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Memories of David (in somewhat chronological order)

When I was in kindergarten and first grade, David and I were at the same school, and it was his 'job' to walk me the five blocks there every day. But he was too cool for that, and ran ahead as soon as we were out of sight of the house. I was full of big-brother worship, and never ratted him out to Mom.
Miriam Kadansky
I've thought about a number of the folks who got their propeller beanies in Springfield. Many of us stayed on the geek side (and many are hiding).

Harold's contribution to EMail will live on in the memories of many computer geeks. The system that we had running in Springfield was admired by the DEC RSTS developers. RSTS soon sported a remarkably familiar mail system that lived on virtually unchanged through other systems and all of the versions of VAX/VMS. Never one to mince words, Harold's instructions to the user were direct, simple and to the point "End Message with Ctrl/Z."

In the early drafts of the X.400 standard I had a place holder for remote execution of scripts I titled HBP (I told people it stood for something like Heuristic Background Process, and unlike Microsoft, it took us only a week to realize the gaping security holes that this had the potential of creating ...). It really stood for Harold's Backdoor Protection. Harold was sure that someone would delete his account, so he buried a trapdoor in Mail to return the system admin password. When I found it, I altered the return value to return a more Anglo-Saxon response.
Kevin McCabe
Speaking of those days, David (Harold back then), who was in high school at the time, was very well-known around town as the local computer wiz. He was especially well-known at the school department, where the head of math, Phil Halloran, was the proud owner of a DEC PDP 11/40 (I think). At the same time, the school department was one of Dad's big insurance accounts, where he was known not as Alex Kadansky, but as 'Harold's father.' Dad laughed it off, and you could tell he was very proud of Harold.
Miriam Kadansky
Of course, I remember David from high school when he was Harold. I met him when I first became the Mathematics Supervisor for the Springfield, Massachusetts School System in 1970, 34 years ago. A teacher, Mr. Jim Nodurf, had David as a student at the Technical High School in Springfield. Jim introduced me to David as a kid who could make the computer talk. I remember David had just written a program in APL that expanded pi to some incredible number of digits. I was duly impressed. I quickly became a supporter of Harold Kadansky so that he was able to do whatever he wanted to do. When Harold was a senior at Technical High School, Springfield was going through a very trying time in attempting to racially balance its schools. A plan was worked out that involved breaking the city into 6 zones. Each zone had one of the most severely imbalanced elementary schools. Children were going to be moved about in the zone among schools. But, which children? I was asked if a computer solution could be written that could fairly distribute children. Well, I recruited David, and together we put together such a solution. It could never have happened if it had not been for David's skill and mature insight.

The following year David went off to MIT, but he still kept in touch with me and the Springfield Public Schools. After David left MIT he came and visited me one day and gave me three slide rules. They were wonderful, pricey instruments. I still have them today and use them to show my collegiate students applications of logarithms.

I was impressed with the pictures that you sent on to me with David and some of his friends. At first I didn't recognize him because he had "filled out". He looked good. Not too thin.

