Skip (1946-2011)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Skip (1946-2011)

He was born Henry Dasher Schmedes, Jr., but most of the universe knew him as "Skip."

He was an 18-year old preppy in brown penny loafers and pressed tan slacks when he and his friends would come into Mitty's General Store where I tended bar Summer of '65.

Didn't see him again 'til 1973 when he and his long-time friend and partner Richie Murphy ar­rived to operate "Cat Ballou" across Dune Road from Tiana Beach Club.

I was making tee-shirts then... suddenly all the rage! They ordered three dozen and when they came to pick them up, they agreed that they would only be given out to bar staffers.

They were parked opposite me at the corner of Moniebogue and Main, and by the time they got in their car to leave, they had something like 14 shirts left to distribute as planned.

Richie didn't have the best head for business, and Skip had none at all... but they were still successful: Murph attracted cops and firemen due to his celebrity as a basketball star at Holy Cross in the mid-'60s, and the girls all followed Skip because of his clean-cut killer good looks.

Henry Dasher "Skip" Schmedes Jr.

(I've seen more than one female's knees buckle at their first sight of the young Schmedes... it was comical.)

It wasn't long before the final ingredient was added in the person of Anthony M. Galgano, and Fools Rush In corporation was formed when they took over the "new" Bridle Path to open Wilson's Garage in 1974.

The "Big Fool" (Richie), "Little Fool" (Skip) and "Round Fool" (Tony) opened the doors, booked The Fabulous Greaseband for Wednesdays, and didn't look back for more than a decade.

They also had other retail liquor successes... bars and clubs, I can't remember them all... aside from Cat Ballou and Wilson's (which evolved into the present day Casey's), there was Scotland Yard in New York City and Carraway House on Hunter Mountain, another in West Palm Beach.

Along the way Skip married Valerie and raised their family, Lindsay and Timmy, at their home on Pin Oak in the Summer, and in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida the rest of the year.

His obituary reads that he "passed away sud­denly on March 30, 2011," but neglected to add that it was following a lengthy illness.

The funeral service is Tuesday, April 5th at 11:00am at the Aycock Funeral Home in Jupi­ter, Florida, with a memorial service being planned locally this Summer.

Casey's Marquee at Beach and Montauk.


1. Jeanne Speir said...

I knew Skip only as an affable back door neighbor in the late '90s.

I had a great fondness for his sweet dog Molly. Condolences to the family.

By then, female knees no longer involuntarily buckled in his presence, but you should have seen him 25-30 years earlier!

2. Pam McClintic said...

Thanks for this tribute to my brother. The memories sure brought a smile.

3. Ray Overton said...

Gone too soon is another of the great charactors of the community and the '60s/'70s/'80s club scene. Wednesday nights at Wilson's Garage with the Greaseband were legendary. Rest in peace, Skip.

I knew other club owners who would have killed for a Friday or Saturday as good as Wilson's on a Wednesday!

4. Susan and Spot Killen said...

So sorry... Skip will be missed by many... he gave us a place to go with good music and good people... thoughts and prayers for Skip and his family.

5. Jim Cordo said...

Skip was one of the "good guys." I always enjoyed his company. Love and prayers for Val and his family. RIP Skip.

6. Fr. Pete Colapietro said...

Rest in Peace my good friend. Say hello to Harry and Hazel for me.

Val, Lindz and Tim, you are all in my prayers. I will be praying for your strength. – P

7. Annmarie Antonelli said...

Wish you peace in heaven! You are a great guy! You will be missed. – Annmarie Antonelli

8. Michael P. Sheil said...

In 2009 Kathy and I took our sons, Mike and Pat to the Hamptons to meet our "old" friends and you treated them like royalty at Casey's. As always, you were kind and funny and they loved you as much as we love you. Have a safe flight to heaven and say a prayer for us. -- Mickey Sheil from The Bronx

9. Susan Brand said...

Our Band D.O.T., "Day Old Tradition," played at Wilson's Garage for two solid Summer... I dated Skip on and off during that time; he was a sweetheart! Prayers for his family. He will be missed.

I remember you very well... you and Steve Shene (and his Gibson "Hummingbird") and a third member whose name escapes me. You also played The Artful Dodger, as well. Good sounds, good times.

10. Susan Brand said...

Yes, our band was big in the Hamptons. We first played Cat Ballou, then Cove Beach Inn, Artful Dodger (forever), and Steven Talkhouse... Skip was a good friend. We had a lot of fun.

"Cove Beach Inn?" Could it have been Cove Point Inn?

11. Susan Brand said...

Yep... Cove Point Inn.

That was a crazy good fun place. I am trying to remember the guy's name who was the ship captain. He was good friends with Skip at that time... (a little older). They had an apartment together on Main Street. Loved their Grand Marnier.

JAY-sus, Susan... it was the GM that killed him.

A "ship captain?" Doesn't ring a bell.

12. Susan Brand said...

Honestly, I was afraid of that! The GM... kinda why we dated on and off. I wasn't ready to deal with the excessive need for it. Nonetheless, he was a sweet soul. And all these years I have always wondered about him... I don't even know if the other guy was a real ship captain... could have been a buncha bull... we were all young and having fun, ready to believe anything.

It doesn't matter... I am just happy to see that Skip settled down, had kids and some normalcy to his life. Thanks for writing about him; it answered a long time of wondering about someone I was very fond of!

That's what I seem to do too much of lately... writing about contemporaries, some like Skip younger, who've passed on.

He was a good friend of long standing, and he (as well as his partner Richie and too many others) haven't managed to go the distance gracefully into old age. (Not that I've been all that "graceful" about it, but here I am!)
– Dean

13. Rick Whelan said...

Did our paths cross at Mitty's the Summer of '65? I too tended bar at that esteemed establishment that Summer!

Possibly... I was head bartender there after Chris Bang left, until I left in late July of that year.

14. Lana Owens said...

How many Skip Schmedes can there have been working in the club scene in the Hamptons? This Skip must be my high school classmate Harry "Skip" with a sister named Pam. I'm sad to hear he has passed. He was a really good guy, well liked, and always a lot of fun. Please confirm it is him, otherwise I'll keep looking to invite him to our 50th reunion. He will be missed.

T'were he able, Skip would send his regrets.

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