLfuCOtO8kAniJ9I46NWntUrDp0Jxw_Jbz_uPQ

 

The writer pretty much captured the atmosphere of the shop.  I can close my eyes and see it all. 

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Does that sign above the rifle rack read, “WE DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS FROM CONGRESSMEN”?

 

LOL.

 

RIP DJ, thank you for everything you did.

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DJ was always good for a story or 12 - by him or about him. I never got to his shop, but saw him when I set up at the TMCA shows.

 

He was certainly one of the characters of the business.

 

RIP, DJ.

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vintageproductions
On 2/19/2021 at 11:03 AM, iron bender said:

I've known DJ for 35 years. Sad to hear of his passing yesterday. I started going into his store at Lone Star Bizarre about 1985. Traded and bought a LOT of militaria from DJ. The 10 years I was gone, every time I came home, I went to hang out with him at his store on Garland. His number one phrase, "I'm amiable", when working out trades or letting me leave his store with goods I hadn't paid for. He was a good friend to me for a long time and I'm sorry he's gone. Seems he quit smoking about 10 years ago, but I'll always remember him with a smoke, 2 liter of Diet Dr. Pepper and a sleeveless t-shirt. He was always reading the Trading Post too. RIP DJ! You had the best game in town!

Couldn't help but to laugh as whenever I came home from a visit I had to air my clothes out from cigarette smoke smell, I had to detox from Diet Dr Pepper ( last few times I visited he always had Ice Tea in the fridge), and I would have to keep telling DJ I was sorry as we road his rear about that huge piece of trench art in the front door, that every time we asked him how much he would tell us Ross Perot collected trench art and we would then continually ask when the last time Perot was in the shop or every time he would hesitate to quote a price, we would ask, " Does Ross Perot collect that too?'.

 

He also always taught me to have a bowl of candy on my table at every show, and we still do that today, so I guess I did pick up some good habits too.......

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....and that freakin' laughing skull as you walked in. That thing scared the crap out of me a few times

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:34 PM, iron bender said:

....and that freakin' laughing skull as you walked in. That thing scared the crap out of me a few times

 

Funny you should remember that.  I think I jumped about three feet straight up the first time that thing went off next to me.

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benguttery

I got a few really good pieces from him.  Never shopped a long time... too smokey.

 

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