Although there were many top-notch Silicon Alley makers and shakers at the UJA event, there was really was only one man there who was in mind meant to be honored on Wednesday, November 17th. My father. The UJA ended up choosing my father's birthday as the day for their event, and being on the committee, I was obligated to attend. The people behind the Entertainment, Media and Communication Division have great influence on New York new media, but the person who's had more influence and involvement in the shaping of my life, my personality and my paths (other than my mother) is my father.
Dear Ol' Dad. My father is a wonderfully warm caring mysterious man whose big heart has lead him down many paths in commerce and culture. He'll help out the lowest sort you think you might find and give him a start. He'll lend you anything you ask for and give it eagerly. He'll teach you anything you want to learn, and spend more time than necessary to make sure you understand a math equation, a tax form, how to solder, tile a floor, tend a garden. He's a man who will surprise you with a call and tell you he's in Memphis, TN on a road trip. He's a man who'll teach you how to make the best grits, Jambalaya and barbecue (even in January). He's quick to praise and slow to criticize, and if he does, it's constructive -- very.
I grew up with many good things in my life, and led a privileged life on many accounts. My father has an interest in that's what's different, and through his interactions, I was afforded the opportunity to view, visit and interact with people from all levels of our society--from rich to poor, from smart and savvy to dumb and dull-witted. This exposure taught me to find at least one redeeming trait in people and that there is goodness in the unexpected places. I also learned that sometimes there's badness staring you straight in the face. And sometimes you don't know it until your nose is bleeding.
Through living with my father I learned to always get up and keep going. Indirectly, I developed one of the missions that drives me day-to-day. Life is too short. It flies by at a cruel and quickening pace. We must enjoy it, in its frenzy and flurry. We must enjoy and relish our relationships. People, not technology, are what are driving this industry. From creative types making homepages (see story #1) to Nerds helping make developments in schools, software, policies and companies (see story #2) to our parents, who's involvement (or lack thereof sometimes) drive us to create a more useable web, people are what make the web, and the world, go 'round.
Some regular readers may occasionally notice a bit longer version than others and sometimes a personality profile. This newsletter will be becoming shorter and more focused in the coming months, but allow me, if you will, this tribute to my father on his birthday. We're nearing the end of the year, nay--the end of a century--a millennium. These times instill a sense of specialness and wonder at life, a time to remember how special our family is. Time is fleeting fleeting fleeting by, and it is even more vital to honor and respect those who have helped us, influenced us and loved us.
Happy Birthday Dad!!! Many more well wishes to you!!!