Song for My Brother

A post, now, in memory of my brother Ross, who died suddenly at the age of 35 on March 4, 2001.

Ross at One Year Ross '85 Ross Roadking Ross in Cincinnati January 2001 Ross and Sheila 3/3/01

Ross was a programmer, a musician, a biker, and a great brother. He would have been a terrific uncle.

I regret not having a song of my own to put here, but I haven't had much in the way of songs since then. So I offer instead a beautiful piece of 70s fusion, a long-time favorite of mine that I nonetheless haven't heard this millenium. (Sometimes you put something down and are afraid to pick it up again.) The music is perfect; I didn't pick it out just because of the title. Fair warning: this is a long one.

[I’m sad to report that Shadowfax drummer Stuart Nevitt died just days after I originally posted this in 2008. Winds player Chuck Greenberg died in 1995. –Ed.]

This year I've reinstated Ross's web site, which has been mostly absent since the day that March when I turned off the Linux box it ran on. I like the list of cars. Also the sounds. Especially that one sound. (Eww!) That was my brother for you.


32 thoughts on “Song for My Brother

  1. Wow. I hadn't thought of it before, but through the internet a person's memory can live indefinitely, or at least as long as someone is willing to maintain the server. Your brother's website portrays him more vividly than say, those pricey headstones with the person's portrait etched by a laser. (Though I'm still waiting for this Japanese-invented headstone that has a video monitor built in, so you can greet your surviving family members and descendants in a continuous and unnerving video loop.)Your brother was a funny, clever guy. He'd probably enjoy seeing not only his website kept up for posterity, but his nephews and nieces (not sure how many he has now) visit it and click on "Eww."

  2. I hadn't thought of it before, but through the internet a person's memory can live indefinitely, or at least as long as someone is willing to maintain the server.
    After Ross died, I had a dream about zooming through glowing electric-blue tunnels (the internet), looking for him.
    It's nice having back. It's too hard to think of any one picture or anecdote that would adequately sum him up. The website does a better job.
    Heh… there's a Google ad below me here for a company named "Sympathy Solutions," with a photo of an angel figurine. She sorta looks like a Hummel with paper clips for wings.

  3. … was a nice moonlit night. We had the walk-in tent with the two cots and warm sleeping bags. We also had the power cord set-up for in-door lighting and the radio. We even had the extra cover to protect from the rain.
    There we were, two kids camping out in the yard, warm, comfortable and fast asleep.
    Then from the bowels of Valhalla comes this awful trumpeting noise!!!!!….
    ……frickin' Scott and Chip on the tuba!!!
    OK…so we gave you two the bum tent that was small and leaked….But didn't you guys go back inside the house to sleep anyway?
    We gave you a flash light,,,,,can't remeber if we gave you any batteries though…

  4. You're a great brother, Scott.
    Well, thank you.
    And I'm glad you finally realized you're my sister.
    Oh, wait. I'm thinking of Star Wars. Sorry.

  5. Ah, the tuba incident!
    I don't remember where we ended up sleeping that night. Maybe in the Vanagon…did we bring that then?
    Yeah, you older siblings always get the good tent… *grumble*

  6. Hi, Bill — thanks for stopping by! I had really wanted to keep the site up and running, but with so much else going on it fell by the wayside, and then…well, seven years had gone by. I'm glad it brings back memories.

  7. I wonder how you maintain the monitor in the headstone — like, if it's easy to replace the battery. Or maybe it's solar-powered.
    I think the best would be a motion-sensing model with 5.1 surround sound and a subwoofer. It would wait until you were close enough to the headstone, then go "HI THERE!" in an unbelievably loud reproduction of the deceased's voice.
    He has 1 niece and 1 nephew, and now it's just a matter of time before they discover the "Eww" sound.

  8. What a wonderful way to keep memories alive, I wonder if I would have the courage to do that.Will play the track in as a prelude to my morning.

