I was saddened to read of Jerry Davies' death. I had heard about it last weekend, and came into his obituary when making a trip to my office Sunday night.
It didn't say whether or not his death was related to COVID-19. All I can do is speculate. However, I did know that he had been living at Wilton Retirement Community.
I'll never forget Jerry's smiling face for as long as I live. His smile in his photo this week (see page 7) is exactly what I would see several times a week while visiting Jake's Supermarket as a child.
It will always be Jake's to me. That's not meant as an offense in any way toward Jeff Thoma and "Jeff's" as it's now known, but for those of us who grew up here in Wilton — even going back to the Wilton Junction days — it's Jake's. Seeing Jerry's father Clement "Jake" Davies at the store when I was young, often wearing Hawaiian shirts and always having some kind of joke or story to tell, always made my day.
Often I'd see Jerry at the checkout line playing the cashier role. I was obsessed with baseball and basketball cards. Upon saving my pennies or getting an allowance, I couldn't wait to go to Jake's and buy my next wax pack of cards. Jake and Jerry were sports fans — specifically Chicago sports fans.
There was Chicago Cubs memorabilia all over. When the Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan in the 1980s, and they began winning NBA titles in the 1990s, Bulls memorabilia often made its way into the store as well.
I remember my eyes would open wide the minute I'd hit the double doors at Jake's in Wilton, as often sports posters and other wall hanging decorative pieces would be on display the moment you entered the store.
My favorite thing I ever purchased was a poster of the 1992 Dream Team — the first U.S. Olympic basketball team featuring NBA players. The colorful poster featured a team shot, including my hero Michael Jordan, and was wrapped in plastic with a cardboard backing.
I still have that poster today, 28 years later. It's still wrapped in the same plastic with the same cardboard backing.
As I continued to grow up, Jake sold the business and Jerry later retired. My second love was golf, and I began seeing Jerry quite often at Wahkonsa Country Club. I never got to play with him, as he was always golfing with his grandchildren, providing several lifelong memories I'm sure. Yet our paths would cross every once in awhile, and he'd say "Hello" with that same smile.
When I took over as editor of the Advocate News, I earned a new nickname with Jerry. We'd run into each other at the post office quite a bit, and every time he'd say, "Hey Scoop, what do you know today?"
He had become his father, ribbing me each chance he got. I would yearn for the next time I'd run into him, just to hear the word "Scoop."