I'll certainly miss David, but I will always have my stories about this wonderful young man. By the way, I have stories about Martin as well. Martin was a wonderful helper to old Dr. Halloran. You know, while I never had either David or Martin as students, I have always felt that they were among my brightest and most wonderful students.
Phil Halloran
Central Connecticut State University
I noticed the reference to the book David had been reading. Kinda put a grin on my face when I saw it was a scifi. That was one of the things David & I shared back in the old days. We'd swap books all the time and spent innumerable hours arguing and speculating on the mysteries of the universe. Some really good memories there.
Quentin Michel
I knew Harold, Quentin, Wayne, Larry, and Hugo from the many parties we had at each others' houses. We always played spin the bottle together, had dance offs, and of course the infamous lights out kisses. He was always a nice guy to me, polite and fairly quiet. It is a shame he is not with us anymore.....sadly he joins many people that die too young, too soon.
Rest In Peace, Harold
Fay Barrett Borgatti
David was one of the most special and endearing people I have ever known. I am so glad to have known him for so long, but not long enough. Am also very glad he steadfastly chose his own path, of course, and was so determined, stubborn, and strong to live life as much as possible, just exactly as he wanted! His friendship meant so much to me over the years - ever changing but ever there. And his humor was the best. And he was the only one I know who was messier than me! I will miss him dearly - but felt better by Quentin's copying me in on some of your messages - that he had many friends close at hand in CA.
Katherine McNeil
We were roommates in different Arica houses. We were friends. We enjoyed each other's humor. He was a gentle sweet soul. I remember being impressed that he always seem to have work and supported himself well and probably helped others who were not as " close to their conservation", as we might say in Arica. He was buying gold at one point and I remember him showing me his first brick. I hope he didn't suffer and I wish him the Highest Evolution and send you and his family a wave of love.
Patrik Donahue
David (who I always called and thought of as "Harold") and I go back to the days of Arica in Cambridge. Judy Cohen and I were very good friends then and, if memory serves me correctly, they met via me and the commune Harold and I lived in. Though I only saw Harold once in the 29 years since I left Cambridge (when he came to see my husband and me in our New Jersey home), I heard about him often through Judy (who I remain very good friends with) and was always interested in how he was doing. Harold was a dear person and I will always have great memories of the months we spent together in Cambridge. I remember how bright he was and also how funny and sweet. Judy, Harold and I were often a threesome in those days, hanging out together and enjoying each other's company, spiritual search and humor. It was an important time in our lives, with friends being incredibly important to us, and I am grateful that he was there. My husband and I married in 1975 and Harold was at our wedding -- tall, skinny and with a huge head of hair! Oh how young we were!

I will keep him and all those who are suffering his loss in my prayers and thoughts. Though it is unlikely that we will be able to get to California for a memorial service, I would love to know when it is, so I can sit quietly here in NJ and connect to the ceremony from afar.

With deepest regards,
Judy Pierson
We did our 40 Day training together in Boston many many years ago, when he was Harold and skinny. First we lived in the same house in Cambridge (Linnaean Street), and after that a few years later in the same community in San Diego, but I really got to know him best in the last few years of his life, when we were both members of a small online community of Aricans.

We both lived in the bay area, he in the south bay and I in the east, so David and I saw each other at gatherings, and felt the bond of long association expressed through those kind of deep hugs reserved for those with whom we share our life's history, but the real intimacy was online somehow. We once shared a 2 hour drive home from an in-person meeting with one of the community's older members, who was ill. That was a precious time, giving us the chance for some personal time to update each other on all that time between our early years and the present - 13 of which I was living in England and pretty much out of touch here.

David was always generous with his knowledge and skills, and helped many of us out in times of computer crisis. His wry voice and warm heart leave an indelible image of a kind and thoughtful man, fiercely independent and very bright. We were all stunned and saddened to lose him.
Amy Lenzo
David was my half brother; we had the same great father and different moms.

I loved when David would come visit me at my home in Carlsbad, Ca. and stay for two or three days and we would talk for hours about our pasts and about growing up.

David was great to talk to because he was so open and was willing to take risks and to be vulnerable. He talked about the things he was afraid of, that had hurt him in the past, about how hard things were for him growing up, about working and not working (he was so very wise and only worked when he had to and when savings and finances were getting low; then he would get a computer management job and work but only until he had saved up enough not to work). He was not afraid to talk about death, suicide, and any other topic that most people shy away from even thinking about.

There was a peace about him; simple things were enough for him. He liked to work on the computer, to read. He lived a simple quiet life, he was happy keeping to himself.

He was a genius, especially with computers and software but you never knew that until he stepped in to correct a problem and then WOW! did he know his computers!!

I will miss David a lot; especially the quality time and unbelievably authentic and honest communications that are so rare and so hard to find in life.

