Our good friend Dave Gebben died the day before Halloween. He had been fighting cancer for some time. From what I understand he was slipping in and out of a coma and finally died peacefully in his sleep. There was a beautiful wake at The Shanti in Soulard and a parade in his honor. I saw people there I haven’t seen in years.
Dave use to sit in with all the bands at The Oyster Bar playing a washboard. His washboard always reminded me of an electric guitar complete with guitar strap and psychedelic paraphernalia attached. He was a member of The Geyer Street Sheiks, a band filled with a lot of great Soulard characters. I consider Tom Hall, Mike Prokopf, Charlie Pfeffer, Steve Mote, and Kevin Keegan friends. I don't really know Alice Spencer but I think I may have met her when I tended bar at the Venice Cafe.
Steve taught me Travis picking on guitar when I was a teenager. This is a style that did me absolutely no good considering my taste in music. Kevin, an old drinking buddy, flew an airplane we use to jump out of in
Dave married a beautiful woman named Anita and in the early 90s they bought a small general store/bar in
After the split with J I used to ride my bike up and down the Katy trail stopping at every winery. Dutzow was the end of the trail and I’d get there just in time for happy hour and 90¢ long neck bottles of beer.
We all used to hang out at Sue and Jim “Rib Tip” McClaren’s farm in Clover Bottom. We’d have all night poker games. 3 philosophies were always represented; Jack Daniels, George Dickle, and Jim Beam. Jim and I were always searching for the cheapest booze that was palatable.
One morning their plumbing went out and I found myself squatting at a tree in the woods. It was bad enough that their dog Blue wouldn’t get his nose out of my ass, but what sounded like hundreds of wild turkeys were laughing at me. It made me self-conscious!
The males at these parties would always try to out-stupid each other. One January 1st (complete with New Year’s hangovers) we chopped a large hole in the ice of their pond and jumped in. We were going to make it an annual event but the following year the drill bit didn’t make it all the way through the ice. “Thank god this tradition was nipped in the bud,” we all secretly thought.
We still have the annual New Year's Day party out there. But now it’s at Dennis and Noel Connolly’s farm.
When I got married and moved to the
Anyway it’s always about me. I wish I had more to say about Dave. We’ll miss him.
Photo supplied by John Gorsky