Archive for the ‘Obituaries’ Tag

Contact Sheet 69 — Ruby

Contact Sheet is an irregular column of selected photographs and portraits from Residents of Second Life. All rights to featured images are reserved to the artists under appropriate copyright laws and/or allowances under the Creative Commons. Click on the links as necessary to go to the required blog or Flickr page. Please go to these artists’ pages in any case to leave comments, (as well as comments here).

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Green Acres - Jeanie - Ruby, Don't Don't Take Your Love To Town - 01
© 2020 by Alsatian Kidd. All rights reserved. Click to go to Alsatian’s original photo

Many of you probably heard today of the death of Kenny Rogers. The singer was most known today for his solo country singles from the time of “The Gambler” forward, and his duet with Dolly Parton, “Islands in the Stream.” But Kenny had a career dating from the Sixties, when he started with The New Christy Minstrels during the later part of the Folk Revival.

Rogers eventually left the Minstrels, along with a few other members, and founded The First Edition. The group was never a rock sensation, but they did score two good hits: “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In” … and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” the much more successful of the two.

Alsatian Kidd worked fast today, and put this photo together with help from another avatar. A fantastic tribute to an excellent singer.

A Bitch of a Year

Just the latest —


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Posted December 28, 2016 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Real Life

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For Dani Plassitz




We at Around the Grid just picked up the news of Dani Plassitz’ sudden death on December 15.  While not a friend, I admired Dani’s dressmaking skill many times, and her abilities as a singer and performer are also well known to many in Second Life.  Her many friends will miss her, and I hope you will join us in praying for her and her family at this time — an especially hard time to lose a loved one.

Both dresses by Dani

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RIP Major Tom

For David Bowie

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Posted January 11, 2016 by Harper Ganesvoort in People, Real Life

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Ridin’ with the King

The King

The King has gone home.  Riley B. King, better known to his millions of devotees as B. B. King, died today at age 89.  B. B. was respected by both contemporaries and by the many younger musicians in jazz, blues and rock that he inspired with his guitar playing and Delta blues. A multiple Grammy winner, he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995.

Eric Clapton considered him a teacher, and recorded an album with him that I loved.  I’ve never collected blues music, but this one, and its title song, has stayed with me for years, including the spoken recitation near the end:

I stepped out of Mississippi when I was ten years old
With a suit cut sharp as a razor and a heart made of gold
I had a guitar hanging just about waist high
And I’m gonna play this thing until the day I die

Rest well, Your Majesty.  We’ll take care of Lucille for you.

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Posted May 15, 2015 by Harper Ganesvoort in Arts, Music, People, Real Life

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Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015


If you’re of my generation and into science fiction, you grew up with Star Trek.  And one of the great cast of that show — and extremely popular with the ladies — was Leonard Nimoy, who personified the logical lifeforms of the planet Vulcan in his character of Spock. His family announced Nimoy’s passing today from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, possibly caused by smoking back in his earlier days.

Nimoy was a versatile actor, and played in roles other than that iconic one — I recall him as Paris, the master of disguise who took over from Martin Laudau’s “Rollin Hand” on Mission:  Impossible.  (He also had notoriety as one of the aliens in the old Republic serial, Zombies of the Stratosphere.)  But he became almost indelibly associated with the Vulcan from those 79 episodes of Star Trek.  The role at times felt as an albatross about his neck; however, he came back to it in the end, filming nine Star Trek movies as Spock, including both of the movies so far in the J. J. Abrams reboot of the ST Universe, and a two-part episode of Star Trek:  The Next Generation.

The strange and fantasial became something of a stock in trade for him:  a part in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers alongside Donald Sutherland; and he narrated the Alan Landsburg syndicated television series In Search Of…. for its entire run.  Beyond these things, though, he was much more — Theo van Gogh in Vincent; Morris Meyerson in the miniseries A Woman Called Golda (opposite Ingrid Bergman); a director of both movies and television.  His distinctive voice and cadence made him a natural choice for work as a narrator and voice actor — he appeared several times on The Simpsons as himself, did “recitations” on the computer game Civilization IV, and did recordings alongside the a capella group The Western Wind in celebration of the holy days of his Jewish background and faith.  And I know of at least one exhibition of his photography, as well as his two memoirs and poetry.  Truly a Renaissance man in his achievements.

He will be missed.

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Posted February 27, 2015 by Harper Ganesvoort in People, Real Life

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So Long, Pete, It’s Been Good to Know Ya

Pete Seeger blog

“Some may find them [songs] merely diverting melodies. Others may find them incitements to Red revolution. And who will say if either or both is wrong? Not I.”

I really have played a little guitar in my time, long before I had to hock my axe at a particularly bad financial period.  Never one for picking, I’d rather strum chords and sing along, and so I was attracted primarily to folk songs with simplified chord structures.  Not surprisingly, as I scoured the library looking for song books I could copy out or photocopy, I came across Pete Seeger’s The Incompleat Folksinger, writings by him and others on the history and basis of folk and the early consciousness protesters.

Pete was a man who wasn’t afraid to speak what was on his mind and call a spade a spade.  Witness his troubles with the House Un-American Activities Committee, starting in 1955 and lasting until 1962, when he refused to name names or answer any questions about his past political affiliations, based on his First Amendment rights.  That conviction to do what was right, not what was easy, never wavered in Seeger; he protested war, pollution, discrimination and violence with his music wherever he found it.  On the head of his banjo, his preferred instrument, he usually wrote the phrase, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” in imitation of his friend Woody Guthrie’s guitar, which was emblazoned with “This machine kills fascists!”

Many of us didn’t see this, probably.  We were attracted first of all by the music; traditional songs, original songs, funny and serious and heartbreaking songs; they made us laugh, and cry, and — most of all — think about things.  Pete always encouraged his audience to sing along with him, and they would, knowing almost all of his repertoire as well as he did.  In recent years, as Pete’s high tenor started fading due to age, the audience would help fill in the music, and everyone — especially Pete, I’d wager — was happy.  It wasn’t a pure Forties or Fifties hootenanny — not when you had to buy a ticket to get in — but it came fairly close.  I’d be willing to bet that, if Pete’s fetched up beside the Apostles after dying yesterday, he’s got that old five-string banjo in his hands, and a twelve-string guitar sitting in a stand nearby, ready to use, and he’s started leading the singalongs.  Blessings be upon you, Mr. Seeger.

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Posted January 28, 2014 by Harper Ganesvoort in Arts, Music, People

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Goodbye, Squinternet

Myself with Squinternet Larnia (on the right), at her main store in March 2012

Myself with Squinternet Larnia (on the right), at her main store in March 2012.  Far too brief an acquaintance on my part; the few times I met her were always a pleasure.

Word came down this morning from Cajsa Lilliehook that Squinternet Larnia died this morning.  Giulia never gave up in her fight to master the cancer that was sapping her life, and our world’s been richer to have a woman of such beauty, imagination and determination in it.  I hope you’ll join me in prayer for her.

My own words are failing me at the moment, so that’s basically it for now.  As Cajsa, if I hear of a memorial planned for Squinternet, I’ll spread the news here.


Posted September 4, 2013 by Harper Ganesvoort in People

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“One small step….”

It was a Sunday night in July 1969 when all the world that could get to a television set had one turned on, watching humankind set foot for the first time on another celestial object. The man who got that chance to be the first on Luna was Neil Armstrong, a sometime Navy pilot and civilian engineer. Yesterday, Neil began his last journey when he died at the age of 82.

I don’t remember that night that Armstrong made history with crystal clarity; at this point in time, those ghostly TV images from essentially another planet are a hazy batch of white figures prancing across the lunar landscape. But the thrill of that day, perhaps the proudest achievement in human aspiration and learning to this time, stays with me today. I can only hope that I was able to communicate it, along with my husband, to our children when the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 came back in 2009. Someone today on the radio said that there are a lot of children who, when asked who was the first man to walk on the Moon, would answer, “Lance Armstrong.” I find that both sad and frightening.

