RIP, Sleepy Dave

David Godwin, RIP
David Godwin

Well, now we know. It was a year ago that police issued a request for help in locating a missing man.

This report made it sound as though David Godwin was still living in Connecticut. I wrote a blog post, since disappeared in the great collapse, explaining that our friend Sleepy Dave had moved to Florida and was visiting the area when he disappeared.

Concern rose when we learned that his sister had received a letter indicating that he did not intend to return to Florida. Time passed with no word, and the family offered friends a chance to remember him during the summer. I was away. It troubled me not to be part of that gathering.

Before and since, we have assumed that he was no longer among the living. Without proof, though, there was always a glimmer of hope that he might still be with us. No more. It was really tough to read The Day story, especially knowing that his remains lay out for a year before anyone found him.

I’m going to remember the happy, good times. Most important in this household, he kept us supplied with the freshest of bluefish. Sleepy loved to go on fishing charters, treating a number of friends to a day on the water. He refused to eat fish, however, and would arrive back at Cypress, the local watering hole, with a huge supply, all neatly fileted and double bagged.

I broiled them, marinated them and baked them, smoked them, and turned them into pâté. I gave quantities to my next-door neighbor who grew up in Sweden and understands the joys of seafood in strong flavors. On occasion I would offer Sleepy a sample, and he would just shake his head violently while wrinkling his nose.

What Sleepy did like was beef – massive quantities of large cuts. His Friday night treat while he was working began with a beer (or three), followed by the King Cut, a thirty-two ounce slab of prime rib with potatoes on the side. As far as I know it was the only vegetable he ever ate.

I think he ate one or two of the celery sticks or carrots accompanying the twenty-four wings that became a preferred dinner after he retired.

He preceded the consumption of the beef  with the addition of massive quantities of salt from his personalized saltshaker, which had extra large holes. Once he’d finished the actual meat, he’d salt the fat and eat that separately. I tried not to stare but am afraid I watched with horror. Then he would fold his arms and soon be sound asleep at the bar. He never fell off the stool and often awoke to have another beer (or three).

The picture above does not do justice to the man. Besides his generous spirit, he had a great sense of humor, often expressed in his T-shirts and sweatshirts, which he would bring back from trips and give to honored friends. My favorite, which he wore fairly often said, “Paddle faster. I hear banjo music.” Ha!

I know there are many more  stories of his generosity and humor and all around good-guyness, and I hope everyone shares them.

Sleepy Dave, you are truly missed. May you sleep in peace at last.

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