Gavin was simultaneously obnoxious and goofy … an overgrown adolescent with a heart of gold. His frat boy good looks, coupled with his frat boy mentality never ceased to equally annoy and amuse me. To this day, I’m surprised we ended up becoming such good friends, but we did. And I’ve never met anyone who had a life force quite as strong as he did.
Gavin and I worked together waiting tables at the Macaroni Grill … that’s how we met. It pissed me off that he would always make more money in tips than I would – despite the fact that we worked identical shifts and had similar sections. It was then I realized that Gavin had the innate ability to flirt with anyone. He could charm women, men, small children and dogs.
Gavin helped me move to KC way back in 1999. While he seemed thrilled to get out of Des Moines for a weekend, I was just excited that he was along for the ride. Well, that and he was ridiculously strong … and I was too cheap to hire professional movers.
Gavin singlehandedly strapped a couch on his back and hoisted it from the moving van into my new Midtown apartment. When I told him, “Man, you are like a Sherpa through the Himalayas” … he proceeded to tackle me. “You better not be making fun of me,” he yelled while an enormous grin wiped across his face. “What the hell is a Sherpa anyway?”
I politely tried to tell him it was a like a really strong guy with a llama. He said, “Oh, cool. Llamas are cool.” He then unpinned me and went back in to the moving van where he hoisted up an entire armoire with no help whatsoever.
When Gavin passed away it resonated through the universe. I instantly missed his swagger, his cocky attitude and his ability to infuriate and entertain me all at the same time. Most of all, I missed his voice. To me, he always kinda sounded like Joey Tribbiani from “Friends” … if Joey had potatoes in his mouth. Gavin was a jovial (and mumbly) ladies’ man. I was forever saying, “What?” or “Not a clue what you just said” because of his boisterous, occasionally inarticulate nature. I swear if you look up the word smartass in the dictionary, there’d be a little teeny-tiny picture of him next to the word. “Smartass – see also Gavin Granneman”.
He always complimented me on my smile. The weird thing is … the reason why I was smiling was because Gavin was such a joy to be around. Not sure why he’s crossed my mind so much lately – but I look back on our oddball friendship with a fondness and sweet sincerity.
Since he was a well-known bartender, I took a minute to raise a glass to toast him yesterday. Knowing his ego … he likely appreciates me writing this blog about him. He always did dig attention and is probably up in Heaven going … “It’s about damn time, Mackie. Publicity, baby … publicity!”
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