Sad News

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jmichael
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Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

I learned today that our webmaster and friend, Bryan James, passed away on August 10.

Many of you probably read his recent post in which he shared that he had been ill and was awaiting test results to determine what was wrong. Shortly after he posted, I emailed him to see how he was doing but received no response. Today, after sharing my concerns with another forum member, I searched online to see if I could find any news. Nothing turned up but then I remembered that he was jazz singer Bettye LaVette's webmaster and I checked her Twitter account to see if she posted anything about him. Below is what I found.

Bettye LaVette

@BettyeLaVette
I am deeply saddened by the death of my original webmaster, Bryan James, who died on Monday. In 2001, he built me a website and helped to introduce me to the world. My condolences to his partner Jacques. He will be missed.

10:49 AM · Aug 12, 2020·Twitter Web App


I will always cherish my many fond memories of Bryan. He created this site out of pure love and respect for Doris and wanted it to be a safe and respectful space for fans to share their thoughts and feelings about her artistry. He managed it with consummate technical skill, an unerring eye for graphical beauty, a calm and steady hand and extraordinary patience for those who needed help or guidance. He made us feel welcomed. He made us feel that we belonged. I don't know anyone who could have created those gorgeous banners that greeted us week after week when we logged onto the site. They were Bryan's signature gesture of love and respect for the brilliance that was / is Doris Day. He was someone who never sought recognition or credit for what he gave. He moved quietly, but surely. He was always there.

Rare qualities these days, to say the least, and I shall miss him terribly.

Rest In Peace, dear Bryan.
Michael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Musiclover »

Thank you for sharing this news and such a splendid tribute, Michael. You've expressed what I'm sure is in every forum member's heart. As someone who is technologically challenged, I was the beneficiary of Bryan's patience on multiple occasions. He always answered my questions graciously and was never dismissive of queries that I'm sure were very rudimentary. On a lighter note, I will miss his wry humor.

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by sihmonSELV »

Indeed, this is sad news. Thank you, Michael, for finding out.

I had not been in contact with Bryan for a very long time, but he was always helpful and friendly. I am glad he decided to keep the forum going, even after the passing of Doris. Hopefully, it will keep going even now.

Thinking about the other thread, regarding the "Latin for Lovers" album, these words come to mind, and may prove some comfort, in a year filled with death:

Our day will come if we just wait a while
No tears for us - think love, and wear a smile
Our dreams have magic because we'll always stay in love this way
Our day will come

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RobertOClare
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by RobertOClare »

Hello Michael,

Many thanks for passing on this tragic news about Bryan. I haven't posted on the Forum for some time on the basis that, if you don't have anything useful to say, it's better to say nothing at all. I have, however, been 'dropping in' to keep up to date with things.

I totally agree with everything you say about Bryan in your touching tribute. I haven't been a Forum member as long as many on here but I too always found Bryan to be a helpful, kind,thoughtful and caring person. This was particularly evident at Doris' passing when he went to so much trouble to find out how people were feeling. I know his words helped me at that sad time. His own passing leaves a void that will be impossible to fill.

May he rest in peace.

Robert
"If you haven't fallen in love with Doris Day, there's something wrong with your heart"

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Peter Flapper
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Peter Flapper »

Hi Friends,

So sad to hear Bryan is gone. What a great (Doris Day) friend he was, always nice to hear from him in a personal message or posts here on the forum. I love reading his posts and I love your posts above. I will miss him deeply. We never met, but we stayed in contact from almost the start of his first website. And he was the best!!!

He worked so long and hard to get this amazing website and forum up and running, all those pages on The Films Of Doris Day website he and his great team (I don't use names, want not to miss anyone) made and revived in all those years... What a dedication of love!!! We owe him a lot.

A lot of information about the great career of Doris Day is here to find, all to the amazing talents of Bryan. We all loved to come here and add extra's to this amazing place.

Dear Bryan, I hope you rest in peace. Wishing all your loved ones much love. And I won't forget what you did!

