Brock Safronoff
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Just thinking about Brock as I often do, especially when September approaches. I only played baseball with him for a couple of years in college but his kindness, quirkiness, and competitive spirit made an impression on me, and that impression has grown as I continually recall a few interactions during our short time together. Like so many who have already written, his loss has made that day so much more real and tragic.
Chris Eckman, Friend
Aug 29 2021 2:29PM
Twenty years. Thinking and praying for Brock's family today.
Cindy Berck, Friend
Sep 11 2021 1:07PM
I will never forget this day and how it affected so many lives. Losing you was hard for your family and I know this is something they struggle with every day, and today especially. Please no that you will never be forgotten and my thoughts and prayers are with your family as they continue to greave for your passing. God Bless you all.
Kelly Stewart, Colleague
Sep 11 2020 6:50PM
Just like yesterday. Thinking of Brock and his family like always on this day.
Cindy Berck, Friend
Sep 11 2015 8:51 PM
We moved recently and I Came across a cookbook we made in 2nd grade. We all had signed it.. Seeing Brocks signature Brought back lots of memories. Just know you are in so many hearts still and will never be forgotten.
Melissa, Friend
Sep 11 2012 11:34PM
Thinking of Brock and his family today.
Cindy Berck, Friend
Sep 11 2012 6:02PM
Such a short life that touched so many of us. Thoughts and prayers to your family and you.
Nicole Gray, Friend
Sep 11 2012 2:23PM
I knew Brock from junior high and high school, we had many classes together. It was clear at that early age that he would suceed no matter what career path he chose. We worked together on school projects and often he helped me understand some of the more difficult math and science concepts and I hope I helped him half as much. We also played against each other for years in American Legion baseball. I probably batted against him 20 times and he struck me out every single at bat. His smile was infectous and you couldn't help but to smile back. I wish I had continued to know him after high school. He was a brilliant and incredibly friendly, yet had a competitive fire to be the best he could. You have been greatly missed and anyone that knew you will never forget.
Matthew Miessner, Friend
Sep 11 2011 10:31PM
Brock, your passing has meant so much to so many people. I grew up in Traverse City, and my brother was a friend of yours in junior and senior high. He spoke of you often and talked about how smart you were and how focused you could be about whatever you were undertaking. You were kind and caring, he said, and a good friend to everyone you knew. I only met you a few times, one of them on the day of your high school graduation. You were one of the top ten students in a class of over 600, and I remember the gold medal around your neck. You looked so happy that day, surrounded by friends and family. Your life and death has had a tremendous impact on me and, I think, many people from Traverse City. You made the sadness of September 11 personal for us. When we grieve on that day, it is you and your family we are thinking of. My daughter was born on September 11 in 2007. We remembered your family's loss on that day when a new life came into our family. You are very much missed, Brock. To the Safronoff family, we are so very sorry. We will not forget.
Rachel, Friend
Sep 10 2011 4:05PM
Brock was one of the most stand-up guys I have ever met. He was my high school baseball teammate and friend. He and his family remain in my prayers. I will never forget him or what happened on 9/11. I hope that we continue to fight against the tyranny and evil that continues to threaten the greatest country on earth.
Jimmy Jorgenson, Friend
Sep 11 2010 9:54PM
I heard your name read this morning... Even after nine years, it's still hard to imagine that you were there.
Marcus Mead, Friend
Sep 11 2010 8:39PM
Nine years... Heard your name on TY this morning... As others have said, we've not forgotten...
Marcus Mead, Friend
Sep 11 2010 8:00PM
On this day I always remember you first. Gone, but will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.
Melissa Allore, Friend
Sep 11 2010 6:30AM
Brock was a great, great kid and I will always remeber him. I say kid because we were just kids the last time I had seen him. Although Brock and I were not close, I, like probably hundreds of people that knew Brock, would consider him a friend. He was so kind and so good natured and it would take great effort for anyone to find fault in his character or worth. As a ball player, which again I only remember as a kid (we played many, many years togther in the American Leagion and then in JH and TCHS), he was a tough competitor and great teammate. Brock really had a great arm and obviously it opened doors for him once he graduated from TC. We also shared a few classes together in JH as well but Brock was very intelligent and probably started AP classes. By High School I almost never saw him except at the ball field. I guess that is how I always remember Brock, in one of our many teams uniforms, with white generic American Leagion pants that just don't quite fit right on his skinny chicken legs, his long black cleets (he had to have worn a size 11 by 7th grade) the bill of his hat with hardly a crease in it, some wrist bands that were a different color than our uniforms and Brocks pale white skin with those eyes staring down the batter. Man, Brock was probably the nisest guy I knew growing up in TC. 'See you later at the field Brock.' TG
Tim Gorashko, Friend
Dec 15 2009 8:27PM
Brock was a fellow student at TCHS. We were never close friends- never hung out or played baseball together. Just two kids that went to the same school and worked for the same grocery store chain. But I always remember his smile. There was something warm and genuine there, as he walked down the halls in his letter jacket. He had a real sincerity. Anyone who knew Brock knows what I am talking about. I always liked Brock, and considered him a friend. I can see it so clearly, like it was yesterday. I heard the news two months after 911 and still find it hard to believe that he's gone. How does a kid just like me from Traverse City Michigan end up a casualty in the WTC? How could any of us have imagined, as we watchd those towers fall, that we were losing such a friend?
