Last Tuesday evening, family and friends from near and far gathered at Bad Boys Beach Bar to raise a glass and say goodbye to one of Playa del Carmen's legendary figures, Captain Dave Baker. Dave's sister Sara and his nephew Trey flew in from Memphis to attend the memorial and share stories with all the people that Captain Dave touched during his many years in Mexico. As requested by the Captain himself, the gathering was not a solemn affair but rather a chance for all of us to share anecdotes about Dave, recall the first time we all met him and retell some of the amazing stories he would often entertain us with. Brent Parkin took the stage and played a few old favorites even a few tunes that Dave particularly loved from Michael Grady and Chris Bolister, dear friends who could not be in attendance. English Stuart put together an amazing slide-show with pictures of Dave over the years, classic "old Playa" shots and photos contributed by his many friends. A particularly poignant moment came with a soulful rendition of "Amazing Grace" played by John on the bagpipes. There were many tears shed but also a lot of laughs shared and even a few pinatas smashed! Enjoy the pictures.

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial 

Captain Dave's Memorial

Captain Dave's Memorial

I really thought I had no more tears left when I began writing this blog entry but that seems to not be the case. As I look back over the past six years and remember all the parties, the late nights, the tall tales, Captain Dave is featured predominantly in so many of these mental images. He was one of our very first friends and a man my children considered like a grandfather. When we arrived in Playa del Carmen he made sure we were introduced to all the "right" people and steered us away from the "others". He helped us find our corporate attorneys and counseled us on doing business in Mexico the right way, always willing to share his insights and personal experiences. It was obvious in the many overheard conversations at his memorial party that he had affected the lives of so many people. He was a true gentleman, one of Playa's great characters, and he will be missed.

R.I.P. David Neal Baker 1943 - 2010