Monday, December 16, 2013

Remembering Osprey Therian

Longtime residents in Second Life may remember a lady by the name of Osprey Therian, known in real life as Vivian Kendel. She was a creative resident known for being on the whimsical side of things. Her accomplishments include her "duck on a bike" avatar that became a feature at Bay City parades and other impromptu fun events and a youtube video , her role in a variety SL TV program "The Show Must Go On," was one of the creators behind the "combat cards" inworld dueling game, is described as having "designed, built, and maintained the Ambat Infohub," designed clothes for a roleplaying group and area, organized photography contests, and more.

Sadly, in real life Osprey suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and more recently was diagnosed with cancer as well. "The great thing about Second Life is I never have to leave my brain," she wrote on her profile. Eventually, her conditioned worsened and she had to move to a hospice center. On December 9, she passed away. Her profile feed was soon filled with condolences from friends, admirers, and other residents. CNN iReporter Janey Bracken wrote in an article about her, "Somehow I think Osprey’s vivaciousness inhabited us all whilst in her company, she was a truly remarkable lady. "

Her friends Justin Esparza and Enja Mysterio announced there would be a tribute to Ospery at her virtual home in Bodego Bay (Bodega /225/112/23 ). It was scheduled to begin at 10AM SL time. There were already a number of people when I arrived fifteen minutes early. There would be close to forty people here, many of whom were notables in Second Life past and present, Holocluck Henly, RacerX Gullwing, Marianne McCann, Kennylex Luckless, Stroker Serpentine (the inventor of the adult animation beds), and Prokofy Neva. Torley Linden was also there. "It is like a creative oldbie convention," someone commented. If there was bad feelings between anyone, they were not displayed here. All had come together to pay their respects.

At the location there was a picture of Osprey, a combination of her real life self, her avatar, and a picture of her as a child. Justin and Enja were on a lilly pad in the bay, just in front of a curled giant tentacle. Under the surface what looked like a shark was swimming around. Clicking on the picture gave one a folder, Justin saying, "That folder contains a memorial notecard, moth wings, a landmark to the Iris infohub and this photo of Viian/Osprey." The moth wings were another creation Osprey was noted for.

There was some chat before the official start, some of it mudane talk about SL glitches and ajusting preferences. Other times it was reminiscing, Enjah recalling the fun she had with Osprey, "Remember that wild boat parade in 2004 when we crashed every sim it went through? Or was it 2005." "Think Osprey will crash the sim?" Justin mused. Some of the people dropping by showed up in the Osprey duck avatars, "Good to see those ducks on bikes again." One girl commented, "I watched a video an hour ago, and one of the first thinks I thought of was 'I need to send this to Osprey, she'll really enjoy it.' "

Torley's arrival was greeted with cheers, the Linden known for his "Friendly Greetings" tutorials years ago still popular despite Linden Labs often jeered by residents, "Been ages since I've seen you in the pixel Torley.""Aah! So this *is* Torley?" "Cultural references!" the Linden blurted. "Heheh - long time since I heard that." "I have old pictures of many of you," Torley told the group, "in my archives."

One resident commented about Osprey's activity in another virtual world, "There," of which after it closed, many of it's users coming to Second Life adopted the surname "Therian," "I remember when There closed. Osprey felt very badly that her avatar could no longer exist."

At 10AM, Justin officially began the service, "Thank you all for coming together today to honor one of our friends, Osprey Therian, (whom) in the physical world was known as Vivian Kendall. You probably don't know me from Adam, but I am the creator behind the avatar Salazar Jack and the Forest of Kahruvel. My real name is Justin Esparza and I live in Washington State in the USA." "He's exposing himself!" Enjah joked. Justin made a joke about flashing for the cameras, then continued, "I did not know her really well in the physical world. But I have visited her in real life on three occasions, and she was just the same there as she was here. Behind me is a photo of Vivian with her Osprey Avatar, and a photo of her as a little girl. Even at that age she was 100% Osprey."