Sincerly,
Peter

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by docwheels »

I'm also saddened by this news. I only came to this forum after Ms. Day had died and there was no way to sign up. I contacted Bryan directly and = to my great amazement - he responded quickly and helpfully explaining there were questions about maintaining the board.

Thankfully, I guess others also wanted to keep the board going and Bryan reopened the website to new members.

I'm thankful for all I've learned and enjoyed on the board over the last year-plus. When my church "mature adults" (ahhem) newsletter was looking for movies to cheer people up during the stay-at-home conditions, I was immediately able to share a couple of suggestions for movies that I've been told people "discovered" for the first time.

Condolences to Bryan's partner and to all those who knew him well. Thanks always for his responsiveness and helpfulness.

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by howard »

Bryan was more than just a talented webmaster ... he was a kind, caring human being, always most helpful, and he kept up his great web site (the best on the internet in my opinion) when things looked a bit shaky, and we wondered if the web site would last. Thanks to his diligence, caring nature, and sense of responsibility, it still exists today and remains the best source for DD information out in cyberspace. Bryan James will be sorely missed. R.I.P.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by scooter »

Like everyone else I'm shocked to hear about Bryan. While I didn't know him personally, in fact we only ever corresponded directly a couple of time over the years, he was always insightful and helpful with his comments and I always had the greatest respect and admiration for the manner in which he conducted this forum. I can only echo what others have already said. He will indeed be sorely missed and my deepest sympathies go to his partner and family.
May he rest in peace.
Scott

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puck
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by puck »

Thank you Micheal. It was a shock when Lloyd send the message on the news from Bryan, feels unreel. I know he was ill, had the same illness my husband has... Bryan we will miss you, rest in peace, you are always in our hearts.

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jmichael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

I want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts about Bryan and what he meant to you.

It appears he did not grant administrative rights to anyone else and I'm unclear what the future holds for the forum. It is entirely possible that it will vanish one day without advance notification to the members. My friendly advice is to savor it while it lasts and take another stroll or two among the many wonderful arrival materials that are stored here. Bryan was so meticulous in the way he curated and organized the vast array of Doris treasures over the years. I don't think there is anything quite like it anywhere else on the internet.

Some of you have been around long enough to recall the day when the site crashed - sometime around 2005. One day it was there, the next day it was not. Bryan spent several weeks and quite a sum of money restoring it so the members could resume posting to their heart's content. This is just one example of Bryan's extraordinary dedication to the forum and its members.

I'll continue to check in on a daily basis for the time being.

Best Wishes and Godspeed to all of you,
Michael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Musiclover »

Michael, thanks for giving all of us a "heads up" that the forum could disappear suddenly. Kind of hard to wrap one's head around that possibility, but it's good to be aware of it.

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Johnny
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Johnny »

I am deeply saddened to hear of Bryan’s passing. It is an incredible loss. His spirit of generosity, kindness ,love for Doris Day he shared with every member of the Doris Forum is his beautiful legacy. These gifts have enriched all our lives.

Bryan’s hard work ,dedication and creativity created an incomparable and illuminating encyclopedia of information on the captivating life of Doris Day.

I am so thankful to Bryan for creating the Doris Day Community with this forum. This forum has allowed me to celebrate and share our love for all the talent that Doris Day gifted our world. I am so thankful to have met so many kind and thoughtful forum members.

The only tribute to Bryan I can think of at this moment is a quote from the title song of Doris Day’s album ,”You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

“At the end of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
....

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Rest in Love Bryan ☮️🌻🌻🌻
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

A beautiful tribute, Johnny. Thank you.

