Original Post By:
|Date: 2/5/2024 12:14:34 PM
|Keith Ninesling Obituary (AKA Moose Karloff)
On January 4, 2024 Keith Ninesling passed away quietly, mostly the same way he lived. Keith was a witty, endlessly charming, sometimes irascible, scrappy guy who loved women, little kids and cats�always cats. He could not, will not be characterized by the jobs and professions he held.
The standard information includes Keith being born in Hillside, NJ in February of 1955 to Frank and Ruth Ninesling, a physics teacher in Irvington and a school nurse; both proud educators. He was welcomed home by his sister, Karin, and less than a year later welcomed his Irish Twin brother Kort. Although he teased about it, he was extremely proud of his Lithuanian heritage. While Keith leaves behind several cousins and many admiring friends, he was the last of that Ninesling line, his immediate family all pre-deceasing him.
Universally known as Ninesling, as well as 20+ other nicknames, Keith attended the local public schools, was an excellent track athlete at Hillside high school, and was a brilliant student at Hobart & William Smith colleges. It was there, at the Beta Upsilon chapter of Phi Kappa Tau, that he was instrumental in founding The Tau Siblinghood which, well ahead of its time, accepted both men and women as full members. The charter for the chapter was pulled shortly after but the siblinghood lives on to this day with Keith as one of its most ardent supporters.
Keith�s work history was vastly varied and full of re-invention. Out of college Keith began his career at Cunningham and Walsh, one of the old-school �Madmen� ad agencies, eventually working his way up to copywriter there. Caught in an agency client loss, Keith began working with a friend in records management at the very beginning of helping companies move to the digital world. He also began pursuing his Masters in English: Creative Writing at Columbia having known from college that he could, should and MUST write.
And write he did indeed! He, Ruth and Kort together bought and started publishing the Hillside Times; a newspaper he had worked as an intern at years prior. Ninesling was at his cantankerous, muckraking, prolific best. He was proud of Hillside and proud to take on all whom he believed wanted something for nothing from his fellow Hillsiders.
At the same time he had an interest, and a friend who needed help with an off Broadway theatre that had fallen on hard times. Ninesling began doing some work as booking agent/talent scout/back of house manager. That eventually brought him to the forefront of the burgeoning �ukulele movement� where he became Moose Karloff; a man who would perform at the drop of a hat, as well as a leading ukulele performer and booker/promoter.
A move to Philadelphia found Keith doing some promotion for a theater or 2, helping out a catering company, logging hours, rides and miles for Lyft and gleefully hawking beer for Aramark at Phillies games as his love of baseball was rivaled only by his drive to create music: Ninesling�s deepest passion. Keith was a talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who even played on the stage at CBGBs more than once with his band, Moles.
Like James Joyce, Keith Ninesling read everything and forgot nothing. He could fill up a room, he could light up a room, but he mostly preferred solitude and music; listening to and making music. And Keith was an extraordinary Milton Scholar.