Ralph D'Andrea -- R.I.P. -- 1949 - 2014

Ralph D'Andrea, a good man whom I considered to be a friend, passed away Friday, November 7, 2014.

I'm 70, so it came as a bit of a surprise to open the local newspaper over my usual morning cup of green tea and discover a 65-year-old friend's obituary. I'm told by friends older than I that such events happen with greater frequency the older one gets.

As noted in his obituary, Ralph ran the Junction Daily Blog for years. He started it on a its own website at "wwwdotjunctiondailyblogdotcom", which was for a time linked to the Daily Sentinel, then, after some kind of disagreement -- my guess is it was probably over content -- Ralph moved it to Facebook, where it is still online as of this writing. I hope his wife, Cheryl, leaves it up for posterity.

For several years, I taught music to Ralph and Cheryl's daughter, Carina Louise D'Andrea. Like everyone else, I suppose, I was shocked by Carina's (everybody I knew called her "Cari") untimely death. In the circle of life, parents are supposed to die before their children, not the other way around. I'm sure Ralph was heart-broken by Cari's passing.

Cari was an enormously likeable student. She definitely marched to her own drummer. (I wasn't exactly thrilled with the "porn star" sticker in the rear window of her compact car, but that didn't detract in the slightest from her status in my mind as a real sweetheart of a human being.) Cari didn't practice all that much, and switched from guitar to bass because she thought it was easier. Ralph paid for her music lessons despite her lack of practice because, as Ralph told me, she loved to sit and play bass on Beatle songs with me, and he thought I was a positive/constructive "older-brother"-type influence on her.

In his writings and world view, in my opinion, Ralph definitely leaned "left". In contrast, I leaned "right". Since we were both strong-willed people, and since each of us respected the basic humanity, intelligence and sincerity of the other, we always more or less had a kind of tacit unspoken understanding to not delve too deeply into areas of presumed polemical disagreement. More's the pity.

Ralph was one of my early influences/inspirations in the world of computer "geekness". My understanding is that Ralph did a stint as head of computer security with some company. All I knew was that he knew a lot more about how computers worked than I did. That always served as motivation for me to keep learning as much as I could about computers. I still have not arrived at a blissful state of computer-self-sufficient "Ralph-ness", but at least I am able to pretty much run my own websites!

I would have liked to have known both Ralph and Cari better, you know, as to what really made them tick on the inside. Oh well, I guess that's part of the circle of life.

Since both Ralph and Cari loved rock music, I thought it might be appropriate to link to the Doors' hit song, "Break On Through (To The Other Side)". Interested persons can read the lyrics if they CLICK HERE.

Rest in peace, Ralph and Cari.

No parent should have to bury their child - YouTube video

The Doors - Break on Through (To the Other Side) - YouTube video

In case the Junction Daily Blog gets taken offline, I wanted to create a little reminder that it was once (and for years) online. So I made screenshots of JDB's timeline, JDB's "about" section, and JDB's photos section. I also included one of Ralph's posts containing a picture of an eclipse. Just click on the links if you want to see them.

A voice silenced - Daily Sentinel

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