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Date Posted: 17:11:52 01/14/08 Mon
Author: Lenard Curiel
Subject: Dave "Day" Havlicek 1941-2008
When I got home to check my e-mail on Thursday January 10, 2008 my first instinct was to call Irene (Dave’s wife). Her daughter Laura answered and was screening my call; rightfully so she wanted to protect her mom from all the calls. She told me that Gary Burger was there and she handed the phone to him. Gary broke the finite details and after we talked, I immediately packed my bags and booked a flight to Seattle the next morning.
I arrived at Seattle at 6 P.M. and got a taxi to meet up with Gary (we both were staying at the same hotel thanks to Gary’s advice). We had a beer and were catching up, and then we decided to go get dinner. Gary and I were talking about the great moments that happened on stages at London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Zurich, and the festival at Krems, Austria. After dinner Gary dropped me off at my room while he parked around the other end of the hotel because we both new that we were going to have a big day ahead of us.
Saturday morning January 12, around 6:30 A.M. Gary calls me to have breakfast with Ray (Dave’s brother) and his wife Lynn. (Who were also staying at the same hotel)After we had breakfast at IHOP and many thanks to Ray for picking up the check; we went to Irene’s house to pay our respects to her. Laura and her mate Wayne were there to greet Gary and me. Irene was glad to see me and we caught up for a while, then Gary and I went up to the Greenwood Cemetery in Renton, Washington.
When we arrived Gary and I met up with Eddie and his wife Sherry. After greeting one another we entered the funeral home where the service was going to be held. Eddie, Sherry, Gary and I all sat in the second row from the front. The display was full of photos of Dave including his banjo, Fender Stratocaster guitar and the American flag. Everyone had turns around the room saying their eulogies then there was a brief video slideshow presentation and the Army Honor guard gave the flag to Dave’s widow Irene.
When the service ended Eddie, Sherrie, Gary and I went to visit Jimi Hendrix’s grave which was only 300 feet from the chapel. After we paid our respects and took our pictures, we went to a reception that was held in Dave’s honor at Uncle Mo’s tavern. The game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers were on in the background (it’s hard to miss when you have more than 20 big screen televisions all showing the game.) Many fans came to greet Eddie and Gary as well as the local people of the town. Once the game was over (Green Bay Packers 42, Seattle Seahawks 20) Eddie, Sherry, Gary and I surreptitiously slipped out the door and went to Irene’s house to talk.
Eddie and Gary reminisced about the days in Germany and their lives, then Irene went to Dave’s music room and gave Gary the original Torquays banner. Gary was going to frame it when he got home. After listening to many great stories, Gary had to leave early because he had to be at the airport at 5 A.M. Gary and I said goodbye to Irene, Eddie and his wife Sherry then we rode off. I went to my room at 9 in the evening. I was all alone and I tried to focus watching the History Channel. My stoicism fell apart and I cried for 2 hours until I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.
Sunday morning arrived and my clock read 7 A.M. I got up and went to get my self ready. After I checked out of the hotel, I called Laura to pick me up. It seemed than no sooner I hung up the phone Laura was there to pick me up. We went to Irene’s house to talk for a while and we played some of Dave’s solo material. Irene insisted that I had a bowl of chicken soup before I left. When I was there Eddie’s ex-wife Anita Klemke called. Luckily Wayne (Laura’s mate) was there to answer the phone because he spoke fluent German. When it was time for me to catch my flight, Irene gave me a hug and tears were coming out of our eyes. Laura and Wayne were there to send me off and I thanked for all of their help. Laura and Wayne were the unsung heroes because they were the ones kept everything together.
After my 2 hour flight and arriving back in Los Angeles Sunday night, I don’t remember driving home let alone anything else because I was so numb.
It’s now Monday evening at 8 P.M. and I will miss my friend Dave. When we were on the road no matter where we were, everyone always wanted to know where Dave was. It wasn’t hard to find him; all you needed to see a circle of people and you knew that Dave was in the nucleus of that circle. Right now in heaven above there are a circle of angels floating in the sky and I’ll bet my last dollar that Dave is in the middle of that circle.
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