Dan’s friend Chela Lewis shares her memories this way, “Dan Grover was one fine human. We met more than thirty years ago. Over the years, sharing experiences of music, art, food, wine, and family, were a huge part of our friendship. We learned about appreciating wine together, tasting at many wineries in Northern California, sometimes even meeting the wine makers. If they weren’t around, you could be sure Dan was going to glean as much knowledge as possible from the people pouring. It made for wine country trips that were always delicious, informational, and fun!
Several “theme dinners” were held at Dan-O’s house. During the prep days, a lot of thought and research was put into creating those dinners. Often Dan would designate dishes to be made. We learned together about types of fondue, sushi, Cornish game hens, and so many other cuisines. Once we even had a “Midwest Foods” themed dinner to honor friends who grew up in those areas of our country!
Coming together at his home on those nights was something to look forward to by all who were involved. The guest lists varied so during the dinner, one might be speaking with an old friend, or perhaps talking to someone in Dan’s life who maybe they had never met before. Setting up the house before the dinner party, decorating, dressing up, was part of Dan’s attention to details. It was all encompassing and we always were keeping in mind that the presentation was just as important as the dinner to Dan. And we loved it!”
Chela continues, “Our sons were born after we met Dan. Throughout their lives, Dan was an important male role model. Since he was one of my dearest friends, he knew our boys well, and he helped nurture a love of learning and traveling, a love of outdoors, a love of music, and a love of good food. We went to many weekend music festivals with Dan, often camping together. Sometimes the kids would disappear with Dan and come back with tales of meeting musicians, perhaps finding a camp that was serving ribs, or maybe checking out the fine craftsmanship of various vendors. We have many friends whose children grew up going to these music festivals, knowing and loving Dan and I bet their stories are similar. With Dan, mutual love and respect was apparent between him and all of our children.
Dan’s first time going to Burning Man was 2003. He came back so excited to share the experience with us, a few of us just had to go the following year. It was an engineer and artists playground out on the playa and Dan LOVED it! We went many years together and Dan stopped going as his needs for care increased and the challenges to do that on the playa were too difficult. He never tired of the stories and photos we brought back to share with him. Our children went a few years after he stopped going and he loved that our kids loved and experienced it too!
After each paragraph, I‘ve wanted to write, “and I miss him.” I miss his love of life, the twinkle in his eyes, his lack of fear in trying new things, his intelligence on so many subjects, his sense of peace and calmness, his willingness to listen or his willingness to party. All of it, I miss dearly.”