Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In Memory of David Rossi, 1957-2003

Dave with our baby, who is now 17.
It was ten years ago today we lost David Rossi. Only the good die young.

Dave studied Chemistry at PITT, and I had the great good misfortune of living with him just after graduation, right around the time PITT won the national championship, the Pirates won the World Series and the Steelers won the Super Bowl.  We roomed together for a couple of years in Brooklyn Heights when we both worked for the Chase, and in our first year at HBS.  Dave introduced me to the HP-12C, to Isaac Payton Sweat, and to the advice from his summer of reading (nothing but) Louis L'Amour that you shouldn't carry a knife unless you're prepared to use it.  Dave convinced me one night over beers that Harry Truman was the only person in history who ever could have really ruled the world, right after WWII when he had the Bomb and the Army and the wartime economy.  (If I ever go back to get my PhD in History, that'll be my thesis.)  He also shared with me his irrefutable theory of dating by the numbers, which I wrote about in 2007.

In the time I knew Dave, though, all he ever really wanted to do was Space.  He would have been an astronaut except for his eyesight.  Between Spacehab and Orbital Sciences, he got close.

Here's how to describe Dave best: At his funeral in Washington ten years ago, there were maybe six of us who were asked to speak.  As we talked beforehand, I realized we all believed the same thing: David Rossi was our best friend.  Six best friends.

I believe we were all correct.  Unless, of course, you count Sandy; then there was really only one.

Rest well, good friend.  I'm turning up "All This Ol' Wailin'" now so you can two-step in those damn-fool boots.