Marcus Mead, Friend
Sep 11 2007 11:14AM
Early 2001 I saw Tara walking the opposite direction on Broadway. I hadn't seen her since graduating Amherst in 1996. I did't know her then, but knew she was Brock's girlfriend at the time. I wondered if she still was. But I was late to a journalism class and she was already yards past me; it would have been too much, and maybe too awkward to run her down and ask if she was still seeing Brock. I played third base. Brock pitched. He was always a quiet determined guy. Mostly he did very well on the mound, except when he was tired and his fastball was flat. You see, our coach used Brock often because he was a lynch pin in our pitching staff. When I read the email that Brock had been killed in the WTC, I was sitting at home where I lived in Wyoming at the time. I learned of his death in an email. As I read the email, I glanced to my right and saw a picture of Brock and me playing baseball at Amherst. It was a black and white snapshot of him on the mound taken from the first base line. I was in the background at third, ready for a groundball. I grabbed the photo from a pile of pictures the yearbook staff had set out at the end of the year for students to take. I thought it was cool. Funny that it should have been sitting out, on my bookshelf, and that I glanced its way, just as I was reading of our loss. When I wrote Tara about the photo, she told me she and Brock had been sitting at a restaraunt on Broadway and had thought they saw me walking by, but weren't sure, so didn't call out. I can't say how sorry I am that I didn't go after Tara that day and that they didn't call out my name.
Adam Rankin, Friend
Sep 10 2004 3:35PM
Tara, I am so glad our husbands got to work together. I still laugh everytime I think of all the plans they had made for the four of us to go out and we were so reluctant. Now we are such good friends. I hope they know! All my love, Jen
Jennifer, Friend
Sep 10 2003 12:57PM
HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVEEvery morning ambitious and polished people emerged from the many doors of the WTC and dissolved in all directions. Their flow fascinated me. Each face, hair style, necktie were random and different, but they seemed to be a part of an orderly macro-picture. Brock did not blend in that crowd. His friendly face stuck out above pompous faces of others. While walking, he slowly moved his head from side to side, looking a little uncertain, as if checking: is it safe to set my foot here? He had a somewhat Kafkian pessimistic mindset, always trying to foresee the worst-case scenario. It was small things that worried him. His frequent phrases were: 'It's unreal!', 'It's brutal!', 'It's killing me!' (Who could imagine what would happen in reality!) Yet he was always genuine and easy-going with others. He had a rare talent: he could LISTEN, people sensed it and gravitated to him. A patient at the Cincinnati hospital, seeking reassurance, a sports fan colleague discussing the game last night, a coworker sharing his latest bed-time stories, all sorts of complaints and brags. Brock listened with interest, nodding 'Right, right'. He often put aside whatever he was doing and helped. He ended up doing ALL home assignments for a coworker taking a computer course! His friendliness never was just a polite gesture, that's why so different people liked him so much. - Is there a goal in your life, Brock? - To be nice. - It's not a goal, it's a means. - You are so mean!No, he definitely was not a typical New Yorker. Nothing of that 'Me first!' attitude. Yes, he could switch to his 'competitive' mode, if it was necessary, but he did not enjoy it.It was a unique combination of non-combinable that was so amusing about him: winsome and fatalistic, affable and paranoid, mischievous and honest, fun-loving and hardworking, reliable and suspicious, uncertain and motivated, self-doubting and reassuring others. His deep ambivalence. His instant swings from one emotional state to the almost opposite. And back. And again. He never was in a hurry. He even laughed slowly: 'Huh. (Pause) Huh. (Pause) Huh.' The unusual way he threw or caught a ball seemed slow, almost lazy - but he hardly ever missed. Even when he walked fast, his feet were moving slowly. Perhaps when you are 6' 2' it happens naturally. Greg and I, both about a foot shorter, would make 3 or 4 steps to keep up with Brock, running out of breath, while he would calmly make one. Brock, Greg, Arathi and I would often go for a walk in the Battery Park during the lunch time. We'd watch the helicopters above Hudson cruise, buzz and hover like dragonflies, and talk. Good-natured bantering, jokes, stories and serious stuff - I miss those lunches!
