For a few years, Thanksgiving edits commemorating under-sung heroes dear to our hearts were becoming a habit around here.
In 2016, we were thankful for Keith.
In 2017, we were thankful for John.
In 2018, we thanked Barnes for his contributions to society.
In 2019, we were ungrateful fucks.
Maybe it was the rigors of running a multinational skateboard media conglomerate. Maybe it was the crushing, psychic anxiety that the world was bound to unravel in a few months.
The COVID age has given us more room to show gratitude to those who bring smiles to our lives. So while New York may not clamor pots and pans for essential workers like it was doing this past spring, don’t be too shy to scream and hoot for Jersey Dave at 7 P.M. today like the rest of us will be.
Edited and creative directed by Justin White. Filmed by Paul Young, Steve Masorelli & J.P. Blair.
Instead of reaching out to those who only knew Dave through his overnight stardom as a wintertime keyholder to New York City’s only indoor concrete skatepark, we contacted those who know him best as character witnesses.
“Caring, kind, and overall amazing guy. Dave comes around to the shop dressed as Santa during Christmas every year, buys a few completes and goes to the bank spot at Booker T. apartments [famous Jersey City skate spot] to give the boards to some happy children. Class act.” — Steve Lenardo, Operations Manager, NJ Skateshop
“During Chapman and New Thirsty times, when Dave would crash at the LIC spot, he’d always sleep in the kitchen. I thought it was really strange at the time, but in hindsight it was probably the smartest place to go to not get fucked with in that house. I had the biggest room and a door, and I wasn’t always guaranteed a full night’s sleep. Good times.” — Jeremy Cohan, Cinematographer & Jersey Dave Documentarian
“Jersey Dave, happy birthday! Very few people could skate to Redman in their sponsor me tape, and you are one of those people. You are a prince among men. Love ya, happy birthday man!” [Ed. note: Jersey Dave’s birthday is September 24.] — Gabe Tennen, Historian
“Dave is the gatekeeper of the state. He somehow knows everyone thats crossed through. How the hell does someone get nicknamed to their state while living in it? Because he puts on for his people. I owe most of my friendships and connections through skateboarding to Jersey Dave. I will forever cherish the memories of waiting for him to land manuals on sidewalk pads in parking garages, or flip tricks on banks under bridges, throughout all of north Jersey, only to celebrate with Heinekens at Applebees after.” — Dick Rizzo, pro skateboarder
“A few summers ago at the Glory Challenge, Dave was able to come because school hadn’t started up yet. He was so excited that he planned on getting as drunk as possible. Dave had found some speed shades during the contest and managed to drink his fair share of Heinekens. By dinner time, we were ready for a Dave break, so we tried to ditch him, but of course he ends up finding us. We sit down and have a nice Italian meal. The bill comes and Dave is told his dish is $26. He is outraged and exclaims ’26 bucks for chicken!? Let me see the menu!’ He is furious at the price, plus his couple of Heinekens, but pays it after much debate. He went on to charm the likes of everyone that night, from Lil Nice Girl to Danny Way — all without taking off the speed shades. When he woke up the next day, he had slept in the shades and had a crazy stye from wearing them. He proceeded to put them back on and drive all the way back to New Jersey. If only his students knew what Mr. F was up to.” — Josh Wilson, pro skateboarder
“One time, Dave was drunk and said, ‘What up Player?'” — Dave Dowd, subject of the upcoming ESPN 30 For 30 about Division East
“No comment.” — Keith Denley, “Thankful” Alumn