John's Journal...

"Dive, Dive, Dive!” with Mary Lynn Berzett

Hallmark’s Favorite Type of Diving

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: “I’ve been diving since Moby Dick was a guppy,” says Dennis “Skinny” Hallmark of Birmingham, Alabama. At the age of 15, Hallmark made his first scuba dive with a friend in the quarry near his home, and in his words, “I was hooked.” Over the past 35 years, Hallmark has taught thousands of first-time scuba divers and diving instructors and owned dive shops in three Alabama cities in the 1980s. Certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), Hallmark also Click to enlargeteaches instructors how to teach firemen and police to perform rescue dives. The International Diving Educators’ Association (IDEA) of Jacksonville, Florida, honored Hallmark in 2002 as its Worldwide Instructor of the Year.

Night Hawk: What aspect of diving do you like the most and why?

Hallmark: Teaching. I like teaching all aspects of diving, to anyone whether he or she is a beginner or an instructor. I don’t do cave diving any Click to enlargemore due to the number of accidents involved and people getting lost in underwater caves. I get excited seeing people become as excited as I am about diving. Beginning students don’t have any bad diving habits, and you can play games with them to emphasize the safety part of diving. Some instructors who have been diving for a long time think they know everything. When I explain something, from an instructor’s view, they often gain a new perspective, and learn more detail than what they’ve learned in the beginner’s class.

Click to enlargeTo contact Skinny Hallmark for further information, call him at home, (205) 980-0008, call his cell phone, (205) 907-0824 or contact him at His website is currently being redone and is unavailable. He also has a DVD that he’ll be glad to send out.


Check back each day this week for more about "Dive, Dive, Dive!” with Mary Lynn Berzett

Day 1: Memorable Dives
Day 2: Who Scuba Dives, and What Do They Learn
Day 3: Costs of Scuba-Diving Trips
Day 4: Hallmark’s Favorite Type of Diving
Day 5: Ages and Types of Folks Who Scuba Dive



Entry 314, Day 4