Saturday, April 04, 2009

Remembering Zooknoone in Carson City

Thank you to everyone who paid tribute to my brother David, alias "Zooknoone,'' in Carson City on Thursday and Friday (and also today -- a drumming circle/life celebration has been scheduled in town.)"Zook,'' my big brother, a musician, writer, and field adjuster by trade, passed away on March 27 after emergency open-heart surgery. All of us miss him terribly. (please see remembrances below, and thank you so much for your kind words about my brother. I will continue to update this and file your messages about him as they come in.) My brother Phil -- who is a very gifted writer -- read a tribute, I shared a few words of my own, and we spent time with UCSD pals of Zooknoone, including John and Youndy. My mother and father made the trip out from southern California. A storm blew up over the Sierra Nevada almost immediately after the gathering. It was enough to powder up the mountains, almost blow the yarmulke (skullcap) off my father's head, and force drivers to put chains on all four tires up on Highway 80 over Donner Pass, but we were able to punch through on the 50. David thrived in the Eastern Sierra landscape, especially in spring when the weather warmed up but occasional flurries still lit up the mountains. He would have loved the way the land looked on Friday morning.

I expect the blog to sreturn to relative normal -- if you can call this blog 'normal -- very soon, but thank you for your continuing emails, tributes and messages.


Leesa said...

Hi Dan,

Youndy sent me the link to your blog. I was in E-House with Zook... we were friends during our freshman year and through UCSD... I am very sorry about his passing and the loss that is felt so deeply by all of those who knew and loved him.... You are all in my thoughts. Yours truly, Leesa

cactuseaters said...

Leesa -- thank you so much for your kind words and your memories of Zooknoone -- it means a lot to me,

John Caratti said...


I'm glad I was able to make it to Zook's memorial service. He was a good friend to me and I miss him dearly. It was comforting to meet you and the other family members again and reminisce about Zook's colorful life. As I dig up memories our times at UCSD, I am reminded of many road trips and hiking trips we did together, especially after he returned to UCSD after his hiatus. I remember that he would always bring a box of Twinkies and a huge log of summer sausage on every road trip. Of course he would always bring his guitar, usually playing in the back seat of my Dodge Dart, as we drove across the country. We visited many cool places on these trips; Arches National Park and other places in Utah, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, the Sierras,White Mountains in Nevada, and Big Sur. He really did love being in natural landscapes.

I know he loved the mountains around his home in Dayton, and he would tell me that often. I never did get to enjoy these mountains with him, but now that I have seen them, I will always refer to the Pine Nut Mountains (behind his house) as Zook's mountains.

As I come across photos from these crazy times, I will send them to you along with some funny stories.

John Caratti

cactuseaters said...

John -- thanks for the great story. I never got to hike those mountains with him either, but once when he was living in San Diego, he took me deep into the high desert and then we stopped for buffalo burgers over in Julian. I also did a bit of desert trekking with him in Palm Desert a long, long time ago. And jog my memory here -- but I also have a memory of you, David and I singing "Bertha'' in a makeshift 'recording studio' set up at a UCSD dorm (with the two of you playing guitar, and me playing bongos or something ...)

John Caratti said...


Yeah, I have a vague memory of that. I know I used to play guitar with David in the dorms and later at our apartment. He was always getting better and I was getting worse since I was playing less and less. Sometimes after class during summer session we would sit down and play together. I can remember him giving me a look sometimes like saying "you fucking asshole" we just went over that yesterday" when I was screwing up my part. I eventually sold all my guitars, amps, mixers, etc. for money to go to Europe the summer of '88.

Another funny story about moving out of our apartment after college. I was going to Europe for a couple of months and Zook was freaking out about being left with all the stuff in our apartment to get rid of. The biggest problem we had was to do about this Sunfish sailboat a friend had given me. He didn't want it back and we didn't have time to sell it. So one day we put it on a couple of skate boards, wheeled it to the canyon behind the apartment, and pushed it over the edge. It slid down the ice plant right into the canyon. We were laughing so hard about this sailboat sitting in the middle of the canyon, and figured someone would pick it up eventually. Sure enough, it was gone in a couple of days. To this day I wonder who ended up with that thing.

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, even weeks later, I still can't believe this has happened. I just read his last Myspace posting and it really seemed like he was going to be fine.

Still devastated by this.