Starstruck

Meeting REAL celebraties in our world

I remember when I was a younger kid zipping thru the hills of Tennessee, no matter where I was, I always tried to make it back in time to watch Happy Days. When the 45's started spinning and the theme song started, man that was a feeling equal to catching a 7lbs (3.175Kg for our metric readers) Bass on 3lbs test! As if it could not possibly get any better; a commercial, a sirens call, beckoned; "Meet The Fonz this Saturday at the Sonic Drive In in Nashville" The prophet is coming to Nashville! ...The...Fonz...YES!!! I begged my Dad hard core to drive 120 miles to Nashville so I could meet; The Fonz. He agreed and on the trip up I had visions of The Fonz saying; "AAAAAAAAA", Kicking a juke box and a song starts, even kicking a Coke machine and giving me the Coke! I..I..I..will keep this forever Fonzie! When we got there, it was nothing like I imagined This man dressed in a sport coat looked nothing like The Fonz. He was even calling himself "Henry" and telling us to use manners and stay in school... At this point if WTF would have been an acronym, I would have a used it. This is not "The Fonz" this is "The Dork" I was crushed. After that, meeting Hollywood types, sports jocks or executives has never really had much appeal to me. They are just regular folks, working to get a paycheck like the rest of us...just a whole lot bigger! Then when I was in college studying engineering, my definition of a celebrity changed big time. To me, it was the folks that stepped out, took a risk and invented some amazing technology. They thought so far outside the norm to achieve something that many folks said could not be done and they never ever gave up. Folks like Dr. Metcalf, Vint Cerf, John Postal,etc...hard core engineering types. My question to the folks that read this; "Do you have a networking celebrity you want to meet or which ones have you met?" In college, most engineering plebes study the design principles of Hewlett Packard. We used all of their test equipment, wrote papers on their ideas and it was here that I fell head over tea kettle for networking. Moving data over long distance became a passion for me. I remember reading everything Brice Clark and Dan Dove published. The new stuff called multi-protocol routing invented in the living room by Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner and just being in awe. This is really going to be the place to be... Fast forward...a few years... I am newly employed at HP and just overwhelmed to be walking thru the halls of this campus, I could almost feel the brain power like a Borg recharge station on overload. Then walking to the cafeteria in Roseville, I saw him. Coming at me in slow motion with a entourage of folks flanking his sides...The co-inventor of 10Base; Brice Clark. I didn't know what to do but just try not to look like a goober and keep on course. OK keep cool...maybe he is Brice in his papers and someone else in person...Then something happened that I did not expect or see coming... My manager was also walking with Brice. I did not even notice him. He stopped the Brice wagon train to say; "Brice, I want you to meet Jimmy Ray Purser our newest engineer" I had a ton of respect for this Dude. When he stuck out his hand to shake mine I said; "I like the tator tots here"...yeah that's right, tator tots. Brice looked at me, laughed and patted me on the back and said; "Just wait til Thursday, the burritos are fantastic" Redemption. This was not Henry playing the Fonz, this was Brice being Brice. Networking folks are the real deal. Fast forward a few more years and waistline inches... At Cisco, I am still a goober engineering fan boy in San Jose. I know folks turn out the lights and lock the doors when they see me coming. (Note to self; figure out a way to defeat Cisco IPICS) there are a few networking celebrities that I have bumped into like Cullen "fluffy" Jennings and Joe Hildebrand but the other day, I had my major celeb moment here. I was talking with a fellow peer engineer Ken Durazzo about getting Cisco's Locator Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) into a TechWiseTV segment. Ken and I are both big amateur astronomy nuts, so we got the business stuff out of the way first so we could talk about star hopping. Then Ken dropped a bombshell on me. "How would like to meet Landon Curt Noll?" Wwww..what? You mean the Dude that has held the World Record for Prime Number factorization 8 times! THE Landon Curt Noll that is a major league astronomer currently looking evidence of Vulcanoid Asteroids? Sure enough! and he like the majority of networking celebrities I have met could not have been nicer, willing to share information or more humble. I would not walk across to street to meet a Hollywood star (well maybe, The Shat) and I would slam the door on talentless reality star hacks. Networking innovators have never disappointed or not met up to their billing. True celebrities. So as I got ready to finally meet Landon Curt Noll I was ready. I did not mention tator tots...but I did say something about Pokemon, so it all evens out. Jimmy Ray Purser Trivia File Transfer Protocol Lexington, North Carolina, is known as the Barbecue Capital of the World

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT