Thursday, October 6, 2011
Goodbye, Dave. Goodbye, Steve.
This week my Uncle Dave passed away from a brain tumor. He was 87 and was surrounded by loved ones. Dave introduced me to sailing, and I now sail 2,000 nautical miles a year, on average. I was impressed as a child by his architectural renderings and became an artist, which led me to cartooning and illustrating in newspapers and magazines, and eventually, to publishing, where I am today (and the last 23 years). I'm still painting if I can find the time. Good for the soul. So it's safe to say that Dave was a phenomenal influence in my life. He was gentle and kind, but could be firm too. A good man. I'll miss him.
Also this week Steve Jobs died from pancreatic cancer. He was 56, and I always thought of him as being older than me.
When computers were first available to the public, I bought a Commodore 64 and taught myself BASIC programming. There weren't a lot of software titles at the time so if something interested me, I would have to write the software myself. A little later I learned to code in "assembly language" because BASIC programs ran so slow. Assembly was a library of three-letter codes that addressed the computer chip directly. It would only add and subtract, so if you wanted to divide or multiply, you had to figure that out for yourself. It was fun and challenging and I found myself dreaming code in my sleep.
Steve's Macintosh computers enabled me to take my artistic skills (see above) and make them commercially successful. Because of Apple's simple and elegant interface and software, I quickly developed the ability to start and run a publishing company and a commercial art and design studio. I found I could work at home and having gained that freedom, took it a step further and moved to Mexico where we run a publishing house from our condo near the beaches and our sailboat (also see above). I'm an Apple "fanboy" because Apple allowed me to write my own ticket.
I try to remember that when someone I admire passes on, that they are still in the universe... and therefore, still close by.