420 Dave: A Southern Humboldt Icon

420 Dave Garberville

420 Dave [Photo by Louie Moskowitz, longtime friend]

Yesterday evening, an icon of Southern Humboldt passed on the streets of Garberville where he spent much of his time. Paramedics tried but couldn’t save him.

Today, the community is mourning.

Dave was known for his kindness and for his willingness to help.

Tessa Knight, a local resident, talked about how his name echoed his willingness to share cannabis. She explained, “One time I was crying in town and he saved me with smoke. He always saved me with smoke, good smoke. We will not be the same without him.” She added, “I felt safe with his watchful eyes…He was our town bouncer, medicine man.”

420 Dave was known for helping around town. Louie Moskowitz, who took the two photos posted here, wrote that Dave cleaned up after people’s dogs on the street and picked up other people’s cigarette butts. Moskowitz wrote, “[E]ven just a week or two ago, my girlfriend saw him near one of the freeway entrances picking trash up.”

Peggy Sarver, a resident of nearby Redway, described him as “a wonderful guy and [who] kept an eye out for the children…Now, where am I going to leave bread, peanut butter and jelly for him to pass out to the hungry… God bless his wonderful soul may [he] rest in peace now.”
420 Dave or Dr. Dave as some called him.

420 Dave or Dr. Dave as some called him. [Photo by Louie Moskowitz–he has created a collection over the years of his friend, 420 Dave]

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41 comments

  • May your spirit and love of Pachamama send you to the stars to sit with the spirits, many blessings!❤️

  • Rest in peace fine fellow

  • Beautiful story, beautiful man. A little bit of kindness left our town yesterday.

  • Anyone who picks up trash is a friend of mine. RIP, brother.

  • This is a bummer .I knew him 20 years ago he was homeless in oceanside calif. When our family moved here ten years ago there he was..what a small world.. What a loss..does anyone know how or why..I hope no foul play..he said he had a heart attack not long ago.god bless

  • Sad he’s gone

    Dave was such a nice guy. Sad to hear he died. I was looking for him to wish him a late happy birthday. Rest In Peace Dave. Your presence will be missed

  • He celebrated his 58th birthday a few days ago. We at the Blue Moon kept him supplied with doggie treats for all his canine buddies. He was a a happy man just toking and watching the world go by. He’d give me a heads up if there were trouble makers prowling. One of the good guys. He will be missed.

  • He told me he preferred living on the street. His choice. He had a place indoors where he slept. He was definitely a people person. I remember twice he came into Blue Moon to see if I was ok after someone had come in that he was worried about. He will be missed, I hope he knew that.

  • 420 Dave would be saying right now!!!!!!!!!! Hey Now all be seeing you on the other-side!!!!

    Gone but not forgotten RIP

  • I will miss Mayor Dave. He use to come in the Blue Moon and buy our ‘smashed marbles’, and would put them around the trees, especially the one across from the Blue Moon. Of course Bunny would help keep him supplied.

    He was part of our tribe.
    I’m relieved that he went quickly, and in front of the theater, where he use to hang out sometimes.
    I’m also indebted to Louie Moskowitz for his photos of Dave.

  • Rest in Peace Dave, the world needs more like you, not less..
    Kym this obit is another perfect example of why I choose RHBB as my news outlet..

    “Either all of us matter or none of us matter..”
    -H.B.

  • No matter who we are we can leave something in the world when we leave. To be remembered for kindness…now that is a great thing. Thanks Dave.

  • Dave was the Best thing about Garberville, he was polite and caring. He watched over Main Street and made sure the good people of town were safe. He loved the plant and loved life, proof that the less you have the better off you will be. I consider Dave a friend and he will be missed every time I go threw town.

  • RIP homie

  • 😢 I lived on the streets as a kid and we had elders like Dave to teach us how to act. There is very little of that and Dave always gave me comfort that at least our community did still have elders on the street watching and teaching. I would always give him lots of free nuggets, because I knew he would roll them up and distribute to those who needed it🔥RIP

  • This news makes me profoundly sad. Dave was an amazing person. His passing will leave a void. Blessings to you, Dave, on your new journey.

