Toessel Tree Dedication and Jos Award

Toessel Tree Dedication and Jos Award

On what would have been Jos's 26th birthday, a newly planted tree was dedicated, "The Toessel Tree" on the new WebTV/Microsoft campus (near the southeast end of La Avenida, Mountain View, CA). About a hundred people were in attendence.

The "Jos" Award

John Matheny, head of engineering, read the citation of the award:

I'm honored to present the first annual "Jos" award, which is given in memory of Jos Claerbout on his birthday to someone on my team for their outstanding creativity in solving problems, their dedication to our customers and our products, and their enthusiastic team spirit. Although there were many candidates, this year's award goes to Arnold de Leon for his tireless efforts to improve the connection issues that plagued many of our customers. Please join me in thanking Arnold for his inspiring leadership, dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork.

Arnold de Leon was not present, but it was stated that he would be receiving $1000 and his name on a plaque. Several gave their ideas of the meaning of the award:

  1. Steve Wasserman said, "To me, the coolest thing about Jos was the way he made WebTV a better and more fun place to work simply by being around."

  2. Another said the award was for solving problems on behalf of WebTV Customers with creativity and zeal.


About a dozen people spoke impromptu. Those speakers and others are invited to send us their words and thoughts.

Father's words. {2003}.

Mother's words.

Words arriving from afar from Beth Candy (SecretAdmirer), Webscissors tester, advocate, and good cyber friend.

Zonker Harris' photos.

Toessel Tree Dedication


Popster was given a box of Jos's business cards. We understand that this box of cards had been confiscated from Jos after he had chosen a job title and telephone number that were unsuitable to a larger, more formal company. Happily now, these cards are no longer in short supply.

The prose on the program below was adapted from Thoreau's Walden by Jos' friend Emily Wilska [1, 2, 3].

Photos were taken by Zonker Harris

The tree disappeared in 2018!

The WebTV campus of five two-story buildings, new in 1999, became Microsoft WebTV. Then one day in 2018, Microsoft demolished the entire campus and is building a giant building. The Toessel Tree vanished along with the entire 19 year-old campus. We lost the plaque, but retain the mold from which it was made.

return to the Life of Jos