With love and regrets at our loss of David,
Ken Kadansky
I'm Judy's niece, and through Judy, I knew David for over 20 years. He was one of the first people to greet me and show me around San Diego when I moved out here in 1984. I have many fond memories of Thanksgiving, New Years, and other holidays with David and Judy, when they both lived here. He flew down here to attend my wedding in 1998--which meant a lot to me. He was a wonderful, funny, intelligent man, who will be deeply missed. Love,
Belinda Minor
I really didn't know him well. Shame, because he was the kinda guy you'd want to know better. But he lived in CA and I lived in HI. We were often on the same chat though. So, when the Aricans on that chat started meeting in northern CA, once or twice a year, I went. It was always on my way home from NY.

When I couldn't rent a car, he'd drive me. I never liked to have anyone drive me because I felt I'd imposed. I quickly found out that it was not possible to feel that way with David. When he was there, he was all there-- no underlying agenda of "let's get this done, so I can go on to do what I really want to do." When he was with me, he was with ME. And that made me be with him. I'll always remember that.

we are One
Nadine Newlight
I was shocked and sad to hear about David leaving us so soon. I hadn't seen him for awhile. I knew him through Reiki, we also shared a few dinners and movies together. I always enjoyed our conversations. David had a great wit, sharp mind and a quirky sense of humor. And a very sensitive nature. I think of him often. I know others do, too.
Kathy St.Claire
David came into our lives and we connected, immediately, deeply, without a word - and whenever we talked, it was like being in a balanced musical group: we all had our own style but the exchange led to an interaction so much more.

We connected at a gut - or should we say - heart level as if we had suffered many things together in the past. Yet, optimistic with that thin Rayon Vert that guides the horizon, but briefly. David - we miss you - we still miss you and still - stillness surrounds us - borne out of respect for what you represent to us: depth, and more depth and a breadth all at once.

Thank you for sharing YOUR life with ours.

In your own way.
Barbara and Wolfgang
Family. David is like family to me. Formally, I was a close neighbor/friend.

I met David 5 years ago when I moved into the same townhouse apartment complex he lived in. Within the first few minutes of meeting him, he had revealed to me his humanity. He shared with me with great honesty about how his day was going and a little bit about who he was. All of this through great humor, of course. I remember feeling a warmth and closeness for this new stranger. He had signalled to me that he was open to being real and I was grateful for the invitation.

Things were slow going at first. "Hey, David, do you have an egg I could borrow?" Or, "Any interest in coming to a potluck with me this Friday?" But, over time, we had become fabric in each other's lives. We shared our life stories with each other and laughed...A LOT!! Each day as I walk by his apartment, I say a silent hello to a very dear friend. I miss you, David. It is not the same here without you.

How David enriched my life:

David was a damned good friend. He listened to me when I was feeling down and helped me during some really tough times. He offered care. Although he seem to have a more difficult time receiving care from me, he did let me cook for him on several occasions, and he seemed to enjoy this exchange. I know I did. Having a neighbor who you feel close enough to to tell your woe's to is a gift.

I loved David's sense of humor. The speed with which he could cut through a moment to its utter absurdity was awe-inspiring to me. How did he do that so quickly? And watch out if I was the object of scrutiny. This was a fast track to self-awareness.

I guess the last bit to share is something about how different David and I are/were. I was constantly remarking, "How is it that two people who couldn't be more different can get along so well." There was a comfort, an ease, an openness and a huge amount of external differences. He couldn't stand most of my hippie friends and I couldn't stand his damn Tivo shows. And yet, we got along. Laughing our way through it all. How remarkable we are, David. How remarkable!!

What will I miss the most:

I miss seeing his light on in the stairwell late at night. Something about just knowing that he was there was reassuring to me. The stairwell is dark now. Strange.

I miss seeing his car parked in the carport. Something about knowing, "Oh, David is home now or David is back from the store." I miss that.

I miss knowing what his day to day is. I used to spend part of my life just knowing how his day to day was... I miss that.

