It’s funny, the things that go through your mind when it takes three hours to mow your lawn. And, of course, remembering all those \"brilliant\" thoughts becomes a mental exercise, since typically, I don’t have a pad and pencil handy at the time.
So it was that yesterday after work, as I was on auto-pilot behind my Lawnboy, I naturally thought of Adam Burford, and Gary, and all of us, the community of the GPO Forum, or what I like to think of as Team GPO. It all actually began with the startling realization that, although I’ve been active in many user forums over the past seven or eight years, as best I can remember, this was the first time I learned of the passing of a user community friend. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened before, it probably has and I just never knew of it.
And I also realized again, what a wonderful technological thing this internet is. That my circle of friends is now international in scope is something I so easily and often take for granted, as is the personal meaning and value of this GPO Forum Community. We have all experienced user forums where bickering and verbal gymnastics are commonplace, and truthfully, it’s happened here as well. But overall, this community is the most patient, supportive, accepting and caring group I’ve experienced. This is the one forum I check first thing in the morning, almost hourly throughout the day and before I turn in at night. Whether the next GPO project is posted by William West in Atlanta, Kevin Tweedy in Hawaii, Paul Hopkins in Dubai, or Ron Klaren in the Netherlands, our new music is always greeted with enthusiasm and encouragement with just the right dose of well intentioned criticism. I know after I’ve finished a new piece, the GPO Forum Community is the first to hear it.
This is all possible because of Gary, and his people. Not only because of the unique and exceptional product they provide us, but because, as in the corporate world, the GPO Forum attracts people who reflect and are aligned with Gary’s ideas, temperament and attitudes. We’ve opened ourselves up to in international community of creative, caring people, and in doing so, also opened ourselves up to the pain that comes with the loss of one of our own.
So, good GPO Forum people, I implore you to take good care of your health and be safe. And I suggest that when we realize a GPO Forum member has been conspicuously missing from our ranks for a while, we should drop them a line, just to let them know we noticed and wanted to be sure all was OK.
Finally, in the words from an 80’s TV Series - Hill Street Blues (based on the Hill District of Pittsburgh, by the way)…
It’s that old doppelganger effect…the entire group taking on the personality of its leader. This can work both in good and bad ways. The generosity and caring spirit that Gary has shown toward us has been reflected in the way each person here seems to treat one another. Just look at some of the other forums where dissention and unpleasantness run rampant. This community seems to let everyone have space to grow both musically and...
Yet, how often does a corporate leader get caught because of the misdeeds of the underlings?
Without wanting to get too political, I can only hope that people will take this effect into account whenever they vote.
It is in truth, an honor and a joy to have found and participate in this forum.