I moved to Silicon Valley just as Steve Jobs and Apple Computer were exploding into the universe. He was this snappy young engineer with a bow tie. What I liked was the name of one of his early computers...LISA. I used to joke he named it after me...blush.
My very first computer that got me through college was an Apple clone. I salivated over having a Mac. Somehow, the pretty icons made it seem user friendly and that was good because up until this time computers kind of scared me. Steve and Apple were always big news in the Bay Area. I never worked for Apple but friends did. It was almost like a religion. You were either a Apple or a Windows person. Most of my life I was actually a Windows person.
Steve build a house in Palo Alto and it was a pretty country French home. I always thought the wild flowers in the front yard looked like weeds, but the house was cute. Some nights, when I drove by on the way home (he lived around the corner from my place), I would see his profile in a window. He was not as big as God just yet. His kid when to the same sch0ol as mine. My daughter painted a space alien on the school wall one year and the next year a similar one was on Toy Story. I often wondered if Steve or one of his people took a walk with him to Jordan Middle School and they copied my daughter's idea for the three-eyed little alien...but I will never know.
I moved to Boston in 97. About this time Apple was dying as a company. The stock was in the toilet. This guy in my office, Joe Smith, loved the company so much and was buying up the stock. I remember saying to him, good luck to you. I think the company will be dead in a year. Soon thereafter, Jobs returned. Things changed and the rest in history and I embrace Apple as I love the new computers, phones, and other devices. They are brilliant. I own the stock now since it was 60 dollars. I was wrong about them, but happily so.
I used to ponder on big men like Steve. Those who achieve so much. I have envied in my life and Steve, who was born in my year, I have envied his career and success. A few of the few people I have envied have experienced grave things. In Steve's case, this became cancer. He has fought it brilliantly, but in the end, no matter of success or money kept grim reaper away. I am still breathing and I am sure he would likely trade places with me any day. I am humbled.
As I watch the out pouring of love since his death, I think he would have been touched. I know I have been. He is a symbol of everything American. He did not even complete college, which goes to show you that no degree is necessary, only the guts to believe and love what you do. He did just that. I had heard he was a bit of a son of a bitch to a lot of people, but recently I had heard his speech at Standford from 2005. His words were very wise and his soul gentle. I wished I had known him personally. I think I would have enjoyed his brain...
Thank you Steve for all you brought to us. Maybe he will get busy and make Heaven an even cooler place.