September 21, 2012.
Lets talk about something we all have in common. Thats right, death. The big D, the final D.
Two years ago a dockmate, Tom, passed away. He was a full time liveaboard and one day he just didn't make it topside. While thats sad enough, the fact that his boat is still sitting there unattended after 2 years makes things just a bit more gloomy.
A leaking thru hull allowed the water to rise above the engine. As a result the boats interior is pretty well shot and the engine may never run again. The problem was addressed but the boat still just sits, slowly falling into disrepair. Even the poor dink is starting to fade away as it grows weeds.
The impetus for this topic is driven by a recent death that struck a little closer to home. Davey, the longtime travel lift operator at the Annapolis Harbor Boat Yard passed away this week. He had been a fixture on the waterfront here in Eastport for more than 30 years. He was soft spoken and kinda gruff in a monosyllabic sorta way. He was good at his job and didn't suffer fools...at all. Whether it was regular tasks on a normal day or in a middle of the night emergency, Davey was a cornerstone here at the boatyard.
His passing deeply hurt those who knew him best. My boss, Johan decided to write a farewell tribute of sorts, when I read his thoughts on Daveys passing I was truly touched by the sentiment he put forth.
“Few times in life can any single person affect so many. This was the case with David Sells. During the week Davey, as his coworkers and friends called him worked diligently in the boatyard between First and Second streets in Eastport. He was the last lift operator for Trumpy Yachts, the first for Annapolis Harbor Boat Yard, the first for Steve’s Yacht Repairs and he retired a bit over a year ago much to the disappointment of many that had the privilege of working alongside him. His work ethic, dedication and timeliness have never been matched by anyone before or since. When the travel lift that Davey ran for nearly 30 years was sold and being disassembled Davey was the last to say good-bye, even signing the support just before the last piece was pulled apart.
Friday night through Saturday the other side of Davey came out and there was an entirely new character to be introduced as “Budweiser Dave.” Bud-Dave was always the life of the party! The first one to be on the dance floor, the last one off the dance floor and always with a Budweiser in his hands. At times he was like the energizer bunny… never stopping except for a fresh beer or a quick pit stop. Then just as quickly he was back on the dance floor. He shared his passion and enjoyment of life with anyone that would listen and more than likely a few that wouldn’t. A gentle man that took his job seriously and his playtime just as seriously.
This morning on September 13, 2012 David Sells passed away. He is survived by a loving family and more friends than any person could wish for in a lifetime.
In memory of Davey and Budweiser Dave please join us for a beer lifting this evening from your location of choice. The only requirements are your beer must be a Budweiser and close friends should be nearby. Davey, you will be missed by many and always in our hearts with memories of the great times we had together. “
So on Friday evening after work all of the employees stayed to hoist a Bud in Daveys honor. What was even more touching was the fact that we weren't alone. More than a hundred locals had heard the news of Daveys passing and joined us in tribute. Customers, boat brokers (apparently they do have hearts), competitors, friends and even the barkeep from Daveys favorite watering hole all showed up to pay tribute.
Once again Johan stepped up and gave a moving speech as he epoxied a huge plastic Budweiser bottle to the top of one of our pilings in remembrance of a good man. Godspeed Davey.