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Re: In memoriam: Linux evangelist and editor Joe Barr

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on July 12, 2008 02:11 AM
About 10 years ago, on my first week at my new job in Austin, I met this guy with short hair (and a ponytail), funny looking shorts and a black t-shirt that loudly proclaimed NARC WINTEL! Not knowing
what Narc meant at the time I assumed that it wasn't a something nice. I'm originally from Puerto Rico so I was only used to the basic 4 letter words you learn in English after they teach you the
difference between CAN and MAY which for some reason always has to do with going to the bathroom, but I digress. So there he was Mr. Joe Barr himself, "mi tocayo" as we refer to buddies with
your same given first name, to say that he was a character is an understatement. He was funny, charming, moody, interesting, a great story teller and as it turned out a devoted Linux and all things
computer-lover. Most of these characteristics you could ascertain within a few minutes of just being around him. Talk about making a first impression.

I never worked directly with him but was close enough to his cube (of course, those who knew Joe know that close enough to hear him means half a block :-) so we shared many good times while
at the office - playing indoor hacky sack, talking about his international wives club, ranting about the latest Bill Gates shenanigans, listening to his explanations on how a ham radio works, best practices
to avoid hack attacks and how to effectively feed farm animals. Some times we even talked about work-related stuff...

I was Susan's (Joe's wife) officemate for a few months way before they became and item, so I could go forever talking about his 'work-related' visits to our office... I can't even begin
to imagine how she's feeling today but we're planning on seeing her as soon as possible to personally offer our condolences and anything else we may help with.

Speaking of giving, Joe was kind enough to give us a little bud of wild puertorrican roses he purchased at Rose show in San Antonio a few years back. Having a couple of black thumbs we
just planted them in our backyard hoping for a miracle - trust me we've been know to kill weeds - and next thing you know we have almost a rose tree! Every year the rose plant blooms
with these beautiful and great smelling white roses that sometimes even grow above our fence!

Anyway, there are so many wonderful things to say about Joe there is not enough space to do it. Like I said, we met him about 10 years ago, and although we don't work together anymore
and we see each other once a year at the most, every time I remember him I always remember him (and me) with a smile, if not full blown laughter.

He will be greatly missed but I'm very proud to call him my friend and very lucky that that he gave us the opportunity to grow and smell the roses...

Jose' Vega


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