In his unassuming way, Brion told me he worked on chip design at IBM, but of
course it was a lot more than that. He said he really didn’t like the
“corporate” world and he told me he refused to hand in required time sheets
for the hours he spent at work. It got so bad that his boss called him in
and made him fill it out in front of him.
At one point he decided not to fill them out anymore and he was told that
without submitting a time sheet, he wouldn’t get paid.
His response? “Ok, don’t pay me”. The payroll department was flummoxed as no
employee had ever done that before. That was Brion!
Brion and I would often go out on joint computer calls, especially the “big”
jobs for one of his customers as well as some of my customers. He also
covered for me while I was away on vacation or if I didn’t want to drive to
some far-off place. He shared everything he knew about the Mac with me.
Whenever he installed a new piece of equipment, such as a router, he would
put a little yellow string tab on each cable and mark it in his clear
handwriting for what it was for: power, cable, speaker etc.
Years after he retired and I was calling on one of his old customers, there
were the Brion yellow tags on the back of everything. It always made me
smile and remember him.
When I first met Brion he was driving a weird looking Honda hybrid, with
barely any back seat. I asked him how he happened to end up with it and he
said simply that he went to the dealer, saw it and just bought it.
I did see him drive his customized Miata, and he stopped one day to see me,
and it started raining on his little red car. He didn’t like that.
For several years he told me about the MGA he had rebought and was having
restored. It became a running joke, as every time I asked him, he said they
were still working on it. This went on for probably two years. I did finally
see it finished and he told me that in one of his showings he won “best
He loved to clean that car. I would call him to see what he was up to, and
he said he was cleaning a wheel today. Yes, every spoke cleaned and polished
on just one wheel and it took all day.
We sometimes would meet at the Stamford diner for lunch and to catch up on
things. If you have ever been there, it is the traditional diner with a
multi-page fold out menu and probably over 100+ items to choose from.
He would look at the menu but when it was time to order it was always the
same: hamburger with French fries.