I haven't written about dannye until now because it took me a while to gather my thoughts (and also because I've been very, very busy).
Anyway, here's the secret about Danny...
If you were confrontational with him, he would invariably by at least twice as confrontational back to you. But at the same time, if you were kind to him, he would be at least twice as kind back to you. To me, that was Danny in a nutshell. He escalated.
Now I will grant you that more often than not, the confrontation began with Danny himself; this was his flaw. Like many others, in my early days on this site I earned myself a lifetime membership in the Club of People Whose First Writeup Was Deleted By Dannye. Given the diversity of people on this site, that may be the single biggest "usergroup" of them all.
Back in those days, we still had Klaproth, and moreover Klaproth's messages did not identify which editor killed your writeup. But Danny was not one to shy away from taking credit for his kills, so after the Klaproth message I immediately got a message from him:
dannye says We have enough crap like this on the site already. Come back when you have something intelligent to say. Thanks.
Now I was just as shocked and appalled as anyone else would have been, but by nature I'm pretty careful with how I talk to authority figures, especially ones I don't know, so I instinctively responded with caution:
mauler says Sorry! I am new here. I'll try to do better next time.
Whereupon dannye replied:
dannye says Don't worry about it. Everyone messes up here at the beginning. I did too. Read some of the other writeups already on the site to see what we expect (especially those with a C!). You'll get the hang of it soon enough. Let me know if you have any questions.
Ever since then, my inbox was filled with nothing but kind words from Danny, praising my writeups, thanking me for suggestions I made on his writeups, offering friendly advice on how to improve my writing, etc. And I have to say, not all of the praise he gave me was deserved. For example, Danny was always a sucker for any writeup about baseball or golf, so I got a lot of praise and C!s from him on writeups that were not really all that well-written.
That said, I'm not blind. I definitely saw how vicious Danny could be in the catbox, and I can only imagine what he might have said to people in private messages. My own approach to dealing with people could not have been more different than his, and we certainly had our disagreements about politics and about editorial matters during the years we served together on staff here at E2. Once in a while I couldn't resist throwing a snarky comment his way about the state of American politics, at which time he would invariably hurl a political comment at least twice as snarky back at me.
But on the whole I always addressed him with politeness and what I got in return was nothing but kindness, encouragement, and even solicitousness.
I understand why other people responded to him differently, and it's unfortunate that Danny always made the other person have to be the one to turn the other cheek first, so to speak, but my point is that for me, Danny was an extreme object lesson in treating others how you want to be treated. Basically, if you said one nice word to him, he turned into a puppy.
Now, here's the other thing about Danny.
He loved E2.
In fact, he loved E2 more than anyone else has loved E2. Now there are a lot of other people who loved E2 to a ridiculous extent, and devoted crazy amounts of time to the site (I could list all the familiar names, but I won't). But all of those people - every single one - eventually left the site or, even if they are still around, took at least one or two lengthy breaks from E2. But as far as I can tell from server logs and such, not only did Danny write 979 writeups here that survived (and close to 2000 if you count the ones he pruned), but he logged into the site almost every day for 14 years without any significant hiatus from the site, and not only read almost every new writeup, but also gave feedback on many of them. And despite his misgivings about the direction of the site in recent years, which he often stated in the catbox, he never gave up on E2, and kept coming back until the very day he died.
And therein lies the most moving part of all. This was a man who loved Everything2 so much, that he took time away from his last few days with his beloved family to compose a farewell writeup to post on this site and explain to his wife how to post it. He thought we all deserved a proper farewell. I'm not sure we really did, in the end, but I am grateful nonetheless.
So regardless of what you thought of Danny, and you are certainly entitled to your thoughts about Danny, I think it's safe to say that nobody ever loved this place more than he did, and in all likelihood nobody ever will.