  • Dave was a great man and an asset to the community in Mendo. He will be missed!!! Its 420 in Heaven <3

  • We called him “Doorway Dave”, because when he first moved to town he would often be found holed up in a doorway at night. He lived on my back dock for over a year, I was somewhat uncomfortable having him live there because he smoked a lot. He reasoned that he chased everybody else off. (The devil you know sort of thing) He became our unofficial night watchman. He helped me find a few shoplifters through the years. Finally someone offered him a dry place to sleep inside, so he moved on.

    I always wondered if he was really happy living on the street as he professed. I can’t imagine anyone being happy to live that way. RIP dave.

    Garberville has always had a town character. When I was a kid our town character was “Coka Cola Earl”.

    • Yes…Ernie Branscomb I remember Earl … hitch hiking daily to the Woodrose where Pam set him up with 2 cokes. Then he hitchhiked back over the bluffs

    • Omg, that was the guy with a box taped together. He would always come in to wood rose….i didn’t know it was coke that he came for. Thanks for the memory….

    • His mother, Mary, took care of him until she died. He used to ride a three wheel Schwinn from Redway. Then there was Earl Harris of Ettersburg and George Cinkscales.

    • Earl was a fixture at Mamie’s…

  • Dave was a good guy, always smiling, puffing and keeping honest eyes on the community. He would be the first one up in town a lot of the time and walk to the coffee shop to help put out the tables and chairs after he had already gone around and dealt with picking up garbage on the sidewalks from the night before just out of kindness. Definitely a part of my(and so many others) so hum story. Rest easy.

  • I just saw him, sorry to hear it. RIP we will miss you.

  • Heidi Marie Wison

    Dave is remembered with love and respect by us here in Laytonville. My husband spent a lot of time just shooting the breeze with him. You are going to be missed

  • Dave was one of the few genuinely kind and pleasant people I have ever had the pleasure to know. He will be missed.

  • HE was a wonderful person and he shall be missed dearly. Kim if you get in any information,Of a memorial or any kind of gathering please let us know

  • Dave always help me when I live next to him at the motel in Laytonville he always would come over and smoke with me and give me money for food even when I didn’t ask him to I was just talking about him the other day

  • He was a kind man. When I lived in Garberville last year working part time for Kym in my off hours.. Dave was the one guy that always told me the heart beat of the town for the day.. lol… not even ask.. he would see me coming and just come up to me or sit down where I was at; we would just chat; giggle; ponder idea’s; try to figure out the world as it went by. Just small town stuff you know??… But was important to us .. to the town.. and that’s what Dave did… RIP

  • Yes God Rest Him

  • Ahhh, so sorry to read this… such a kind man living in hard conditions. He always had a cheerful greeting for me. He was one of those people who do good quietly, for years picking up doggie doo downtown and trash. He always paid back the money that people loaned him towards the end of the month. Good man living an alternative lifestyle. RIP Dave!

  • Remember Coffee Jim? Dave’s definitely up there with our Hall of Famers!

  • Just gave him a sweet nugget on Friday ! He was easy going and I will miss him every morning when he is not there sitting watching our world .

  • LIGHT UP A FATTY YALL!!!! SEE YA IN STONNER HEAVEN BUD !

  • My name is Rory I have been blessed with the friendship I have Dave has been staying at nice cars for several years. I will take care the cat that Dave and I are affectionately named carlotti The Car Lot Kitty. Goodbye my friend I will think about you every day you will be best

  • Aww RIP Dave. He always used to greet me when I got off the bus in the early morning and I felt safe knowing he was keeping an eye out. I’ll miss him and his fashionable, sometimes-green mustache. 💚

  • Dave ,my bro we had a lot of miles together a lot of fun a bit of trouble I will not forget my friend ,……further on down the road …..

  • Louie Moskowitz introduced me to him last February. I saw him just a couple days and you could tell how awesome and cool he was. It was an incredible pleasure to met him. Big love

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