, Friend Mar 5 2003 2:08PM
Mar 5 2003 2:08PM
Once Greg asked each of us directly about our religious beliefs. Brock put his fork down and said thoughtfully: 'Sometimes I wonder: Why me? Why was I born?' (And now we are left wondering: why him? Why did he have to die? Why?)He was a curious observer with a droll sense of humor. Jokingly he showed how Japanese tourists in black suits and ties start videotaping the WTC the second they get off their tourist bus. With expressionless face, Brock slowly moved his imaginary camcorder up, paused, and slowly - down. Once I was walking down the Liberty Street and witnessed just that: the dressed-up Japanese tourists lined up by their bus, videotaping WTC, synchronously moving their lenses, resembling Brock's movements to the last detail! 'Why do people in the movies always yell: 'Hey, taxi, taxi!'? The driver can't hear them anyway, and it's enough to just raise your hand!' He described the blue neon sign across the street from his apartment window, and you heard the depressing monotonous buzz; he talked about frightening-white, almost sterile, Stephen-King-style house of the Cincinnati doctor he worked for, and you shiver of out-of-this-world cold and panic. He did not feel safe flying home on small planes. He was joking that if something happens, 'they won't even mention it in the news!' Oh Brock, you were all over the news! I wish you weren't! Brock realized that for his peers in Michigan, it sounded like a dream: to work in the World Trade Center! On the 96 floor! Wow! He must be making a fortune (by Michigan standards, anyway)! But he had doubts. 'I don't like the WTC: it's ugly!' 'It's strange: you look out of the window and you see a copter down below.' 'Why can't you see the Central Park from the North Tower? Isn't it strange?' Being a programmer, he hated computers: they detach people from each other. Car TVs are even worse: you go on vacation to spend time with your family, but instead you watch TV. He hated people with big umbrellas. 'They deserve a good kick: cr-rack!' He loved how the word 'linoleum' sounds. He liked sprinkles on his ice cream: 'Sprinkles are the best!' He liked broccoli, grapes and macadamia nuts. He ridiculed the Traverse City Cherry Festival. (Crowded, commercialized and cherries are not even ripe! He didn't like to be there during the festival, but that was the time when his friends came back home, so he ended up going anyway.)
, Friend Mar 5 2003 2:07PM
Mar 5 2003 2:07PM
Russian literature was among the myriads of his interests since high school. At some point, while at Oppenheimer, he decided to learn Russian. He bought some books, tapes, dictionaries... Just a month later his Russian became really good. Of course, he had a light accent, and his vocabulary was a little limited, but he could read very well, and his grammar was excellent. His perseverance and the ability to work hard were extraordinary. And of course his admiration for Tara. Once he brought to work her picture: a pretty girl of 4 or 5 years old seriously looked at you over her shoulder. I told him how much I liked Tara on that picture. 'It's all about eyes, isn't it?' - Brock was so pleased! He often referred to her as an absolute authority: 'My girlfriend says so, and she knows everything!' The last time I saw him was on July 24, 2001. I did not live or work in New York any more and was just visiting. We were sitting in the cafeteria of the Borders (WTC5), and Brock was talking about Kafka. It had been a while since I saw Brock. He looked tired, even stressed out, but, as always, was eager to fulfill what he considered his obligations. He really liked his manager Tim and did not want to disappoint him. It was so typical of Brock: it seemed he was seeking workloads and pressures to be under, and at Oppenheimer we teased him for this 'masochism'. Now he had to urgently finish this project, fixing somebody else's bugs. That somebody was now on vacation, his code had no comments, and Brock needed to finish it up to be able to take days off to meet his friends arriving in a few days, for his upcoming wedding and the honeymoon trip. Why South Carolina? They are too busy to go to Greece now; they'll go there some other time. (Some other time!) Brock always immersed himself into the world of the books he was reading: Pushkin, Goethe, Homer, James Joyce, Proust, Nabokov, Brodsky, J.Lahiri, P.G. Wodehouse, J.K.Rowling. Now he kept talking about Kafka's character Gregor Samsa, a hardworking traveling salesman. One morning he woke up to discover he turned into an insect. Kafka's realistic details make this absurd sound very convincing. What struck Brock the most was that instead of worrying about himself, Samsa still thinks how he has to hurry up to catch a train to go to work. Brock obviously did not see any irony in the situation, but I was amazed by the similarities between him and Gregor Samsa. The Borders was getting crowded and noisy. We walked down the out-of-order escalator and stood outside for a minute. I had a plane to catch, and Brock planned to grab a sandwich and head back to work. I picked up my suitcase and rushed to the subway, and Brock walked away, in his long and indecisive gait, toward the North Tower.
