My dad is very sick and I’m in France to be with him.
When I was 13 or so my dad bought me a small “Que Sais Je” book on the physics of micro transistors.
“There’s advanced math in there, but you’ll figure it out. It’s the future.”
I wasn’t so sure that I would figure it out, but when I doubted myself, he had faith in me.
He also encouraged me to use computers and I spent many evenings in my teens with my dad by my side coding primitive databases on an Apple //c. My dad needed a (postal) mailing database to reach out to constituents when he ran for mayor. My dad was my user and watching him try to use my clumsy software was a revelation: computers that anyone could use would some day change the world. Design mattered.
A few years later I would convince dad to buy one of the first Macs in France. It was magical. My dad soon took to it and computerized his medical practice. Gone were the paper files!
My dad would remain a devoted Apple fan, eventually creating on his Mac a very successful web site (medarus.org) after his retirement.
During the summer we would take family trips, whether at the beach in Bretagne or on the Riviera. One year we went in search of a ‘hut’ that my dad had built during his youth. “Will it still be standing?” we asked, which made my father laugh. For when we finally found it, it was still very much standing, a solid chalet of stone and lumber, rather than a mere hut.
Later we would go on some wonderful trips together. One of our first ones was a trip to Italy that included Rome, Sienna and Florence. I would get my dad to pose with the Arno river in the background “Arno taking a picture of dad with the Arno.” I thought it was funny.
We would take several trips in the US, including in Arizona, Nevada and California, to Death Valley, San Diego, Los Angeles, Yosemite, Napa, Disneyland, Carmel, Monterey, Monument Valley and so many more. From those travels would spring my insatiable curiosity to explore and many fond memories.
My dad has been a wonderful influence throughout my life and I wouldn’t be who am I today if it wasn’t for him.