Sunday, July 4, 2021

Remembering Dave Sasek on the Fourth of July

This is Dave.

Earlier this year a childhood friend of mine named Dave Sasek passed away in a car accident. I hadn't spoken to Dave in a number of years, but like many who graduated from Wickliffe in the late 80s/early 90s, the tragedy of it really knocked me for a loop.

The years in which I hung around with Dave were relatively short, starting maybe in sixth grade and lasting into the early part of high school. He lived on the next street over from me and we played football together.

I'm thinking of Dave today in particular because of an episode that happened on this day in (I want to say) 1984 or so. Dave and I, along with our friends Matt and Kevin, attended the Wickliffe fireworks and were walking home afterward, since none of us could yet drive.

We passed a yard in which some little kids were playing with sparklers. Dave paused, looked at them, and said very matter of factly, "You'd better stop that, or the police are going to come and set you on fire."

It was stupid, obnoxious, and utterly perplexing. And I couldn't stop laughing. When you're a 14-year-old boy, trust me when I say you laugh at dumb things like this constantly.

Yet it was right in line with Dave's twisted-but-intelligent sense of humor. He did stuff like that all the time, and he was one of the few people who could make me laugh on cue.

Dave also turned me on to the music of The Doors, and we played quite a few hours of Atari in his basement together. That was where we found the secret dot in the Atari game "Adventure" and discovered the message hidden in the game by the designer...quite the find at the time.

Anyway, as  I said, we lost track of each other post-graduation, but I was incredibly sorry to hear what happened to him. I just may light a sparkler in his memory tonight (and believe me when I say I'll be giggling in his honor the whole time).

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