A Story: BA-BOW! [strikes pose]

This is part 3 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2.

“As we all know, Dave was a workout-buff.  Most workouts ended with cardio-activity (staying fit and keeping his stamina up was important), and a protein shake.  We would head into work right after a gym session, and he’d rather quickly head off to eat a hearty meal (and not always the healthiest).  He’d explain,”Dude, I have to add more inches to my arms.  You don’t get this big by doing nothing BA-BOW!” followed by his trademark bicep pose.  Good luck to seeing him run three blocks, however…

His first apartment in Texas was situated roughly 20 footsteps away from a Sam’s Club.  I would understand him having to drive over in order to fill his trunk with packages: they sell in abundance.  Yet, I scratched my head when he forced me into his car and take a drive in order to purchase “American Sniper” on DVD.

~ Bryan R., NYPD

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BA-BOW! Being silly on my 30th and Dave’s 27th Bday

A Story: On Cozying Up

This is part 2 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days. For relevant posts see: part 1.

For a time, Dave and I used to carpool into work.  He would often find my passenger front seat pushed up closer to the dashboard than his long legs would allow, and he’d yell: “Dude, what midget continues to sit in here?”  Oddly enough, instead of just adjusting the seat, Dave would sit there with his knees pressed against his chest.”

~ Bryan R., NYPD

A Story: On Avoiding Overtime

This is part 1 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days.

Dave lead a rather humorously paradoxical lifestyle.

“Fear” and Dave did not get along, as he was always at the frontline of any critical circumstance up here in New York and in Texas.  Just don’t ask him to actually spend time processing an arrest: it might lead to unwarranted overtime, and just like the term “fear,” Dave and overtime did not get along.

One New Years Eve, we had to work in Times Square for the ball-drop.  It’s a long day/night, and Dave did not want to risk being stuck to work a continued shift within our command.  Therefore, on a blistering cold (fifteen degrees, if lucky), Dave had the bright idea to drive my car up to our muster-location, packed with our clothes for going out after.  At dismissal (well after two o’clock in the morning, mind you), Dave and I sat in my car (which does not have any tints on the windows) and undressed (almost completely) to change into regular clothing.  Forget about a warm precinct.  “Everyone else is a sucker for going back to the base!” 

~Bryan R., NYPD

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A Story: Making It Through The Rookie Years

“I worked with Dave in the ninth precinct. Dave was a class act and a fun guy. He was always inviting everyone out for drinks after our shift was finished on the 4×12’s. I admit I declined the invitation often because parenting on a hangover is tough! Those rare occasions I did accept were filled with hysterical stories revolving around Dave and his antics at work and the bar!

One particular night I decide to “belly up” at the bar. It’s not crowded, most likely a week night. It’s only a few of us inside and after doing a shot with Dave he starts telling me he’s thinking about quitting the job, saying that it just sucks.

He’s still a rookie and I’m well beyond my rookie years by the time he’s telling me this. Being a rookie in the NYPD means dealing with a whole lot of nonsense: standing on long foot posts every day and getting all the crap assignments; getting handed all crap arrests that keep you on your feet all day at the hospital; all day on your feet at central booking. And, finally, signing out after 16hrs and then returning to work the next day or some cases in a few hours later and repeating same process. It can be discouraging. So, as I’m listening to Dave, I make a joke about it but he’s telling me he’s serious about quitting. Dave tells me he was a cadet and that they helped with college while he was a cadet and that he has his bachelor’s degree. So I’m trying to convince him to stay, and he’s adamant that it sucks! He’s quitting! I ask him:

‘ How old are you?’
‘ 23 ‘ he says
‘ You have a college degree? ‘
‘ yup ‘ he says
‘ Put your hand in your pocket what do you have? ‘ He’s smiling as he’s doing this.
‘ A couple of twenties ‘ he says
‘ Your friends? What are your friends doing with themselves? ‘
‘ Nothing ‘ he says

I said: Dave, you’re 23yrs old with a college degree, a cop with a  career in the NYPD. You have a twenty dollar bill on the bar with some extras in your pocket. How many of your friends that are doing nothing can say that?

He smiles and says: yes… lets do some shots! Your brother never quit. Your brother stayed a cop. I will always remember him smiling!

It’s hard to parlay all your thoughts into typing sentences. After hearing your father, yourself and Dave’s fiancé speak about him, I guess my point is that Dave chose a path of righteousness, that requires unselfishness, compassion, and bravery. It’s easy to forget about compassion and become selfish doing this job. Dave never lost sight of that. May Dave & God always be in your heart and blessings!

