I never saw Dan in a school setting, but he served me many times. He was simply superb at a job that is too often under-appreciated for both difficulty and impact. Writing in the Coast, Tim Bousquet described him as “hands-down the most energetic server imaginable.”
Dan carried out all the basics with exemplary grace, and he was also wickedly funny. You looked forward to his visits to your table, because his dry, dead-pan humor, coupled with exquisite comic timing, invariably left you smiling and chuckling. What only occurred to me after he died is that his humor always carried a point: he was making a small but shrewd observation about himself, or you, your mates, other people in the restaurant, the restaurant staff, or the restaurant’s management. Or life in general. I miss him very much.
Dan’s energy was the more amazing because waiting tables was always his second job. When he clocked in to begin his whirling dervish service at Bearly’s each evening, he had generally already pulled a full shift helping students at Central Spryfield School.
Dan’s closest friends knew he worked two jobs to afford his children, Oliver and Abigail, the very best educational opportunities available—at private schools and ballet academies. That’s Dan and his kids in the photo.
Over the last few weeks, Dan Falvey’s dedication paid off in a way that would have filled him with pride. Oliver received letters of acceptance from both Harvard and Princeton. He travels to Cambridge next weekend to begin the enviable task of choosing between the two.
Oliver didn’t have any Harvard or Princeton alumni among his ancestors. He didn’t come from a region that regularly exports its best high school grads to the ivy league. His guidance counselor had no special drag with Harvard or Princeton. But Oliver had talent, a work ethic, and a role model that would be the envy of any family. I wish him the very best.