By Bixyl Shuftan
Dropping by, I recognized a number of personalities from the Steamlands. But there were others from outside, such as Loki Eliot, noted builder and the founder of the "Goonies," one of the more well known groups for child avatars. There was also Avariel Falcon, the black unicorn seen at Relay for Life events and other occasions. Edward Pearse was in charge of the music stream, "It's funny trying to put background music for this. I have longer pieces but they end up being rather depressing." "It's a funeral," someone responded, "it should be a bit depressing." On the wall behind the speakers podium were a number of pictures of Jimmy, or pictures including him.
Someone pondered sadly, "We all thought he'd be hear forever." "We did, Nathan, we did." "He will always be here in the bricks and smog and steel of New Babbage." "Jimmy was like the spirit of New Babbage for me." "Maybe we should name a ship the Spirit of Jimmy to honor him?" "If i ever finish that fancy victorian i have up in the fells it's going to be Branagh Hall." "There's still a few monuments he created here and there, isn't there?" "It would be nice to have something named in his honor. He was such a good guy." "Well, Innsmouth now has a permanent tribute, made by his own hands." "Where is it?" "An entire Lovecraft story scene." "i want the landmark." "Was that the underwater story he made for LoveFest?" "We have his 'The Colour Out of Space' farm and forest scene as part of Innsmouth's Lovecraft experience."
"Did any of us know him in real life?" "No." "Jimmy was very careful to keep real-life and SL separated." "He was very private about that." "I don't think anyone knew him (in) real-life, Mr. Tenk coming closest." "Jimmy was like me in that." "Rarely broke character." "Rarely dropped the accent." "He even typed his accent in private IM." "He shared a few things here and there with me, but not about his latest health." "I started seeing a little of the real him at story time. He really loved horror." " Jimmy and I chatted about marginal stuff. His small quarters, his bad ass Alienware machine." "How long can the wax museum be expected to remain in place?" "For as long as New Babbage exists, I hope." "I think it was late November- to mid december when i started to suspect something wasn't okay; he was getting more and more erratic about logging in and didn't stay long. He kept saying it was because nothing was going on, but he also started talking about having Jimmy come into his inheritance."
https://youtu.be/5ZIQFkSMiF8), and a few people complained about not being able to hear it. Edward commented of the stream, "It's supposed to cope with 100, but this is SL, and New Babbage.
"Continuing his roleplay exploits, he ran Popplefoot's Blacking Factory. He and Myrtil were behind the Midwich Cuckoo invasion of Babbage, As well as Creaky Gloom I believe. Jimmy was heavily into the Cthulhu mythos and was extensively involved in Lovefest over the years. We teamed up one year when there was a multi-sim expansion, building a secret cult temple under what is now Mornington Brewery in Academy of Industry. His Waxworks has become a tourist attraction for Babbage and this Town Hall, built by Jimmy, is the longest standing in Babbage so far. I didn't know him as well as some people but he was a respected friend and a generous soul. He will be dearly missed."
"Without Jimmy so many things in Babbage would not have turned out the way they did, the epic role-plays we did, the stories we wove. The Barrel races he won year after year before opting out of the races to let others have a chance. We shared an interest in horror & Sci-Fi fiction, in movies, in history and it showed in how we collaborated. Through him I was introduced to H.P.Lovecraft, which have inspired many of my projects since.
"We are both kids at heart, and we found a new way to express that in a virtual world and even though a kid was his role here, he was a genuine soul. That is to say Jimmy was playful, full of heart, never to serious, always wanting to please others, and to see his generosity, you only have to look at the grand creation you stand within right now. We are the pioneers of socialising in digital space, we are the first generation to build a lifetime of memories in such a place, and Jimmy is without a doubt one of the greatest builders of some of the fondest memories i’ve had not just here in Second Life but in my actual life. I shall always be grateful and will never forget. Thank you my friend Jimmy." Loki then used his gesture, "Goonies never say DIE!" And then several in the audience used it.
