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Remembering A Fallen Son

More Than 100 People Gather At Miner Farm To Remember Stirling Danskin, 20

Stirling Danskin thought his son “slept too much.” Judging from his workman-like clothes, he didn’t share his son’s taste in fashion. And don’t even mention the music.

“I hated his music,” Stirling Danskin said about his son, also Stirling Danskin.

He thought his son spent too much time working with DRK Productions, a local electronic music company, instead of focusing on his schoolwork at the University of New Haven. He told a story of where his son needed to make some money, so he shoveled a walk for $50.

“He never shoveled a driveway for me in my life,” the elder Stirling Danskin said, to some break-up-the-sadness laughter.

And yet he will never have a day for the rest of his life that he won't think about and miss his son. And the last place he wanted to be was in a field in Miner Farm, with more than 100 people surrounding him, talking about the passing of his son at age 20.

“He was a wonderful son, something isn’t right,” Stirling Danskin said. “I am going to miss him really, really bad… I don’t want to be here.”

Danskin’s son, Stirling Danskin, near the campus of the University of New Haven, where he was a student studying music and sound recording. He was an artist and an actor who loved poetry and helped manage safe and community-centered raves around the community, according to his obituary. And he had a dead-on Don Macrino impression, according to Peter Schlink.

On Sunday, despite being put together less than 24 hours earlier, more than 100 people came to Miner Farm on Clark Lane for a glow stick vigil to remember their fallen friend. There were tears, hugs and even some laughs, as they remembered the person they loved.

At one point, Ann Schenk, who organized the event, told the crowd to shout out words that best-described Danskin. The results painted a picture of a good, artistic boy who loved people and loved performing.

“Powerful,” one person shouted. “A poet,” another said.

“Spontaneous.” “One of the most polite kids I know.” “Inspiring.” “Warm.” “Passionate.” “Supportive.” “Curious.”

Danskin was heavily involved in WATERFORDrama when he was in high school. Samantha Sterenchock, another recent Waterford High School graduate who was also heavily involved in WATERFORDrama,

“It wasn’t that long ago we had to say goodbye to another one of our friends,” Schlink said. “Stay close, stick together.”

Paul Petrone April 16, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I didn't mean it like that at all. I guess I was trying to show the relationship we all have with our parents, like you pointed out that your parents didn't like your music either. Or thought you should be studying or whatever. And then all of a sudden, I guess it is gone, and you realize how much you miss that person and how much you love that person. As somebody who has covered far too many similar events, I thought the speech was especially touching, and made me cry when I thought about it on the ride home. If it came across as anything different than that, I'm horribly sorry. It was a beautiful event, and as somebody who didn't know the family or Stirling, I was still very touched. And if I caused any additional pain, I'm very sorry.
Peggy Schlink April 16, 2012 at 02:31 PM
It was amazing to see so many different groups all there to remember such a wonderful young man. Stirling Sr. you are braver than you know. You touched us all by speaking from the heart and sharing with us how much you cherished your son. As parents we may not share the same fashion, music, or interests as our children but we love them deeply. Thank you for sharing your memories with us and allowing us to share some with you.
Joan Ballassi April 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM
thanks Paul.
Peggy Schlink April 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Thank you Paul.
Hannah Asiala May 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Stirling was an amazing guy. He always had the best conversations with me, and I felt like he really understood me. We talked about coffee house dates, and jokingly spoke about how when we were married I would wear a pale blue dress, on the winter solstice. I loved him and I am deeply saddened. My prayers are with you

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