  9. Scott –
    A vivid memory working with Ross was when he gave me a disposible camera and asked me to take pictures of him with it. I asked him "why?" and he said he didn't know what the pictures would be used for, but to take pictures from "head" to "toe". Well we spent several mins. doing just this … including pictures of just his shoes and him mugging for the camera. A couple of weeks later Ross got a "amusement park" sketch (the kind with a enlarged head and slender body) of himself with related "work" items in the background. All framed up, thanks to one of people he was working closely with at the time.
    He got quite a kick out of the picture …

  10. So, Bill K, how did you find this blog so soon after the mention of Ross? Too cool that you took the photos for the drawing.
    Even years later, I still mention that caricature whenever the topic of workplace reward programs comes up. What a classy, intelligent gift that was… sure beats the typical Lucite clock thing.

  11. As strange as it sounds, I've had March 4th tagged in my PDA since Ross passed away. Over the years it migrated from PDA to eventually my outlook calender (where it sits to this day and in the future). It is a yearly reminder to do a bit of personal reflection of what I've done (over the past year) and where I'm heading.
    This year as well as some years in the past … I'll do a search for "Ross Jeynes" on the "net". This year to my suprise and delight, I got a (real) hit. After doing a bit of poking around, it was able to confirm it was the "Ross Jeynes" I enjoyed working with.
    I'm very happy to again see the caricature of Ross (many thanks Scott). The last time I saw the caricature (and photos for the caricature) was the day, that Mr/Mrs. Jeynes were cleaning out Ross's office (a very depressing day for me and my co-workers, but I cannot imagine what they were going through). I hope they are doing well …

  12. Wish I'd had that list of taquerias when I was in SF a few months ago; I'd have liked to visit his favorites if they're still in existence. One of my last memories of Ross is a night out with him and another expatriate Wyomingite on a previous trip to SF.

  13. I'm glad the date has retained that significance for you…that's an example of Ross influencing the people around him in ways I hadn't realized.
    I was along that day at the office, so you and I may have met, but it's a bit of a blur at this point. Cleaning out the office was indeed depressing, one of many things we had to plow through when we least felt like it. Then there was his house…Ross was a man of many possessions. πŸ™‚
    The parents have held up well, all things considered. I think it's a help that there are grandkids.

  14. Believe it or not, the burrito page has been up for the last couple of years. It didn't occur to me to point it out when you went to SF.
    At some point I had noticed that people and/or bots were still trying to hit the page, so I retrieved the HTML from The Wayback Machine at and put it out there. Eventually I found a version of the entire site on one of Ross's computers…it was some time before I felt motivated to publish it.

  15. Good, busy. Life with 3 kids is a little insane but really fun. Still at home with them, though a bunch of my friends are now returning to work as teachers. Interesting! How are you, Amy & the kids doing?

  16. Busy! Amy is doing the freelance thing, editing art books. She's also on Vox here. I'm still doing the corporate IT thing, programming databases and web apps. The kids are both in school, doing great. Henry is the technology guy!

  17. Ross,
    A good day for some self reflection, a burrito for lunch and if weather permits a sprited drive along some back roads. Miss ya'!

  18. Thanks Bill.
    (I still haven't found any burritos here that match the ones in Ross's neck of the woods, but with our growing base of Latino-operated restaurants it's only a matter of time! Hmm, maybe we'll try that new one near our house for dinner…)

  19. Hi John! Good to hear from you. I'm pretty sure I remember you; it would probably come into focus if I had a WHS yearbook handy… πŸ™‚

  20. It’s strange and sad to see this post back again, but I’m glad you brought it out. I’ll have to have a burrito in memory of your brother, albeit I’m surprised he didn’t mention Gordo’s in San Francisco. Maybe it wasn’t around when he was in the Bay Area.

    And boy, all those wonderful widgets that came with Vox sure didn’t transfer well to WP. Too bad.

    I’m guessing Ross is amused that his website is still up and running.

    • Heck, let’s face itβ€”this saves me from the bummage* of writing a 10-year memorial.

      Do the widgets look wonky on your machine? Is it the pics? Maybe I’ll twiddle the CSS. My brother deserves that it look nice. πŸ™‚

      *Now there’s an 80s word for you.

      • No, they look fine now, but I was thinking of the music-player thingie on Vox. I noticed you switched it over to a YouTube video, which works great, but I was always in awe of Voxers who posted music on their blogs.

        I also noticed all of the old Vox avatars have turned into those broken-mirror-triangles-in-a-square kind of thing. I’m guessing that’s WP’s default avatar, but hey! I am so not a default!

        “Bummage?’ Gnarly, dude.

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