August 23, 2015

Hippy Dave

I was Listening to Neil Young... Old Man Live at Massy Hall.  And It made me recall this 68ish yeah old man.  I met him when I was fresh out of the Corps.  I worked with him in a Kitchen.  We both started as Dishwashers.

He was one of the coolest old cats I'd ever met.  I remember when I asked him.... "Hey man why don't you want to do something other than dishes?"  And he'd always reply... "Cause thats all I have to do."

I never really got what he meant until well after having met Him.  You see Dave was a character.  He could flirt with women more than twice his younger.  He always had a story or something to say.  Drop off your dishes and bust out some wisdom in all the time it took to stack glasses.

I was kind of bent out of shape at the time... but he could always make the day better.  He'd be drinking on the job... stop leave the building and smoke a joint.  I'd ask him: "You ain't worried about what will happen if you get caught?  Don't you want something better?"  He'd say... "Whats better than this?"  and turn away to the scullery.

One day he brought in this photo album.  It had a bunch of black and whites of him hanging out with any band you could think of in the 60's and 70's.  Skynard... Coke with Zepplin, Pictures with him drinking beer with the Doors.  You see, thats something we had in common.  The Doors.

I've had a Doors Hat since I was around... 20.... and at this time I'm 26ish.  So he says to me... you know how it is... people are strange.  He was always kind of cryptic and "Off" like that.  I remember taking him home one weekend... he had all his music with me.... and he pulled out this album... a 4 disc set... and he says... you're welcome.  Then gets out the car and walks off.

I went into work the very next day... I was sweating because I didn't have any staff... I had no dishwasher.... Orders were coming in.... I was swamped and losing.  Then a Server came in about midway between getting my ass kicked and said "Oh no sweetheart... you're doing good.... I'm surprised you even showed up.  I figured since Dave died we weren't even gonna have a kitchen."

My heart sank... and I immediately stopped working.  I took off my apron and tried to find out what she meant.  Completely astonished she says "Yeah, apparently Dave smoked a bunch of crack had a shit ton of porno mags around his chair... and he was watching porn buck naked and had a heart attack."

It wasn't until many years later that I understood his little quirks and stories and suggestions and cryptic messages was him knowing that every day he had was a gift.  He never wasted a second.

He was known lovingly as Hippie Dave.  I miss him... and I thank him.

I guess the reason I'm telling you about this... is to let you know that nobody goes out in a beautiful way.  We all go out the way we were born in... kicking and screaming.  And if you ain't kicking and screaming... you ain't living.

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