‘Hold Her Wide.' Blake Dingman's Family Carries on His Philosophy

Blake Dingman's family proudly shared images of his smiles and infectious joy: the legacy of a loved one taken way too soon.

"He could pretty much do any sport he set his mind to. He played soccer! He was really great at soccer. He was fast. He played baseball," his mother Lorrie Dingman said.

It was Nov. 7, 2018, when a lone gunman — a former machine-gunner — entered the Borderline Bar & Grill and opened fire.

At the time of his murder, Blake was 21, and working for an electrician.

His parents and brother Aidan recall his "extreme love for life" in their outdoor living room.

Lorrie said both of her sons helped them build the space, digging the footings for posts.

"We wanted it to be a place where our boys could bring their friends. Because we love being with our kids," Lorrie said. "I would cry over the years. Probably three years before this happened, thinking they would move out and not live with us someday."

A flag at the Dingman's home proclaims "Hold Her Wide," — words we're told that Blake held dear.

"It's just living wide open. And loving people to the best of your ability everyday," Lorrie said.

Blake's passion for off-roading spawned friendships with outdoor enthusiasts who still embrace his family.

Many were riding out to Ridgecrest to dedicate a bench in the desert in Blake's memory.

"Everyone should live their life like my brother lived his. Always nice to people. Always forgiving. Giving your all, in everything," Aidan Dingman, Blake's brother, said.

Aidan now has the Ford Ranger truck and the philosophy that powered many of Blake's adventures.

"If you're not pounding on your truck and beating it up, you're not using it to your full potential. You gotta hold her wide!" he said.

Sorrow and loss have made Blake Dingman's tight-knit family even closer.

"Grief doesn't leave you. You don't move on. You move with it. It sticks to you. You can't get rid of it," Dan said. "I hope that the 12 are never forgotten. It's not just Blake."

See more coverage of the anniversary of the Borderline Bar & Grill tragedy here.

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