We were all once reminded by NBA great Charles Barkley that athletes shouldn’t be role models solely because they can dunk, throw, or kick. However, they can remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, and how to have a good time, even around a bunch of ‘knuckleheads.’

On Saturday, Sir Charles Barkley himself paid a visit to Jerry & the Mermaid in downtown Riverhead. As he enjoyed some of the best seafood in town, patrons of Jerry’s took pictures of and shook hands with Barkley.

All the while, others were busy hitting the mic during karaoke night. As the list of performers ran short, the DJ took the opportunity to invite Barkley to the stage. Modestly, Barkley walked up to the songbook and chose to sing the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way.” With all eyes (and cameraphones) on him, Barkley gave his all, paying close attention to the monitor as he tried to recall the lyrics. As the song ended, he left the stage to roaring applause, maybe not the best performer of the night, but certainly the crowd favorite.

Though Berkley’s singing career certainly won’t have the commercial success of Ol’ Blue Eyes, he did show us all how to have a good time, no matter our level of talent. Though he may never wish to be considered a role model for our kids, he definitely taught us adults a thing or two.

Editor’s note: We had lots of “Barkley sightings” around Riverhead reported to us this weekend, but never did catch up with the NBA star ourselves. Barkley was reportedly staying at the Hyatt Place on East Main Street.

One RiverheadLocal fan sent us this link to a YouTube video of Barkley singing “My Way” at Jerry’s. It was uploaded by “Chaz 052.” Click here to see the video on YouTube

Anybody else have Barkley photos and videos to share? Email us here.

PHOTO CAPTION: Jerry and the Mermaid owner Jerry Dicecco with Charles Barkley Saturday, Sept. 17 at the restaurant in Riverhead. RiverheadLOCAL photo courtesy of Kelly Turbush.

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