I sit here I can’t help but be absorbed in pain
and grief consumed by an utter feeling of emptiness, but
I know that Danny is looking down wishing we didn’t
all feel this way. So I am going to attempt to remember
the many good memories that my brother left me and see
if I can share them with you. The problem is which one
to use because there are so many.
could tell you about time he accidentally rammed a hockey
stick in my mouth leaving me with a hole in my tongue,
or about the time I chipped his tooth with a teaspoon
I flung across the room, but I don’t think my mother
would appreciate that. I could also tell you about the
time he and Chris Meehan tied me to a street hockey net
in the driveway and shot street hockey pucks at me because
I refused to play goalie that day, but I don’t think
Chris would want me to tell you about that. I might even
tell you about the first, and only, day I was able to
return the favor and beat him in one of our infamous wrestling
matches, but I wouldn’t want to egg him on because
he might come back and pin me one last time to show who’s
Instead, I’m going to tell you about a memory that
didn’t take place that long ago and, in my mind,
truly defined the relationship between two brothers who
shared so much in common.
a child I always wished I had a younger brother that I
could guide and teach in the same manner my brother did
for me. I even remember asking my mom to adopt a baby
from Australia because I wanted my younger brother to
have an Australian accent (I don’t know, I was young!).
But I truly wanted to be able to give to someone the way
my brother gave to me. I wanted someone to idolize me
the way I idolized Danny. Danny did so much to teach me
things and spread my horizon. He let me tag along when
he went skateboarding or surfing, he helped me learn to
play hockey, even though he had only just begun playing
himself. He turned me on to music and brought me to tons
of concerts, most recently a Phish show in Coney Island
where Jay-Z came out for a surprise performance. Danny
was convinced that show was for me alone because earlier
in the day I was trying to get him to listen to some Jay-Z.
memory was the first chance I had to switch roles with
Danny and teach him something that was a big part of my
life. I taught my brother how to snowboard at the end
of the 2001 season. He loved it and wanted nothing but
to ride from that day forward. In January in 2003, I had
organized and week of training for my university’s
ski team, which at the time, I was the president of. The
trip was planned for a week of training at Mount Tremblant,
a few hours north of Montreal. The ski team training trips
were great because you learned a lot in the week’s
time, plus, there were never any adults there so they
were a ton of fun too. I thought this would be the perfect
opportunity for Danny to learn and lot and also, to spent
some time in my world as opposed to me always tagging
along with him.
week at Mount Tremblant was amazing. Danny improved so
much on his riding that week and I could see him really
embracing the sport and beginning to make it a part of
who he is. We took the Canadian party scene by storm that
week. They had never encountered a duo like my brother
and I. I remember Danny asking how old everyone on the
team was and I told him that we ranged from 18-22. He
was floored that at 27 he was hanging out with 18 year
olds but decided that he was gonna live an alternate ego
for the week and be my little brother. He even bragged
the night he got ID’d at a bar (especially since
legal age in Canada is 18). We had truly switched roles.
week was one of the best times I ever had with my brother
and I remember walking away from it thinking that Danny
and I had reached a level in our relationship that we
hadn’t been to yet. For the first time, I was able
to broaden his horizons and show him something new and
I can’t tell you how honored I was to do that for
someone who spent most his life doing that for me. I felt
we were the closest we had ever been (and we were always
very close) and that continued to grow from that week
forward. Just two weeks ago, I was supposed to visit Danny
in Idaho to snowboard so he could show me his new home
and his new mountain, and he probably planned to show
off some of his new skills.
week in Tremblant was an experience I’ll never forget.
In fact, I was just on the mountain today and I couldn’t
help but think of Danny the whole time I was there. I
miss my brother with all my heart. He showed me and taught
me more in my 24 years than most people experience in
a whole life time. In so many ways he defined who I am,
but for that one week, I was able to do that for him,
and I’ve never been more honored or proud in my
and Ryan at Mount Tremblant
and Ryan in 1981
don’t know how it happened
Danny and I first met, basically the only thing he could
cook was a bowl of cereal. I think all he had in his house
was a big box of power bars and a can of green beans. He
ordered all of his food out, unless it was something homemade
and delicious that his mom froze for him.
I don’t know how it happened, but when I went to visit
him in Idaho, I discovered that he had begun shopping...in
a grocery store! He made breakfast every morning before
going up to the mountain. Eggs with salmon! Toast! Grits!
It was cool.
day he started making some stir frys. Then he started calling
up his mom to get her recipes for chicken parm. He did the
whole bit...prosciutto, the sauce, garlic bread, everything.
It was so good! Everyone loved it. But the dinner party
favorite was his spaghetti and pork chops. He wowed us a
few times with that one. I was very proud of him.
making eggs for Katie
favorite "Big Brother" story
I sit here trying to remember one of my favorite big brother
stories, so many come to mind. Family vacations, the never
ending trip where the ENTIRE family had to go with Danny
on ALL his college interviews, being in the car while he
drove in Manhattan...eeeek, I could go on for hours.
But, for some reason this one stupid story keeps popping
into my head...
was 1987 and I was having my first slumber party. I was
8, and wanted sooooo bad for my party to be cool. We had
watched all the movies my mom rented and things were starting
to drag. My cool party was turning out to be pretty bad.
was getting very bored so, I decided to organize a “talent
show”. Uhg...what a bad idea!!! No one wanted to do
it. The party was going horrible, and I was devastated.
Then OUT OF NOWHERE Danny peaked his head in. He had my
very shy, 6 year old brother Ryan with him. He had a pillow
up his shirt, to make himself look fat, and a boom box.