Veronica, Friend Mar 5 2003 2:06PM
Mar 5 2003 2:06PM
So many years, so many lost connections. A group of us had gathered in two classrooms in Central Grade School. We were so young, but so full of ambition and desire, the inaugurial class of the TAG program. At that time, I was in 5th grade, and Brock was in 6th. Not many of us knew each other, but that didn't stop us from forming friendships that I feel would last a lifetime. I became quite close with Brock that year. We played football and participated in events together. We spent hours and hours playing football with Matt and Jason on the cement playground. I even spent the night at his house and saw my first and only Traverse City basketball game. My family moved to Ohio and I've pretty much lost contact with all of my friends from that time. Brock was one that I will always remember. I remember Heather emailing me on the 9th of October, 2001. I was devastated. I was devastated because I never got the chance to know Brock Safronoff, the man. I had only known a piece of his youth. We often debated the greatest baseball player living and dead. I'm glad to hear he continued with that passion. He was my best friend at that time in our young lives, a friend that I will miss. Words along will never erase the pain, but I'm glad he turned out to be a successful, and loved person.
Erik Hobson, Friend
Feb 27 2003 4:09PM
To all who knew Brock- he is lost but not forgotten. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of my brother Brock. My Dad happened to come across this site, today. So I felt compelled to write about my brother. Brock was a very special person, he touched so many people, I'm glad all of you were able to know him. I just thank god everyday that I was able to have him as a brother...he meant so much to me. I remember when I was going into seventh grade he was leaving for college. I didn't want him to leave, my brothers(Brock and Aaron)meant the world to me...I didn't understand why he was going away. But in the end I accepted he had to go away to college. We used to listen to music together...all of us sibilings trying to figure out words to Pearl Jam songs(they made me memorize everyone), if I listen to any group that wasn't up to par they would gang up against me. I miss him dearly he showed the world to me. Introduced me to the best music, baseball, water ballon fights(in the house), excellent books, and we always talked about new electronic gadgets. The one thing I miss is picking up the phone and just being able tho hear his voice, 'Cyrina, how is everything?' and he would listen to me...I'm glad that he was able to marry Tara and have a life where he was happy. One day I will have children and will make sure they know their Uncle Brock, I'm just sorry they will never get to met him. Kyle- if you ever get to read this I remember playing football with all the guys...good times. There is so much I would love to share but not enough time in a day, let alone an hour. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my brother Brock, it is nice to know he will always be loved and remembered. Blessed Be. Love always and forever, Cyrina (Brock's little sis) Feel free to email me at
Cyrina Safronoff, Family
Oct 22 2002 12:02PM
When I can't sleep at night, I often find myself typing Brock's name and searching for information to fill in the gap between when I knew him and when he died. We were classmates in Mrs. Tropf's class his 6th grade year. I remember him playing football every recess with Matt and Erik. For the TAG Follies show, he and Erik did a skit about 'Jan and Dean.' It was entirely lost on me, but I enjoyed watching them perform because they were clearly enjoying themselves. The next time Brock and I were in class together was in Bailey's World Lit, his senior year of high school. We sat together along with his friend Kyle and my friend Tenille. He was always teasing me about how uptight I was, worrying over the details of life. I enjoyed his easygoing nature- he was never in a hurry, never stressed. One way I've dealt with the tragedies of this past year is running. Running is my celebration of life and health, for which I am grateful. I wear Brock's name on my bib number when I race. I won't ever forget him, and I won't ever take for granted what was taken from him- life, love, youth. I wish there were more I could do for his family and his wife. My heart breaks for them.
Heather, Friend
Sep 20 2002 12:53AM
Although we graduated with Brock, we didn't know him. I now wish we had. It seems that God took the brightest and the bravest that day. We would like his family and friends to know that we are thinking of him often and to let them know that our prayers our with them.