~ Chris P., NYPD

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A Story: No Drinks That Night

“I called Dave once to see if he wanted to go out for drinks. “I would but I can’t,” he texted. I teased him for being flaky, and he wrote back “This homeless woman just wet herself and I have to take care of it.” He wasn’t showing off. Just telling me the facts. I was so impressed. I felt like such a jerk for teasing him. But that was David; too busy casually saving the world to grab a beer.”

~ Marian L., Friend

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Photo Credit: one of the many random tourists who would ask Dave to take a pic while he worked Time Square (found on Flickr)

A Story: Bringing Fireball To The Big City

Remember how Dave and friends discovered Fireball Whiskey in Rangeley, Maine? Well, here’s the current theory about how Fireball then took over NYC.

“Some time after our trip to Maine (and our first introduction to Fireball), I went shopping somewhere and saw a bottle of Fireball. Since Dave was in love with this stuff, I bought him a bottle. The next time we met up I made sure I brought the bottle. This was right after he was done working out at the Crunch in Union Square and before he was a full time Bar None patron; so we went to Forum down the street. Dave met with the manager and someone else who I can’t remember but a friend none the less. Dave had to share his love of Fireball so much that he proceeded to give out samples of it to the Manager and a couple other bartenders at Forum. A few more samples and drinks later we went to Bar None. Of course Pam was there so she also got to try Fireball. Today, there is a cold Fireball shot dispenser at Bar None and you can find it everywhere in the city, so I feel that Dave was responsible for bringing Fireball to the people of New York…one more service he provided to the eight million people who live here and call this city home.”

~ Tim H., NYPD

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Proof of the Maine Fireball Discovery and Dave’s reaction

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Fireball Shot Dispenser at Bar None. Coincidence? I think not.

A Tribute: On Valuing Bonds

“When it came time for Dave to go to Texas, I was sad to see him go but incredibly happy for him to start a new journey and new chapter in life. As is everything in life, things and friendships change. Unfortunately, the frequency of our interactions grew further apart and I had invested into a new relationship myself as life seemed to begin moving in a new direction. I still managed to keep a brief contact with Dave and exclaimed to him how awesome his proposal was and how difficult he made it for many men to follow lol.

I now find myself dealing with feeling and emotions I cannot say I’ve ever felt in my life and that I cannot contain. I know the feelings are due to how genuine and true of a person Dave was and how difficult it is to comprehend that he is no longer here. I have had relationships that have come and gone during my time in this life, but Dave was much, much different. He valued the people he had bonds with, no matter how short or how long. He would show genuine interest and simply wanted everyone and anyone to come together and enjoy one another’s company. Dave had a wonderful heart and I hope and believe he is now at rest, looking down at all the wonderful relationships he had and lives he touched.”

~ B.B., NYPD

A Story: Bar Life & Paying It Forward

“Dave took care of me throughout my life.  I was depressed after grad school, having not found a job.  He always asked me out after he was done with work and bought me drinks on his tab.  Every time I saw him, it seemed like he introduced me to a new character.  People from all walks of life seemed to get along with him.   After drinking and socializing, at the end of the night, he usually joked with me about being a freeloader and paying him back… which I fully intended to do.  And after that, we usually headed to his place to play Xbox.  As soon as I finally got my job in Seattle, the first thing I did when I got back was ask David how I could pay him back.  It just happened, when I saw him he was out with about 10 friends and he said I could take care of their tab.  I said ”Ok, no problem”, even though it didn’t make up for the tens of times he took care of me at Forum and Bar None.  After I paid the bill, he said we were settled up.  This was the guy David was, instead of paying him back he told me to pay it forward.”

~ Greg T., Friend

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A Story: How To Save A Life, Part II

Dave seemed to have a knack for saving people’s lives. Here’s a second such story.

“I remember the first times I saw David. He’d be by himself, drinking in my bar. David always was super well-behaved and kind of shy. I liked his glasses and they way his eyes blinked behind them reminded me of a baby bat. He always drank strong drinks, tipped well, and never got rowdy or hit on the girls. Finally, I asked him what his deal was, because he came alone but didn’t seem to need to meet people. “I’m a cop,” he said simply. I poured him a shot on the house. We became friends.

One night, later in our friendship, I was breaking up with my fiancee and it was a very rocky time in my life. David insisted on taking a cab with me to my house. On the bridge, I tried to jump out of the cab into traffic. I had been able to open the door, but David was fast and strong, slammed the door shut and held me close in his arms. I burst into tears and he remained calm. He just stayed with me until I was ok.

I cannot imagine the pain you must be going through. David was rare. He was an inspiration. He was a gentleman and a hero and a real man, and I will never forget him. I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for him, I truly believe that.”

Marian L., Friend