Danny was definitely up to something.
busted in blasting “The Fat Boys” and Danny
lipsinked to EVERY word. He even broke out a few breakdancing
moves for my friends. It was great, they loved him. I am
pretty sure a few girls developed crushes that night and
my very cool big brother had just saved my birthday party.
I don’t know why I remember that so well. It was such
a silly thing, but, at 8 years old, it meant the world to
me. I went to bed in my sleeping bag that night thanking
god that he was there. ~Kristen
and Kristen on Halloween
our dance recital
earliest memories of Danny
earliest memories of Danny come from the car trip we all
took to Florida in 1976. I was five years old and Danny
and my brother Dennis were just babies. Uncle Harry and
my Dad (Danny’s Uncle Jack) did the driving, and
Aunt Joan and my Mom (Danny’s Aunt Margaret) took
care of Danny and Dennis through all the driving and all
the stops along the way. I rode in the back of the station
wagon that Uncle Harry bought just for the trip. Thanks
to Uncle Harry and his movie camera (which was always
on), much of that trip is on film, and I have seen it
so many times that I cannot fully separate my actual memories
from the home movies. But I will always remember Danny
and Dennis playing with Uncle Harry’s microphone
and biting its top off! And I will always remember Danny
and Dennis in the hotel swimming pool in their Styrofoam
floating baby seats, with me doggy-paddling nearby.
then on, Danny and Dennis were my constant partners in various
games and sports, both real and video. I will always remember
countless games of Nintendo hockey downstairs at Aunt Joan’s
house, and street football games every Thanksgiving at Grandma’s
house. I remember playing baseball in the backyard at Aunt
Joan’s house one year at Danny’s birthday, and
Danny catching a line drive in the face. I really felt bad
that day, but Danny was fine. I remember playing ball in
the house when I used to baby-sit for Danny, Kristen, and
Ryan (sorry about that Aunt Joan!) Later, when I got my
driver’s license, I would pick up Kristen, Ryan, and
my brother Kevin after school and drive to Aunt Joan’s
house, where Danny and I would play street hockey for hours—me
tending goal and Danny working on various shots. It is hard
for me to believe that both Kevin and Danny are no longer
with us, but these memories will always be with me. To this
day, whenever I go to Aunt Joan’s house I half-expect
that we’ll all play some sort of game together and
I’m a little disappointed that we don’t.
also remember fondly all of Danny’s various interests.
It was always interesting to see what new thing Danny was
trying. I remember going to his dance recitals a long time
ago. I remember Uncle Harry taking me, Danny, and Dennis
to a Devils game against the Penguins in the mid-1980’s
(I think it was the first hockey game for all of us), which
was the beginning of Danny’s life-long devotion to
hockey. I remember when Danny was into Def Leppard, and
dirt biking, and breakdancing, and then later surfing and
snowboarding—not to mention computers, which became
his career choice. I am probably missing a lot of other
things but I can’t go on forever!
are only a few of the many memories that have danced through
my head in the last few weeks, and I am honored to be able
to share them with all of Danny’s many friends and
family. Farewell Danny, and take good care of Kevin and
Grandpa. We miss all three of you very much.
~Your cousin, John
understand the task at hand is to write a memorable, and
preferable funny, anecdote about Danny. It is an undertaking
both easy and difficult.
the first summers in Point Pleasant I remember, much to
his mother’s amusement, taking Danny for walks on
the boardwalk (he was three or four) and using him to
in his life as Danny graduated college and sought his
path to the future I introduced him to Joe Korman and
in return Danny help drag my somewhat backwards law firm
into the computer age. Danny was always around when we’d
concoct new ways to crash our network and I know at least
one all-nighter spent by him installing wires and computers
in my 75-year-old office building. But these stories beg
the question of what Danny meant to his family or me.
found the measure of his importance in the unending devotion
of his parents and brother and sister when word of his
disappearance reached them. For Joan and Harry a time
of panic and sorrow. For Kristen and Ryan a time to act.
We went to Idaho and walked the lake and the bridge. We
organized the search and the information campaign. We
did for Danny what we knew he would do for all of us.
He was honest, compassionate and above all loyal to those
passing and the strange, and cruel way it came upon us,
has changes us all forever. On one of our trips to New
York, Kristen and I met Robert Kennedy, Jr. Given how
angry Danny was at George Bush’s re-election I think
it would be appropriate to remember him in the way Ted
Kennedy in his eulogy remembered Robert Kennedy:
is not an easy feeling to put into words.
Nor is loyalty, or trust or joy. But he was all of these.
He loved life completely and he lived it intensely”
~ Uncle Lou
My memories of Danny start with the day he was born. Looking
at him in the hospital I was so proud. Here he was my sister's
first child and the first time I became an aunt. I can remember
thinking that there was no need for a name card because
he looked just like a little Harry. A month later Dennis
was born. In the early years Danny and Dennis were like
twins often wearing the same outfits, sucking on each other's
pacifiers, sometimes sleeping in the same crib.
It was the sixth grade band concert at Lloyd Road School.
Dennis was in the band and the highlight of the concert
was a song that had become very popular because of the recent
Pee Wee Herman craze "Tequila".
The band leader announced that a special quest was in the
audience and as we all looked towards the back of the audience
we saw Dennis leading Pee Wee Herman (Danny) to the stage.
Danny looked just like Pee Wee and had his act down perfect.
As he began his famous dance the crowd roared. I remember
how hard Joan and I were laughing. It was a very special
I haven't seen Pee Wee Herman on TV for many years but in
the last few weeks I have turned on my TV at least twice
just in time to see Pee Wee dance to Tequila. It instantly
brought me back to that sixth grade concert and I can still
see Kevin, Ryan, Kristen, John, Joan, Harry, Jack and I