"Beginning in 2014, Jimmy became our primary builder for LoveFest's adventures. And never failed to awe and impress. He has been a Council Member of Innsmouth since I first took possession to preserve the region. We are blessed at Innsmouth to have his 'Colour Out of Space' scene, a large area, built origiinally in 2013 for LoveFest. It will be at Innsmouth for all to enjoy, as long as I am in SL. Any wishing, please IM me and I will invite you to our sim group to keep informed as I release our tribute details tonight, for next Wednesday. Any friend of Jimmy's is a Friend of Innsmouth." Several people requested landmarks.
"As I was telling someone the other day, I suspec ted Jimmy was facing something in October, because he last roleplayed at my REtrl*Trek project then. But, soon after he last RPed, I had a personal disaster in real life that set my mind to reeling. And, as I have said to a few, you're not a good friend of Arik unless Arik has in good faith neglected you repeatedly (frown). And, should that scoundrel resurface, we have indeed made sure he gets sacrificed to Fuzzbutt, as Fuzzbutt's first proper sacrifice. Jimmy would apprecate that statement. Thank you for having me. I love the guy. I don't use past tense, because he lives on in us."
As Arik stepped away from the podium, Edward spoke, "OK, I am shutting down the music for a bit. Tepic will be taking over. Tepic Harlequin, a child avatar, stepped up, "I will be playing a bit of music I hope is appropriate to being 'Lost at Sea.' It's in sounds, so yer may want ter turn them up..And if it's too quiet, cam in closer to me. Will play three verses." Tepic then took a flute and began playing some beautiful music.
Ceejay Writer spoke from the seats, "Not going to move, I'll just trip over something. I have a short thing to say. Over the years, Jimmy spoke at the Aether Salon *eight* times. Clearly he had a lot of knowledge to impart to us. June 2021 - Spiritualism! April 2020 - Disposal! June 2017 - Whitechapel! May 2016 - Secret Societies! April 2015 - Freaks! April 2014 - Chirurgia!March 2013 - Kinder! January 2010 - Children! If you'd like to read the archival transcripts of his salons, follow this link, it will pull up all salons with the category "Jimmy Branagh" for your browsing convenience. (https://aethersalon.home.blog/tag/jimmy-branagh/ ) That's all from me! Enjoy the transcripts, they show a mind with a vast amount of knowledge." Someone commented, "My keyboard caddy's first Aether Salon was Jimmy and Myrtil presenting on Victorian children" "I associate Jimmy with so many things outside of Babbage as well."
Edward then asked the audience, "Does anyone else want to say anything?" Liz Wilner spoke, "Jimmy was so very kind, except when I tried to sneak in more than a one word title for a Salon poster (laugh) I got zinged on that a few times (chuckle)." Ceejay commented, "Liz, Jimmy was terrified of ME on those one word Salon titles!"
Edward continued, "I wanted to add that while today is mostly about Jimmy. he's 'Lost at Sea.' We've had others in the past we know have gone. Blackberry, Nix and a few others were able to say their farewells. Others we're still waiting on. Yelly Donut has been MIA for over a year. And despite my best efforts I haven't been able to contact Caesar Osterham since about 2015. There's a few bits and bobs around Babbage belonging to Denver Hax, who may be another." Someone responded, "Caesar's eyesight was failing. IT may be that he just can't see this world any more." "He was losing his vision...yes what Cee said." Edward noddedn, "Yeah, his vision was going, but it was health related.
Edward added, "I believe Mr. Tenk is looking at some sort of memorial that will combine Lost at Sea with those who have passed." Tenk added, "Something less final than laying down the hammers." Someone commented, "Nothing sweeter than those long disappeared names turning up again." "(I) just lights candles. Have one on my hearth at home for Jimmy."
Then the stream played "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. "(I) finds this song depressing." someone commented, and others agreed because of a few particular lyrics.
A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant's rings make way for other toys
One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff, that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar
There were many more comments, too many to mention in the article. Many can be summed up by that of one lady, "I will mess let the cutest little boy in Babbage."
For anyone wishing for a transcript, contact Ceejay Writer, or check the Aether Salon's website: https://aethersalon.home.blog/2022/02/24/memorial-for-jimmy-branagh/ .