David R. Graiver was born on June 5, 1947, in Boston, Mass., to William and Queenie Graiver and grew up in Sharon, Mass., where he graduated from Sharon High School in 1965. He attended Boston University where he received a teaching degree in 1969. He was awarded conscientious objector’s status to the Vietnam War, after which he spent hundreds of hours assisting mentally challenged patients at Fernald Hospital. After a brief stint teaching fifth grade he moved to North Norway and purchased a parcel of land upon which he fulfilled his desire to live the simple life. He proceeded to build a small, Thoreau-like cabin where his love for the Maine countryside deepened.
In 1976, David Graiver opened “Dave’s Sauna.” For the next 30 years you would always find David there from 4 p.m. to “whenever.” The sauna became a social center, where storytelling and drinking beer became the most popular activities. His charisma and free-wheeling spirit attracted everyone from yahoos to yuppies. Whether shoveling snow in winter or chopping wood in summer, his uniform of cut-off jean shorts, Newton South T-shirt and boots were ubiquitous. After each person finished taking their sauna, he would ask “How was it?” accompanied by that characteristic smile that is indelibly etched in the minds of his phalanx of fiercely loyal friends and family.
He enjoyed reading westerns, boating in the summer, building homes, taking long walks, sitting by his man-made pond with his dogs and being “the life of the party.” He pushed every limit and acknowledged no boundaries during his 60 years. His talents were very diverse. He had the ability to build homes from start to finish, become a quick study at day trading stocks and play strategic games of Chess. Perhaps his greatest skill was fatherhood. He took to that task as easily as he took to splitting a log. Throughout his adult life he managed not only to be a guide to his children, but to be a best friend.
He felt that the true measure of a man was his relationship with his children. From the time his children were born until his last day on earth, he did everything with his children and there could be no deeper, more loving relationship than that which he enjoyed with his three kids. His perfect day was to wake up with no agenda and no boss.
He would walk his land, deliver no less then two cords of wood, hang out with his kids, cavort with some friends, go to bed and then do it all over the next day. He had unmatched energy and a tireless work ethic. He never spent a day sick in bed until cancer ravaged his once tall, gently imposing, lean muscular frame. Through divorces, audits and visits from the FBI, David lived every day like it was his last. He often said, “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. You only get one crack at this thing, so make the most of it!”
Today, Dave’s Sauna is owned and operated by his three kids: Halyne, William and Loni. While Dave is no longer with us, the Sauna live’s on and is again becoming the Social Center of Western Maine. We invite you to get of your “routine” and visit Dave’s Sauna. We look forward to seeing you and “Dave” will be watching over you
For cut, split and delivery of dry Fireweood, Contact Holly Graiver at 461-1911 anytime!!