CoolHandLukes

What to Order

page_1The infinitely small boating-related corner of my inconsequential nautical world in Annapolis survived several hits in 2012. But what little activity remains of my social life was greatly diminished by the death in September of a colorful Eastportian character nicknamed “Budweiser Dave,” who was only 59.

I came to know this thin, bearded boatyard worker soon after he arrived in town in the late 1970s. I would encounter him now and then and was greatly amused by him at an old boaters’ hangout, Marmaduke’s Pub. This joint attracted characters and was opened by the now deceased George Tyler — a very tall, larger-than-life 300-pound character himself who once covered his entire barroom floor with sand for a beach party.

David “Budweiser Dave” Sells worked at the Annapolis Harbor Boatyard in Eastport for some 34 years, but on his days off he donned a palm tree-motif shirt and straw hat to become a weekend warrior at local drinking establishments. He would show up and bang on the door of ’Duke’s, shouting, “I wanna Bud!” Barmaid Kathy Prati would let him in, and she nicknamed him for his great thirst for Budweisers.

From there he sauntered along to a dive up the street called The Wharf (also Patton’s Pub) and from there to Davis’s, capped by a final return visit to ’Duke’s. He liked nothing better than the times when I rounded up a pretty waitress as a volunteer to pose with him for photographs. His Sunday routine was always cut short in order to rest up for a hard week at the yard. He called it his “school night.”