I miss sharing my day to day. I really wish I could share my day to day with David. I still want him to know what my life is like. How things are evolving. I want to hear him make jokes about the silly little details of my life. I want to feel connected to David like I did when he was alive.

I miss having someone to go and hang with. I really miss just hanging with David.

I miss the friendship we had established. We balanced each other out in a nice way. I miss this.

I miss David's presence. It feels odd that he is no longer here with me/us. I miss that. Goodbye David. I love you. I am sorry that you left without me getting a chance to say "goodbye." Know that I think about you often and hope that your last moments were peaceful.

With Love,
Your Friend Lynn

I didn't get a chance to say goodbye before you left so I'm doing it now.

I'm sorry we didn't visit more often while you were around. I'm sorry you never got to meet my son. He's having his first birthday this Sunday. I wish you could come to the party. I would have been so proud to introduce you. He will live in a world without you, as will I from now on, and that's our loss.

You always seemed to just take things easier than most people. Like you knew what was important and that the things we struggle with every day weren't it. You were quick with a laugh and a smile and a refreshing perspective no matter what the circumstance. It was like your feet were just a little lighter than every one else's. I didn't really understand it then and I don't really understand it now, but I think I'm catching on a little bit. When life gets tough I will think of you. It can't help but lighten the load.

I'm attaching a list of the credits from the encyclopedia we worked on. Making it took a big chunk of our lives. But as time goes on it's the people I remember and the product fades away. I suspect you already knew that. I guess that's why your smile just seemed more genuine than most peoples'.

Goodbye David. I will miss you always.

Your friend,
Mike Morford
I think it was around this time that David became a snappy dresser, and, to our occasional chagrin, an avid cologne user. He said he never felt dressed without it. David came out east for Thanksgiving in 2002, unprepared for the cold weather. Before I could stop him, he appropriated my very best hand-loomed chenille scarf, which immediately fell victim to his latest favorite scent.
Miriam Kadansky
I don't know how much David has told you over the years about his time at NuvoMedia, and the years after NuvoMedia when many of us continued to meet for lunch once a month. David was one of the most reliable attendees at these lunches and it was always a pleasure to see him there, for the same reasons that I really enjoyed having him as a colleague during the years at Nuvo. David could always be counted on to add his funny, wacky, and very, very smart perspective to any conversation. World events, geeky computer stuff, the latest cool science fiction novel...all topics were fair game for David's wit and intelligence. I know that I will miss him next week at the monthly lunch and for the lunches to come.
Tom Colson
I coached David during his training as an NLP Master Practitioner. Many of our conversations were triggered by his training - conversations about human nature.

I always had the impression that there was so much more to him than life gave me time to explore. We talked once about Huston Smith, and David told me that he took a class from him at MIT. It seemed to me that there was little that did not interest him. His gentle approach dared you to underestimate him - and I suspect that those who did were the poorer for it.

I will always remember David for his sweetness, humor, modesty and curiosity. I believe that the world is better for his having occupied it for a time. I know that my life is better for having known him.

Tom Hoobyar
I had the pleasure to be involved in the NLP Master certification training with Dave. He was in my small group, where we all bonded deeply, sharing our hearts and lives over several months. Dave and I became good friends. After the training ended, we frequently grabbed lunch in the old downtown Palo Alto area. We even went to see the first Harry Potter movie together. The last time I talked at length with Dave, he was telling me about the drama classes he was taking in San Francisco - and how much he was learning about himself in that process, and having a great time with it. This was probably in early 2003. I lost contact with Dave after that - I think he left me a voice mail or two, and we never were able to re-connect. I was shocked by the news of his passing.

I am deeply saddened that the world has lost Dave Kadansky, a brilliant wit, a compassionate heart, and a sincere and genuine spirit. I know we will all see him again someday. Until then, David, thank you for gracing my life for the short time I knew you.
Carol Shields
Probably no one will be surprised to hear that I met David on the internet. We met on a listserv connected with Arica, a group I had been active in some twenty years ago. I always looked forward to David's pithy notes --- he had a wonderful sense of humor. I also appreciated his world-class net surfing talents. There is still no one I know who can come up more quickly with a link to an obscure song lyric or an arcane piece of information.

