It was just announced that Steve Jobs has died.  And with his passing, a part of my own personal past.

Steve Wozniac and Steve Jobs, 1976

It’s funny how when someone “Rich and Famous” dies affects you.  A favorite actor, sports figure, etc. This is different.  I havn’t told many people about my own personal encounters with Steven P Jobs.  And now the “Kansas City IT Guy” is going to tell you “The Rest of the Story”.

When the Apple II was first rumored I had just purchased an Apple I.  The funny computer board with no case, keyboard, or video output (you had to build all that yourself) was assembled and mounted inside a Heathkit Ascii Terminal kit.  Pretty fancy stuff that stretched my own personal abilities in electronics assembly at the time.  And shortly thereafter I purchased an Apple II right when they came out from a dealer in Columbia MO who happened to actually have one available.  It was $1,380.00 (which was more than my Chevy Luv Pickup truck cost).

Which is how I had the opportunity to have some discussions with a young man only a couple years older than myself, in a garage, in California.  All from my parents house in Cape Girardeau, MO.

The Apple I had issues.  I called the number on the hand written invoice and a guy named “Steve” answered the phone.  Elated that I was happy with the Apple I but thoroughly incapable of helping me with mine.  He waxed poetic about the new Apple II coming out.  Told me it was “insane” how great it was, etc.  And then I was passed (literally, the phone was passed, no hold or anything) to another guy named Steve who was so technically beyond me that it took some effort to figure out just what he was talking about.  Til it dawned on me he was discussing replacing an IC Chip that I could get from Radio Shack. A $5.00 fix.

And yes, that was Steve Wozniac that told me to go to Radio Shack for that $5.00 part.

But the phone was passed again to “The Real Steve”…  I was drilled, pinned, unable to just let the call go.  “You should become an Apple Dealer”, he said.  “This is gonna change everything for everybody”, he said. The pure enthusiasm was not lost on me.  I like it when people believe in what they’re doing and in what they’re selling.  Which is the primary reason I bought the Apple II which served faithfully and well through four jobs and three moves over the course of time I had it.

And I wouldn’t have learned as much, as fast, if I hadn’t gotten it.  All thanks to a young entreprenuer and his partner that took the time to talk with an even younger guy from Cape Girardeau Missouri.

Godspeed, Steve…  As much as I didn’t care for some of the things Apple has done, I do appreciate the time we talked and the Apples I bought.