David E. Rivers: In Memoriam

David E. Rivers died on Sept. 11, 2001 while attending a conference at the restaurant Windows on the World at the World Trade Center. His employer, Risk/Waters, was hosting the meeting on technology in the financial markets. As the editorial director of Waters Magazine, David was a key player at the event. He was 40 when he died and left behind a beautiful wife and a young son.

I tried to find David’s birthday, but didn’t have any luck. He definitely had a Uranian quality and embraced everything cutting-edge in music, film, and art. No question: He was the coolest guy covering technology on Wall Street.

I know that each of us has a destiny to fulfill. I don’t know why astrology works, but I’ve seen over and over again how the horoscope acts as the map for the road trip of life. Still, I believe in free will.

Nevertheless, I’m haunted by the fact that I helped David get the job that ultimately led to his death. I know I didn’t kill him. The terrorists did. Also to blame: the political and ideological powers-that-be that manipulated angry young men armed with nothing more than box cutters and a desire to kill.

It’s become a platitude to say “he lived life to the fullest” about someone who died young. But in David’s case, it was true. I remember dancing with David to Salt-n-Pepa’s sexy hit Push It in the late 1980s.

The venue was a Futures Industry Assn. convention at the ritzy Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, Fla. David was a wild dancer and in great shape so a group of commodities traders and their wives gathered to watch David bust a move to the provocative song.

As you may recall, the deejay in Push It says, “This dance ain’t for everybody, only the sexy people.” David was definitely one of the sexy people, but sometimes they have to leave the party earlier than the rest of us. This spin of Push It is for you, David!