Michael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by texas gonzalo »

What sad news concerning Bryan. There are not enough praises to acknowledge the tremendous efforts Bryan made on behalf of the FORUM. The volume of loving tributes to Bryan will continue for a long time, as they should. The Doris Day Web Forum encompasses so much valuable information surrounding the many talents of Doris Day which should be preserved. The FORUM is part of the Doris Day legacy. The FORUM is also a monument to it's creator-- Bryan James. Is there some way we can help the FORUM survive and continue? Perhaps inquiries can be made by FORUM members who have knowledge on maintaining the site. I am sure there are financial considerations to help continue the FORUM website. We could possibly contribute financial support in the form of annual dues or other contributions. Please give this topic some thought, and perhaps we can make our own contribution to the survival of The Doris Day Web Forum. Respectfully, Texas Gonzalo

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Johnny
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Johnny »

Hi Texas,

Great ideas Texas.

Selfishly I would love to see this loving Doris Day Forum survive and be able to stay connected to this wonderful community. I would like to see it as a lasting active tribute to Doris Day.

I will wait to hear if Bryan left any messages concerning his wishes for the future of the forum.

I do hope we will will be given some notice.

If this forum suddenly disappears; does this valuable historical encyclopedia on Doris Day's life and career vanish into cyberspace?

Is there here any way that it can be maintained as an historical record. Would the Doris Day Estate be interested in keeping it for posterity?
I am sure scholars would find this information valuable.


These are just some idle thoughts that may interest DD Forum members and promote discussion. I would be interested in knowing how many Forum members would like to see this site remain active.

As of today there are 74 users online, and a total of 1412 members. I am not sure how many people are active.
Johnny

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Renie »

I am definitely interested in continuing this forum and am willing to financially help to support it. It has been
a treasure trove of information about Doris and a wonderful way for us to express our love for her.

The thing I will never forget about Bryan is an ongoing discussion he and I had on the forum about Calamity Jane and her trip to Chicago in the movie. I was born and raised in Chicago and I volunteered to check on
whether or not some things were historically accurate in "Just Blew In From the Windy City." He and I both
had some good laughs in the process. We'll miss him.

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by RobertOClare »

I would certainly like to see this site continue, and would be willing to help in any way that I can.

I've just been having a quick look around some of the options at the top and bottom of the screens in the Forum. On the left, under the banner at the top of each page, there are three horizontal lines. If you click on them there is a menu, the last option being 'The Team'. Under this Bryan is listed as 'Administrator' but there is also a member called 'Dianne' who last posted in 2017. She joined the Forum in the early days and I don't know why she is listed under the Administration Team. Does anyone know the history? Would it be worth trying to contact her to see if she has any administration rights that would allow her access to the Website? I'm just looking for ideas to make sure the Forum doesn't disappear.

On that subject, I clicked on the 'phpBB' link that appears at the bottom of each screen. I was surprised to find it is 'free open-source bulletin board software'. That being the case I wonder if there is some situation (the size of your bulletin board for example) that requires payment (Bryan often mentioned 'costs'). I couldn't see anything when I had a quick look through their website. Do any of the longer-term members know any more about this?

Stay safe,

Robert
"If you haven't fallen in love with Doris Day, there's something wrong with your heart"

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jmichael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

I'm hoping Bryan authorized someone to handle things and they will provide an update at some point.

We don't know if the forum resides on a hosted platform or a private server or how to gain access to the administrative functions. If it resides on a dedicated space provided by a hosting platform, Bryan would have been paying them a fee to maintain it. Once that agreement lapses, the service will be taken down and the forum will no longer be accessible to the members unless he granted administrative rights to someone else and they take it over. That is my understanding, anyway.

Bryan spent a lot of time and some amount of money to maintain the forum. A year or so ago, it suddenly reverted to an older format and he had to intervene to restore it. It was a much bigger job than many of us knew. Bryan made it seem easy and effortless because he was not a complainer. As Howard mentioned, he was diligent and had a tremendous sense of responsibility. He hated to disappoint people.

Let's give it a few more days in the hope that someone in-the-know will update us.

Michael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

Hi Robert,

I just read your last post.

Sorry, but I don't know anything about Dianne or what her duties were as an administrator.

