I still remember the very first night on the job at Hewlett-Packard’s main building “on the hill” in Palo Alto, California. Fewer than half of the fluorescent light fixtures were switched on. The slanted rows of skylights that dominated the ceiling were dark. The only sounds were the voices of the half-dozen or so fellow employees chatting and laughing as we all awaited the arrival of the shift supervisor.
The fresh experience of working overnights was something I anticipated with a mixture of curiosity and delight. I looked forward to merging into the nighttime culture of what was not yet known as “Silicon Valley”. This is my most vivid memory of the summer of 1974.
My great-uncle Ivan was the coffee man at a different H.P. plant in Palo Alto–Building 17. He recommended that I apply for work at his company because he had heard they were hiring. Ivan said…
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The song of the living
The song of the living, the song of the dead
Songs sung to celebrate life and death.
I knew a Scotland beauty. She was a rare flower.
Pretty as she could be.
The sun caressed and loved her daily.
The gentle rain gave her life blood and strength.
Many came to see her.
She was a shining star in a world of darkness.
They adored her and worship her perfection and her beauty.
Like all flowers. In the Fall.
She would slowly die and many would mourn her death.
But they knew.
The dear rose would bloom in the Spring.
She would bless her world with her kind smile and her gentle voice.