The Sandbar family got some bad news a few days ago.
One of our former employees, Dean, passed away this week. Even though we haven't seen him in several years, Dean remained near and dear to our hearts.
Dean started working here on Sept. 2, 2000. We don't always remember the exact date someone starts working, but this one was significant: it was the day manager Dave got married. Most of the staff was attending the wedding, and Dave needed someone to work.
Dean had become a regular at the bar, drinking Miller Lite and wearing loud Hawaiian shirts. And, he was from Florida. We couldn't have picked a better hire for a tropical beach bar! So, Dean's first shift was on a Saturday night, which was probably a normal Saturday until the wedding party descended after midnight and then left the new guy to figure out how to close the bar.
Dean was a trooper, though, and he figured it out. He was going to school at KU, working on graduate degrees in the music department. He loved the Florida Gators and made sure everyone knew it. Dean was a loyal employee and always willing to work, and everyone loved him.
Dean was one of the first people to experience the Sandbar ghost. Our first documented evidence of the ghost is from the night after St. Patrick's Day, 2003, and Dean was there to witness it.
He eventually finished his degrees and left Lawrence for Indiana. He was back in town in November, 2007, and Dave was thrilled to see him.
Then, he came back a few months later in March, 2008, and several of us were able to enjoy an evening of sushi and drinking with him. We'll always remember the fun we had that night.
The picture below was taken when Dean was here in November, 2007.
We'll miss you, Dean, and raise our Miller Lites in your honor.
We're hoping to plan a memorial at the Sandbar sometime soon, so Dean's friends and former customers can come together and share memories. You can also leave your memories of him in the comments.
Visit the Facebook memorial page for Dean to see lots of pictures and read many great memories that people have of Dean.