Saturday, October 29, 2011

Allusions of Grandeur

One final thing that reading the Steve Jobs biography has made me realize (and I promise this is the last thing I'll say about that book, although this isn't really about the book itself):

We often don't realize the greatness of those around us as we witness their greatness unfold.

I had only one direct dealing with Steve Jobs, and that related to the problematic Powerbook 5300C computer; I bought one of the units, and it was a dud, filled with hardware issues. I wrote Steve Jobs, whose email address has always been public knowledge, and explained my problems.

Steve Jobs wrote back with a brief email, and he indicated someone would contact me to straighten the problem out. The next day, someone did. Two days later, I had a brand new computer.

I wrote Steve Jobs a half dozen other times about various things, and heard back from him on two other occasions; again, they were brief emails, but I was impressed that he took the time to write at all.

At the time, I knew that Steve Jobs was a visionary; I didn't realize how much I would come to admire him as a genius later on, and I now am pleased to have had even the briefest of contacts with the man.

I have had the opportunity to be around other great people from time to time, although I didn't realize their greatness until long afterwards. Thomas Burnett Swann, the brilliant fantasist and observer of human nature; Jeffrey Jones, the inspired painter and illustrator; Jack Kirby, the visionary who energized an artform; Stephen King, who shared an hour in a poolside talk one morning at a small Nashville convention, before most of the world had ever heard of Stephen King; Will Eisner, the man I credit with creating the modern graphic novel with his Signal From Space.

These are just a small number of the great people I have been lucky enough to have met and to have known to one degree or another. Life has been pretty darn good to me, when I think back on it...

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