Armstrong might have found it frightening, in terms of what it said for the schooling of our children; but he wouldn’t regret the lack of notoriety. Neil was a man who never sought the limelight, and never traded on his place in history. He flat refused all requests for autographs, and preferred to be an engineer and a college professor; he retired from NASA in 1971, and made almost no public appearances after that, even on anniversaries of his flight. He always regarded his achievement as part of a group effort, and he said in an interview from space on July 23, as the astronauts neared Earth:

The responsibility for this flight lies first with history and with the giants of science who have preceded this effort; next with the American people, who have, through their will, indicated their desire; next with four administrations and their Congresses, for implementing that will; and then, with the agency and industry teams that built our spacecraft, the Saturn, the Columbia, the Eagle, and the little EMU, the spacesuit and backpack that was our small spacecraft out on the lunar surface. We would like to give special thanks to all those Americans who built the spacecraft; who did the construction, design, the tests, and put their hearts and all their abilities into those craft. To those people tonight, we give a special thank you, and to all the other people that are listening and watching tonight, God bless you. Good night from Apollo 11.

Knowing what we do of what went on as the Lunar Module neared the Moon’s surface, it’s my own speculation that we might have two dead bodies on Luna instead of footprints if it weren’t for Armstrong. The location Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were approaching as they descended was a stretch strewn with boulders; it was entirely possible that they could hit one of these and flop over. (The primitive guidance computer — state of the art at the time — was overloaded with tasks, and had placed them well west of where they were supposed to come down. Neil, an extremely qualified pilot, took partial manual control of the flight and brought the Eagle down with just seconds of descent fuel left to them — not quite landing on fumes, but close enough to justify the famous line from Houston Mission Control, “…You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

Five hours later, Neil was walking on the surface of Luna. It was the most exciting thing I had ever seen happen in my then short life, and I don’t know if I’ll ever see anything like it again before I die. Neil Armstrong didn’t want the praise that his countrymen and the world offered him…but he was deserving of it. Blessings be upon him, and on his memory.

Posted August 26, 2012 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal

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Bye, Steve

From the Apple front page, 10/5/2011

Apple has announced that Steve Jobs, their former CEO and the man who took Steve Wozniak’s hobbyist idea and helped usher in the era of the home computer, has died from his pancreatic cancer.  He was 56 years old.

I like to think that Radio Shack had something to do with the age of the hobbyist computer; the TRS-80 Model I was the one that I saw the most of, and its programs were pretty damned good.  But Steve was the friend of the Woz, was pulled by Wozniak to attend meetings of the old Homebrew Computer Club in the San Francisco Bay area, and saw the potential for a handful of chips that could do wild things.  He found the venture capital, got an actual case designed for the thing, and had the vision to push Apple Computer to its first great era. Long after Radio Shack had left the computer field, Apple carried on, and does to this day.

The company and he had friction at times, such as when he came up with the idea for the Apple Lisa — an edgewise predecessor to the Macintosh, though Wikipedia says it is really not that direct.  Still, it must be said by all that Apple always ran best with Jobs at the helm.  He had the ability to come up with ideas that would sell; sometimes it might take a chunk of work to get there, but forth from Apple during his time poured the Macintosh and the i-line of products, and in poured the money as a result.  And, when nothing else seemed to work, Jobs could always turn on the famous Reality Distortion Field, and either convince or bamboozle all around him into belief and herculean feats of effort to make that idea work.

Not confining himself to computers, he entered the graphics and entertainment field, buying up the company that would eventually become Pixar Animation Studios and, essentially, saved the bacon of Walt Disney Animation with Toy Story, A Bug’s Life et al.  At his death, according to Wikipedia, Jobs held a seat on the Disney board and 7% of Disney stock, stemming from Pixar’s eventual sale to Disney.

Some of his business skills and interpersonal methods can be criticized, but nobody can deny his vision.  He will be missed.

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