David had talked about his acting classes, and early in 2003 he invited me to a play. His acting teacher was performing a very interesting piece about a kabalah study group, angels, and the holocaust. I think David asked me because he had read my novel about 19th century Hasidim on the Oregon Trail and thus knew of my interest in Jewish mysticism and history.

The play was terrific and David was a delightful companion, his humor and charm just as evident in "face time" as in his "screen persona." I miss him very much.
Ruhama Veltfort
San Francisco
[David was a volunteer with Partners in Caring and did friendly visiting weekly.]
I last saw David in June when I invited him to lunch to thank him for his work with Herman and to allow him a time to debrief his experience. We had a very nice luncheon with several other volunteers and he volunteered to make some calls for us. He was a gentle man and had contributed so much to the enjoyment of life for Herman. We were blessed to have him in the program.
With gratitude,
Candace Mindigo, RN
Director, Partners in Caring
I met David during his last year. I was impressed with his sense of humor, his ability to listen and smile with his eyes. We enjoyed discussing books that we read and life experiences. We often went out for a meal and then a walk & talk. The hours would pass by so very quickly. David enjoyed making a difference--by volunteering, by working and by being a good friend.

My life is enriched for having known him and he will be sorely missed.

May his memory be a blessing.
Audrey Smith
[David Rubin recommended David to Jim for a consulting job. This is Jim's email reaction after their first conversation]
Hi David [Rubin]. I just talked to David Kadansky. What a super guy! I can't remember the last time that I called someone for the first time and was immediately swept into a long, fascinating, comfortable conversation.

Thanks so much for pointing me to him.
Jim Smith
I am so deeply sorry to have learned of David's death. He was a good friend of mine and I will miss him greatly. In his quiet way, he was one of the funniest, smartest, and gentlest men I've known, and I hope he knew at the time of his passing, that he was loved by many in San Diego and will be remembered by all.

I was planning to contact him next week when I travel to San Jose on business. I get up there from San Diego 2-3 times a year and we usually get together for dinner and lunch. It won't be the same being there without him.

We had a lovely and moving ceremony for him last evening in our Arica community. Many memories were shared, and a one hour meditation performed where we acknowledged his great spirit as it transcends to become one with God.

David was a dear friend of mine. I miss him greatly and think of him often. I miss his sardonic wit and barbed sense of humor. I miss his vast intellect and giant heart. He was a great listener and a devoted friend. He was a brother on the path to enlightenment. I loved that he took Ikebana and cooking classes and that he was a companion to an elderly man. He was an unpretentious quiet Goliath with a gentle nature and a huge capacity for compassion. He touched my heart. He made me laugh, gave me the freedom to cry, shared my joys and sorrows, and brought me a glimpse of light when I felt surrounded by darkness. I felt comfortable when I was with him and I believe he felt the same when he was with me. We had a lot of fun together and we trusted each other. He left far too soon. I hope he knew how much he was loved. I am grateful for having known him.
Peri Allen
The Internet has allowed me to meet a lot of very special people over the years, which I would have otherwise never known, and my life is better for that. I met David about 2-1/2 years ago under his user name of Mister Wizard in an online chat room in IRC. I recall when we first met he politely asked if he might interview me, to get to know me more. "Sure," I said, "It might be fun!" That was my first taste of the analytical and humorous man who soon became a very dear and beloved friend. We proceeded to enter into a rather amusing game of 20 (well 100+) questions that ranged from everything from serious to silly, but it did break the ice and showed us how much we had in common.

We share a love of computers, geek toys, science fiction, books, philosophy and a great many things I am sure I am not recalling at the moment. About a year ago I mentioned a bizarre cartoon that I loved on Nickelodeon called Invader Zim, it was supposed to be for kids but it ended up being much more popular with adults. When David heard me mention it he had to go look it up, download the shows and watch them. He was soon as hooked as I was! When we last were together in May he surprised me with a CD he had burned of Zim "music" he had found scattered all over the net and compiled into a disk for me. But that is how David was, always coming up with a sweet and thoughtful surprise when you least expected it.

