Appreciating Interesting People

I’ve learned that all people are interesting, but sometimes you cross paths with a person in a way that stands out and leaves a particular impression. (Please note- this is the rare non-technical blog, but read on for a couple of quick but fascinating events). In the last several days, I’ve had the good fortune to be in the presence of two fellow human beings that made me go “wow” after talking with them during chance encounters.

1971 World Series Ring Baseball Guy

My wife and I were watching an Auburn Doubledays‘ game a few days ago. We had really good seats, and found ourselves among the staff and scouts for both the Doubledays and the visiting Williamsport Crosscutters. I was on the inside end of 106, The Guy was on the inside end of 105- like so: Ring

There was a lot going on. Radar guns checking pitching speeds, lots of notes being taken on each player, and general “back end” stuff that is the business side of baseball. All of that was cool- but I not as cool as noticing The Guy wearing this ring while he jotted stuff down in a book. It kind of jumps out at you…

During a break in the action, I asked the fellow what that gorgeous ring was all about. Without hesitating, he slipped it off of his finger and handed it to me. While I looked at it, he told me it was the 1971 World Series ring- and I kid you not I could feel the history in it. It had a really weird, magical gravity to it. His father was the PR Director for the Pittsburgh Pirates when they won the series that year. This was the Roberto Clemente team, BTW. Wow.

Things got busy again, and I gave him back his ring after thanking him profusely and having some quick dialogue about how thrilling it must have been for him to be a kid back then. This gent was just a sweetheart, and absolutely didn’t have to entrust a stranger with what is obviously a highly-treasured possession. But I’m glad he did, and man it was cool. Ever curious, I found out out the bigger story on his Dad, which you can read about here.

Underooos, Priceline, ATMs, and Pancake Mix

Fast forward to a few days after the baseball game. My wife and I are at a high school graduation party talking with friends, when the grandfather of the graduate introduced himself. I’d learn that this awesome man was 81, but he could have been in his early 60s. In the course of our discussion, I found myself kicking it old-school with a pretty accomplished gent.

To meet Larry Weiss is to hear first-hand how Underoos were invented, from the man himself. Turns out that Larry accomplished a lot more than just Underoos- he has been involved with a number of familiar brands and technologies that stretches a mile long. Great stuff.

Larry is a fairly humble guy, and very well spoken. We spoke of not only each other’s accomplishments and experiences, but also of life philosophies and the importance of never losing your ability to be a child inside. It was an absolute honor to not only meet Larry, but to spend quality time talking with him as a fellow man-of-action.

People Can Be Awesome…

Thankfully I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a lot of good people through the years. The really special (to me) ones stand out in my memory, from childhood to my military days, into my professional career and beyond, including lots of awesome folks out in the bigger technology community.  Sure, I’ve also crossed paths with absolute duds… folks with an evil streak or just dead on the inside- but thankfully those have been the minority.

You never know where the next Ring Guy or Larry Weiss will turn up- so keep your eyes and your minds open as you interact with people.

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