Remembering Toshi Otaka – Part 2

I had to post what Tom Igoe said in the comments section, because I know not everyone reads the comments section and I didn’t want anyone to miss this.

From Tom Igoe:

“In truth, his diary couldn’t be read until a few days ago. Because of the discussion Stacy mentions, I started looking for it. Found a couple pages here on Echo, and asked NYU’s IT services, and Nancy Lewis, our IT manager at ITP, if if could be found. ITS couldn’t find it in all its backups. Nancy (also a classmate of Toshi’s) managed to find the backup hard drive from the ITP server at the time, pull his old account, and put it up on our current server. So I’d say the fact that it’s up is as much testament to the power Toshi had on us all as it is to the web. Sometimes love makes you do strange things.

“My favorite Toshi story comes from right before he left NYC. He wanted to find a copy of Christopher Cross’ “(The Moon and) New York City” because it made him think of his best memories of NYC. Not a popular album at the time, it wasn’t in any of the CD stores nearby (remember CD stores?). He had a bunch of people on the alum list out searching for it, and I think it was Matt that found it. When he passed away, I got that song stuck in my head for a week. Just like him to take something I’d previously seen as hopelessly schmaltzy and turn it into something precious through its association with him.

“Thanks, Stacy, now you’ve got me crying too. Geez.”

(Now that song has become something precious to me, too.)

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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