Over a year ago Chris and I had the pleasure to meet a local icon in the Wiregrass area of Alabama. I first learned about Dancin’ Dave on a flight to Dothan from a seat mate as we were sitting waiting to be cleared to fly from Atlanta. As we talked she learned about my blog and I told her how I loved to travel and meet interesting people and share those people with my readers. She told me about Dave and through a series of events I met Debbie Yurevich who was a close friend and advocate for Dave.
On one of my trips to Dothan Debbie arranged for us to meet Dave and of course I wrote about that. You can read that blog post here. We had such a great time with Dave and he definitely made an impression on me. He was larger than life and it was such an honor to meet a man who had brought so much joy to so many over the years.
Dave was battling illness when we met and a very short time later Dave passed away. I was very sad but also considered myself very blessed to have been able to have met him and make a connection before he passed. It reminded me that I need to take every opportunity presented to me to make connections, to reach out and to hear the stories of those around me.
The saddest thing ever is that Dave’s gravesite has no marker. His family just can not afford to make that happen and now over a year has passed since his death and still nothing is on his gravesite. I visited it back in September 2016 and wrote about it here.
A series of events have passed over the months including a fund raising campaign led by a woman who had never met Dave but had read of the unmarked grave. She had stumbled across his story, looked up his gravesite and felt that something needed to be done. While she was unable to raise the amount of money that was needed she gave it a good try and even enlisted the help of local media to alert the community to the lack of a grave marker.
After a time my friend Debbie, who had quietly been putting together a plan for a marker, stepped up and has come up with a plan for a marker that is truly an appropriate memorial for Dave who called himself a country boy. Debbie and I have kept in touch and I am thrilled to share that she is in the first stage of working towards the memorial marker for Dave’s grave.
Debbie has a Facebook page (located here) where she has posted about Dave for several years. Her latest entry below shares her initial plans.
Good Afternoon, Friends. Recently someone, who didn’t know Dave, found out his grave still doesn’t have a grave marker. She determined to remedy the matter even though some of us who knew and loved him were already taking baby steps toward that end ourselves.
We stepped aside for awhile, but then contacted her and asked her blessing to finish our work to create a simple grave marker that will honor Dancin’ Dave as the “country boy” he was and that would also minister to the community when they visit his grave. We received her blessing.
I want to share with you that these are Dave’s shoes. No doubt, he walked thousands of miles in them and danced as many steps.The first effort to create his grave marker is to bronze these shoes so they can be mounted on the marker.
I’m willing to manage the project in segments to cover the expenses myself, so I don’t plan to setup a gofundme account. However, if you would like to participate, feel free to PM me. Estimate to bronze his shoes is $400.
I am thrilled to once again be a very small part of this project. If you are interested as well in supporting by donating a small amount to the fund I would be happy to put you in touch with Debbie. Just let me know in the comments section.
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Glad to know something is being done.
Yep. Me, too. It just seems so wrong to not have a marker of some kind for this kind man who brought so much joy to so many. Thanks for stopping by, Darlene.
Please put me in touch with her, Beth. I’ve been sick (I don’t go into the studio sick) but I am just getting myself back back into work & think I can help out with some of it. Everyone deserves to leave their mark here when they have provided love and joy.
Sending you her contact info in a message now. Thanks so much, Denise. He was such a special man.
You can send me the info, too, Beth Ann. I am somewhat disappointed, though, given how well known he was, that a new pair of shoes couldn’t be had for him while he was still living. 🙁
I will send you the contact info. Thank you so much! You are the best. Not sure the whole story behind the shoes but I suspect this was an old pair. When I met him he had on a good pair of shoes with no holes. 🙂
Oh! Thank goodness!
Did he cut holes in his shoes? For ventilation? Because they didn’t fit right? (I have odd-shaped feet, and I’ve been known to “ruin” a new pair of shoes that pinched, as an alternative to throwing them away.)
I am not sure, Priscilla and that is a very good question. When I met him he had a good pair of shoes on with no holes so I am not sure about the story of these shoes. But they do speak volumes, right?
What a loving and perfect memorial to Dave.
She has a very simple marker in the works and is going about it in a very dignified and appropriate way that is fitting for Dave. I am thrilled that she got his shoes for part of it. Such an amazing tribute to a man who brought so much joy for so many years.
He’ll now dance for all souls
who’ve gone beyond mortal roles,
but in Heavenly shoes with no knots
and no holes!
a good ol’ “country boy’s” home yes,
‘Dancin’ Dave’s on God’s rolls
I love it!!! Thanks!!!
You and your people are amazing. Look at yourself today in the mirror and tell yourself, you make a difference… Because you do. For this I thank you.