Your point about the size of the files is a valid one. If the site resides on "free, open-source bulletin board software," then he could have been paying extra for them to maintain it. That may explain why he posted recently that he was going through older sections and removing photos. He was probably trying to reduce the file size to lower the costs.

Michael
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jmichael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

Update -

I've reached out to the phpBB software support team to see if anyone there can provide direction.

I'll let everyone know when I receive a response.

Thanks,
Michael
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RobertOClare
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by RobertOClare »

Hi Michael,

Thanks for doing that. Let's hope the phpBB support team can provide some information, or a workaround, so that the site doesn't suddenly disappear before everyone who is interested has a chance to discuss the best way forward.

Robert
"If you haven't fallen in love with Doris Day, there's something wrong with your heart"

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jmichael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

The Doris Day Tribute page on Twitter posted this beautiful photo today. Bryan's partner, Jacques, asked him to share it with the fans. I'm hoping it will be OK to post it here.

According to the Tweet, they played Doris's music at the funeral. So sweet, so fitting.

Here's the text that went with the photo:

"I am sad to tell you that #BryanJames who ran fan website #TheFilmsofDorisDay http://DorisDay.net passed away from cancer on the 10 Aug 2020. His partner Jacques asked me to tell you all this sad news. Bryan was given a beautiful funeral with all the music being by #DorisDay"

Michael

UPDATE: Below is a link to make a contribution in Bryan's memory to the Marie Curie hospice. Bryan's partner has emailed me with a few more details that I will share with you soon. He spoke highly of the quality care Bryan received during his transition.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ ... 7838951819
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Michael H

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Re: Sad News

Unread post by RobertOClare »

Hello again Michael,

I just spent some more time looking at the phpBB Website. I think they only provide facilities to create and run a forum, not a complete website.

I say this because there is an article on the phpBB site entitled "Moving your forum from one hosting provider or domain to another - this article explains in-depth how to move your forum from one hosting provider to another (different or same domain) or from one domain to another on the same host."

In fact, if you check the web address for this page (at the top of your screen) you will see it is www.dorisday.net/forum/posting.php..... This indicates that the forum is linked to a website named dorisday.net. (I also learned that PHP is a type of server used to link the users of a website).

dorisday.net is the domain name (main address) for the complete Doris Day website. Typing www.dorisday.net in the address bar at the top of your screen will bring you to the start site (home page).

Interestingly at the bottom of page on the main Doris Day website it reads 'Powered by Wordpress'. I checked this company out (www.wordpress.com) and they provide facilities for the easy creation of websites, and will also arrange the hosting provider for you. Costs for a hosting provider range between about $4 and $50 per month depending on the gigabytes of data you require. I'm guessing that this is the route Bryan took when he set up the Doris Day Website. It also means that they are the people who will take the site down if the payments are not maintained.

There are probably members who know much more about Websites than I do, but this seems to be a very rough picture of what's involved, also what anyone who becomes involved will have to get to grips with.

Perhaps we should wait for a reply to your request to phpBB for assistance first, and then follow up with Wordpress?

Robert

Footnote: I've just seen your latest post about Bryan from Twitter. It is indeed a delightful tribute. I'm sure they won't mind you posting it here.
"If you haven't fallen in love with Doris Day, there's something wrong with your heart"

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jmichael
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by jmichael »

I updated my previous post to include the comments beneath Bryan's photo.

Michael
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Johnny
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Re: Sad News

Unread post by Johnny »

Thank you so much Michael for the comforting post on Bryan's funeral. It is touching to see the photos of Bryan. There is a gentleness in his expression. I would love to know what Doris Day songs were played at the service. I hope Bryan's partner and friends are able to see the memorial posts on the DD Forum. I would hope they would give comfort and let them know how much members care for Bryan.☮️

Robert, thank you for your good work investigating the information on the DD website. I really appreciate it. It certainly is an education for me on websites.
Johnny

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