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with all due respect ...

From: Bassetti, Ann <ann.bassetti@boeing.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 18:24:00 -0700
Message-ID: <7891893EDA7B86418E55EEA64EBA7A2901E2FDF1@XCH-NW-4V1.nw.nos.boeing.com>
To: <public-memoria@w3.org>

After 7 years of W3C meetings and travel, a random assortment of
memories flood back:

--  When I was newly involved with the W3C, I felt honored when Alan and
Judie invited me to join them for dinner on a trip. We regularly had
dinners together at every meeting since then, most recently just a few
days ago.

-- We exchanged a bunch of private emails during the desperate last
month of watching Judie slip away.  I was touched that Alan felt
comfortable enough to share his sadness.  He was clearly a family guy,
regularly speaking fondly of Judie and their children.

-- Alan was adept at finding good airline and hotel fares, along with
the best routes. He was also good at choosing a good restaurant and
wines.  A good guy to travel with!

-- I was always humored to see Alan, the oldest Team member, on stage
with his Sys Team, who are often the youngest team members.  "Alan and
his pups," I always thought.  (No offense to the Sys guys!)  Many of
them have spoken glowingly to me about their fondness for Alan and what
a good manager he was. 

-- Alan was always curious.  Many times, when some topic came up in a
meeting, he would very quickly find some reference on the web and paste
it into our IRC discussion.  He liked words; he taught me to use
'definition: <word>' in Google.

-- He did not suffer fools or sloppy behavior.  Although consistently
kind, he wasn't shy to point out you weren't paying attention if you
asked a question that indicated your mind had been roaming.

-- Alan was a facts and data kind of guy; a 'geek' to the core. He said
he was convinced to do back exercises when his doctor said that people
who did these exercises statistically had less pain.  Luckily the
exercises seemed to work!

-- Others have mentioned Alan's interests in old music, chess, bridge.
There was also model trains.  He was proud of his long association with
MIT, regularly exchanging historical references with other MIT graduates
among us.

-- I remember Alan telling the story of DEC sending him and a few others
out into the world to scout out interesting new technologies.  They were
in Europe, got wind of this new WWW thing, decided to pop over to CERN
to check it out.  I remember TimB-L saying how he got a message that
there were some guys in the lobby, wanting to meet him, and they had
SUITS on!   I have always thought it was a stroke of luck to have these
guys in suits providing early corporate 'legitimacy' to this technology
that we now all love and depend on. 

-- As well, it was probably beneficial that Alan was one of the early
management staff at the W3C, providing 'mature' wisdom and guidance.

-- Before Alan came to our home for dinner one time, I asked in advance
if there was anything he didn't eat.  "Insects and worms," came the
reply.  A hot summer night on our floating home in Seattle, we served
dungeness crab (to be cracked out of the shells), cold artichokes,
garlic bread. Alan commented that this struck him as a peculiarly
west-coast type of meal.  :-)

It's so shocking when someone dies unexpectedly like this.  I'm pleased
for him that he apparently went quickly, sitting in his lounge chair.  I
hope he was listening to favorite music!  It won't be quite the same
without him.

  -- Ann Bassetti
Received on Saturday, 3 June 2006 01:24:36 UTC

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