As we welcome back new and returning banana slugs for the school year, we here at The Great 88 would like to take the time to remember a very special member of our KZSC family who is missed very, very much.
This fall quarter, Annais Rittenberg would have been completing her senior year at UC Santa Cruz. She joined KZSC as a freshman and hosted shows such as Gypsy Caravan, Cajun Spice, and most recently, Global Grooves. Her passion for diverse sounds from various cultures also led to her serving a term as World Music Director.
I was lucky enough to know Annais and briefly interned with her in the world music department. From the moment my intimidated, silent freshman self met her she was incredibly outgoing and kind, and full of joy unlike anyone I have met to this day. Her passion for life and for those around her was very clear, from sharing her vast knowledge of music over the airwaves to excitedly talking about upcoming travel plans, to being genuinely interested in hearing about whatever minor things I had been up to. Annais’s pure enthusiasm was quite contagious and always spread to me whenever I got to see her. But of course, I am far from the only one who has been, and continues to be greatly influenced by her radiant spirit.
“Twenty-one is way too young to die.
An act of random cruelty stole Annais Rittenberg’s life and robbed the
world of someone special.
I have no plans to forgive the natural forces responsible for her death.
But now that Annais is gone, I am grateful that I had the privilege of
Annais was a free spirit and very easy to like. Her love for animals
testifies to the purity of her heart. Her subtle smile always reassured
the recipient: “We are friends.”
I read that more than 600 people attended the memorial for Annais in
Berkeley. Evidently, she spent her whole life making friends. Her untimely death leaves many admirers deeply saddened.
We miss her. We miss her a lot.”
– Arthur O’Sullivan
“Annais, Valerie Ross (last year’s station manager), Tyler Wardwell (the first program director), and I went to CMJ October 2011 in New York City. I was stoked. Annais grew up there, and showed us around the city. It was amazing, our little KZSC ragtag team, taking on the big apple, with a local on our side. I’ll never forget, Valerie, Annais, and I, we ate french fries on some stoop in Manhattan. We had a KZSC sticker, the little pink radio monster one. And we tagged the lamp post where we ate our fries. I hope to return to nyc one day, and find that sticker.
She is an amazing person with the only smile I know to make the sun jealous.
I love you Annais. RIP.”
- Jacqueline Culas
”A memorial service for Annais was held at Burning Man 2013 by Annais’ friends from UC Santa Cruz and Camp Tawonga. Loved ones wrote messages for Annais on this memorial piece in the Temple of Whollyness, a sacred space where festival-goers honor deceased loved ones. On the last night of Burning Man the Temple is burned in a cathartic and beautiful ceremony.”
- Julia Fogelson
“Annais was such a beautiful person, and so full of life. Her personality was so infectious it was impossible not to have a smile on your face when talking to her.”
- Lauren Bell
“Whenever I saw Annais around campus, she would always come up to me with a huge smile and act so glad to see me. She always made time to hear about what I’d been up to and you could always tell she was genuinely interested in what I had to say, too. She was probably one of the top 5 nicest and sincere people I’ve ever met, and it seemed like no matter what, everyday was the best day ever for her. And she smelled nice.” - Cody Delaney
“Love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
yes is a world
& in this world of yes live
- e.e. cummings (sent by Alison Irwin)
“Annais shared the microphone with me for Global Grooves this past school year. No matter how much work we were swamped with, we always were excited to get on the airwaves and have a blast every show, even if it was Sunday, a night usually reserved for last minute cramming for us collegiate types. Through our two hour set we explored cultures far different from our own on the radio; and off the air we learned more about each other both as DJs and friends. Annais made every single minute memorable on the airwaves, whether it was her giggly disposition or rather enlightening philosophies of life. She showed me so much music that not even KZSC legend David Anton Savage himself would know, and I returned the favor; thus we entered into a fruitful relationship as friends, but with a deeper musical connection. Annais would always catch certain things about songs I would never even consider, and compared them to textures or colors. To her, music painted a picture and she was able to convey this to me and give me a whole different perspective on music from what I had always been taught as a musician myself. Both Annais and I went to an arts high school, so we connected on so many levels besides music that sometimes it just felt unreal. Annais is one of my greatest friends, and I think that in her absence it is important to appreciate her attitude in life to help make us all better people. She was always joyful, radiant, effervescent, kind, loving, and peaceful. Annais appreciated all those around her, whether people, animals, or trees. We need to live like she did and always have a look on the lighter side of things, while living life in the moment and with extreme compassion and love towards all things.”
- Nikki Mokover
”You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
- Mary Oliver (sent by Alison Irwin)