Francesca and Heidi, Friend
Sep 11 2002 6:12PM
It's been a year now and it's still hard to believe all this had happened. Even these days, there are number of moments where I find myself leaving the keyboard and staring at my monitor seeing nothing but memories. I met Brock in July 2000. I worked closely with him for more than a year. We talked a lot. We talked about work. We talked about many other things. We talked about books we had discovered in Strand bookstore. We talked about Kafka, Pushkin, Dostoevsky. Talking to Brock, often, I was thinking how we all needed more people like him in this crazy world. Kind, intelligent, happy. Good guys. People that make you smile any time they are around you. Brock has introduced me to Tara one night - his fiancé at that time. You could tell just looking at Brock and Tara - they were made for each other. I saw their picture in New York Times after they got married. The way Brock talked about Tara at work, it was obvious - he was in love big time. Brock was happy. He deserved it. Monday night, September 10, 2001 - the last time I saw Brock. We were going home after work. Not enough time to finish the conversation and the usual - Have a good night, see you tomorrow... Since then I've been asking myself - where is this World going? Don't we deserve people like Brock? Any time I come across Brock's code I remember our little fist-on-the-table-Seinfeld joke - Newman!! - and then I silently repeat the same - Brock!! We all miss you Brock.
Zoran, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 5:40PM
When I first met Brock, I didn’t think we’d have much in common. He was a huge sports fan; I know next to nothing about anything related to sports. But we soon found a common interest in music. We found we had both followed a similar route to our current musical tastes, from our embarrassing favorites in grade school (he once confessed to me he owned a Nelson CD, I often made fun of him for it), to a growing like of classic rock in high school, to our more alternative oriented musical preference in college. He turned me on to Tool and Radiohead; I introduced him to Velvet Underground and Sunny Day Real Estate. As I got to know Brock, I realized how diverse he was. Beyond just listening to rock music, he also greatly enjoyed classical music. He read books on a wide range to topics, and seemed to devour them at a rate of one a week. He could talk as easily about sports, programming and current events; or things more personal like growing up in Michigan, his family, and Tara. I found it extremely easy to talk to Brock and enjoyed walking over to his cube during the workday just to talk. Brock also prompted me to take some programming classes in my free time, suggesting a class he took at NYU and recommending a professor. While I was taking the class, Brock would always be willing to help me out with any questions I had. He would sometimes just sit with me and explain new topics I was unfamiliar with, making sure I understood what he was explaining along the way. I miss Brock’s easy going nature, his kind spirit, playing foosball with him in the evenings (and getting beat repeatedly), his excessive use of the word “dog” (and variations of it, like diggity-dog), and mostly just being able to talk to him about whatever happened to be on my mind.
Advait Deodhar, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 2:08PM
I didn't really know Brock for a long time since I only worked at Marsh for about half a year at the time of the tragedy. He was a very kind and caring guy. Sitting right next to him in my cubicle I often noticed how people would always come to him for help and he would never say no to anyone. I respected him a great deal for his mind but most importantly for his strong and cheerful spirit. My every day would start by saying hello to him and he was one of the reasons why I liked working. Brock was a pleasure to be around and though our acquaintance was short, like many other good things on this Earth, I'm grateful that I knew him.
Alex Besidski, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 1:36AM
I didn't just know Brock in high school, but he was one of my best friends. We played football and basketball together and hung out all the time. After college, we grew apart. The last time I saw him was three years ago at my wedding. Unfortunately, living in California, I was unable to attend his. When I heard he passed away, I would have done anything to be able to fly to New York and see him get married. I will never forget the good times that we had through high school. Even now, a year a later, I can't type this without tears in my eyes. He was a great friend and will never be forgotten.
Kyle, Friend
Sep 10 2002 10:51PM
I was good friends with Brock in junior high and high school. I can remember meeting him in 7th grade on the first day of school - very nice guy from the minute I met him. I still remember him 'asking' for help with our math homework right before first period senior year. Whenever I think about that tragic day, I think about his family and his wife, Tara. I was invited to their wedding last summer, but was unable to attend due to airplane and hotel costs. I would do anything to go back and attend their wedding. Even though Brock and I weren't in regular contact the last few years, I deeply miss him.
ACH, Friend
Sep 10 2002 10:07PM
that was nice beth. i knew brock in high school. he was always nice to me. he was a great baseball pitcher, and apparently also very intelligent. mitch albom (famous sports writer) wrote an article that featured him. you can find it on the internet. it is quite accurate in all respects. when i knew him, he was very grounded and not pretentious in the least.
m., Friend
Sep 5 2002 5:13AM
i didn't know brock, i didn't know anyone that's liste here, but i have been reading everyones stories, with tears in my eyes. the reason i am writting is because brock didn't have a message under his name and i felt that he should have one. i know he was loved, there were inquiries about him on the massage board and i guess those who loved him just didn't find their way here. maybe it was too diffucult to express themselves here, so i just something to be written for him. may you rest in peace.
beth, Friend
Aug 22 2002 12:05PM