He always had his bagel in the morning for breakfast and when we were together, we always went and had Chinese food. I last traveled to San Fran in May to take a computer software quality assurance class. The program had a special that allowed me to have a friend attend the class free with my tuition payment, so I bugged David for weeks to go with me. He probably didn't need it, but I pointed out it never hurt to have another computer skill and the geek in him won out and he joined me. We had great fun working through the lessons, finding all the mistakes the instructor had made in his syllabus and lecture, and helping other students through the hard bits. By the end of the four days, the instructor was asking David and me for advice and suggestions on how to do things!

David made a point to research good places to eat on the web and found the most wonderful Chinese seafood place for him and me to have dinner at. The menu was amazing with many familiar things and a great deal of things neither of us had ever heard of. The one that gave us the greatest laugh was "fried fish bellies". David ordered a wonderful sounding shrimp grilled in a salt rub, but when it arrived, all the little critters still had their heads attached! Being a total wimp, I had to unbread them enough to remove the head before I could bring myself to eat them. David, being the more adventurous, just ate them as intended, head and all! I was impressed!

I was always impressed by how adventurous he was. Nothing seemed to intimidate him at all, and if he didn't know how to do something, he studied it till he was virtually an expert. I recall him telling me in chat about how he was taking gourmet-cooking classes. The things he described learning sounded wonderful and he went on a quest to update his cooking pot, pans and utensils to take advantage of all his new skills. I kept threatening that I was just going to show up on his doorstep one night to try out his new passion.

The other thing I loved and cherished about David was his heart of gold. He seemed to always be helping out a friend or neighbor in need, taking someone without a car to the store, dropping someone off at the airport or volunteering as a companion to the elderly. I always enjoyed hearing about an old man that David had been matched up with, the idea was to give the gentleman company and something more to his life than sitting in a chair all day. I think they were only supposed to go once a week, but I always had the impression that David spent much more time with him than that. He often took the man out to the movies and I recall after they saw Matrix III, the man said "What the heck was that about?" and David replied, "Hell if I know!" This man passed away in early May of this year and David attended the funeral and gave a memorial for him. In the memorial he shared what a great friendship they had made and how they had bonded with their visits, how his life was enriched by the experience. We talked about death and dying after the funeral and David told me hoped he died like that, peaceful, with a full life. I believe he managed both.

Last May, I arrived in San Fran early Sunday morning. My plan was to spend Sunday with my sister, then meet David on Monday for the classes. As I waited for my luggage after I got off the plane, there was David, waiting for me. He had not told me he would be there; he just thought it would be nice to surprise me. He knew I was spending the day with my sister, but told me he thought I might enjoy a hug and a couple bagels he had brought me, assuming (correctly) that I had not had breakfast yet. He hugged, me, helped me with my luggage and chatted with me as I walked to the car rental. He used his whole morning to travel to the airport, wait for me; greet me and then drive home, just to be nice. That is David in a nutshell. David was and always will be a very special friend, holding a large wonderful place in my heart.

May we all live as gently as he did, with such warm and thoughtful hearts and intentions, filling our lives and those of others with random acts of kindness, whenever possible.
Jane Lambert
What can you say about losing an older brother? When he was working in software as a manager, I was always impressed with how well he treated the people who worked for him, his maturity and kindness. I'll miss his sense of humor, his calm observations about the world, his honest perspective on things, his confident expertise. Most of all, I'll miss his just being there. I'm glad he had such wonderful friends.
Martin Kadansky
younger brother in Massachusetts
David never was a neatnik, and the point was especially driven home to us when we cleaned out his apartment. Buried deep in the old papers and books was a copy of "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui." It gave us a chance for a good laugh during a tough time.
Miriam Kadansky
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