 Of the fate of Osprey's Bodega Bay, Justin told everyone, "I met with her about a month ago in real life and she wanted to know if I was interested in taking over her Art Westerburg account. Art's account is a lifetime account and controls almost all of the land here. So I said I would and keep her land here as long as I could. We also talked about the legacy of the Osprey Therian avatar. And she was excited about having her avatar continue on as part of the world after she was gone. So we decided to try and do that and pattern her activity a bit after Magellan Linden's. It is my understanding that she has formally included these things in her will and I will be meeting with her executor later this month to begin that process. As I want to work with Linden Lab, if possible, to accomplish that." One resident commented, "It'll be a new situation for Linden Lab." Another added, "There has been some passing on of assets/land before, certainly when The Sojourner passed on.. at the time Pathfinder who was still a Linden helped in that process."

Justin continued, "My first memory of Osprey was a photo she posted online in the Second Life forums. She was exploring a cave in the Stinson region that my avatar, Salazar Jack, and another friend, Champie Jack, has discovered. She posted a photo of herself waving from the entrance to the cave and said that she was wearing steel-toed boots to protect her feet. It was a running joke with us after that." Another commented, "Her sailing photos always mesmerized me." "I loved her sailing expeditions," Justin responded. A third spoke, "Yes she went on these epic sailing journeys and documented her travels of the Linden waterways." Someone commented, "I always enjoyed the photo contests at the gallery." Holocluck remarked, "I was a noob when I found out about the photo contests and that's how I knew her." Marianne added, "That was when I first got to know Osprey. That and attending TSMGO."

Torley spoke, "I was often inspired by Os' photos of eclectic and bizarre attractions in SL, pieces of our unique culture here. Does anyone else remember her Roadside Attractions exhibit? ... I thought about road trips and the kinds of unexpected landmarks you might see across the territory, and that kept me coming back for exploration inworld, so O's was a very positive influence on my early days inworld."

Justin announced, "I will be keeping a permanent page for Vivian/Osprey at . At some point I will make it so one can add a comment to it directly." Enjah brought up the question about the future of Osprey's blog at ( Justin told the group he would look into it, saying her computer was willed to him, "She has given me access to Osprey, Art both verbally and in emails," though could guarentee nothing, "I will have to wait to talk with her executor to get the details."

As for Osprey's avatar, Justin announced, "Tommorrow (Sunday Dec 15) at 10:00 am SLT. The Osprey Therian character will be going through the unstable portal in the Rodeo region to search for Salazar Jack. So yes, her adventures will be continuing in a tangible way as well." This got approval from the crowd, "Oh Em Gee, Os is really going to live on." Torley commented, "That's so beautiful and fitting. The voyage continues." A third spoke,"Yes she loved searching for people." Prokofy asked, "Did you get the Lindens to allow you to continue her avatar? ... Surely they will understand." Justin answered, "I will have to contact them to find out." Torley offered, "Let me know if I can do anything to help with that communication." Others offered to help in any way they could. Later on, Uccello Poultry would meet up with Osprey's reanimated avatar on Sunday at ten AM as planned.

"I'd just like to say what an amazing woman to have gathered such a divergent bunch of people," a lady commented. Torley then asked, "Justin, if you happen to find Os' Foot B Gone spray in her bequeathed inventory, can you please send me a copy? I was looking for it in my inventories but didn't find it." Justin told him he would. Torley explained, "In 2005, long before any of this fancy Advanced Lighting Model stuff, I griped about the ugly avatar foot shadows and Os manifested a cure." Prokofy showed off a cane, "I must put up a photo display of our early Moth Swarms that was fun, Osprey made this Moth Staff for me, look at the level of detail, even little moth feathers." One resident talked about, "I have the lantern she made, with the moths that come out at night." Prokofy told her, "She especially made those lamps for the Iris Moth Temple when the Lindens' lanterns disappeared mysteriously." Rhiannon Chatnoir invited everyone to light a candle to Osprey at her cathedral in Darkwood.

Eventually came the final event of the service. Justin donned his set of Osprey moth wings, and invited others to do the same, "Let's go ahead and don our moth wings for those that are flying up to the Iris Moth Temple." Many did, although others had events elsewhere in real life or virtual to attend to, "have a safe flight everyone, and thank you Justin for doing all this." And those with the wings flew up, and then took flight away.

No doubt Osprey will continue to be remembered in ways large and small in Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

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