Spreading the Appreciation Around
by Rollin White
At the September SCOUG Birthday party, Tony and the rest of the board took a moment to recognize the part I've played in SCOUG's history. I am very grateful for such recognition!
There are many people to thank for the success I've had in SCOUG, but two of them are most important. In many ways these two people are like the cartoon angel and devil that sit on your shoulder and encourage you to do their bidding. But unlike the cartoon, they both have good intentions and do more for SCOUG than most people are aware of.
In the Beginning
Most everyone knows that I've been working with Carla and Randell at Sundial Systems for quite some time. It was through a user group demo at the OS/2 SIG of the Long Beach IBM PC Users Group that I originally met them. At the time SCOUG was conceived, I was leading the OS/2 SIG at
NOCCC. They frequently attended meetings as a show of support for me and the local OS/2 community. When I was toying with the notion of SCOUG, Carla was one of the first people that I bounced the idea off of. Her response - Why do we need another user group? Certainly not what I
expected, but a good question!
Despite her skepticism, she was at the first board meeting and has been unrelenting in her support of SCOUG ever since. Carla's ability to question yet enthusiastically support an idea did not end there. A month or two later I suggested we needed a newsletter. Her response - you guessed it - why do we need a newsletter? Once again I made my argument and she jumped in despite her reservations. Nine years later (with a short break in the middle), she's still at it!
A few years later I thought it would be a good idea to host the first Warpstock. And a SCOUG Open House that year also seemed like a good idea. A few years later we launched Warp Expo West. Disk of the month, CD of the month, Help Desk, new SIGs, you get the idea. Carla questioned these ideas, but once the work began, she was the first in line to help out.
Some might tire of Carla's doubting nature, but it was her questions that made each idea stronger and more developed. Let me also point out, she did not jump on board because I was particularly convincing. Instead, her loyalty has helped almost every SCOUG institution flourish.
Think Big Young Man
If Carla was sitting on one shoulder, Peter Skye was sitting on the other shoulder. When Peter gets involved with a project he always has significant impact.
As many of you are aware, Peter has the ability to take a nice reasonable project and dream to make it bigger. For better or for worse, Peter will put in the time, energy, and effort to accomplish this goal. His first such endeavor was increasing the content of the newsletter. In addition to his multiple pseudonyms, Peter would seek out authors for articles. He would nurture the shy, pump the egos of others, edit the grammar challenged, and even co-write a few.
He used the same skill to turn our Open Houses into Warp Expo West - the OS/2 equivalent of the Greatest Show on Earth! His ideas such as Vendor 100 were met with disbelief. Because of his hard work and willingness to push others hard, Vendor 100 and the entire Warp Expo West was a
success. He launched a media blitz that resulted in 300+ attendees - a far cry from our initial Open House.
Despite the popular view that Peter is all ideas and no work (a belief he encourages), he has always been willing to put his nose to the grindstone. Usually he doesn't work in quite the fashion or at exactly the time others think he should (just ask Carla), but that is part of Peter's ability to create something bigger. It's impossible not to appreciate his vision.
Everyone Is To Thank
While my name may be on SCOUG's many historical landmarks, none of them would have happened without the help of Peter and Carla. That's not to say there aren't countless other people who have helped out. The membership of SCOUG has always exceeded my expectations when it
comes to helping out. The fact that we still have an active group despite the current state of the OS/2 world is a testament to everyone but me.
A Personal Note
Finally, I wanted to catch everyone up on my personal life. As you may remember, I completed the Los Angeles Marathon last March. I'm still actively running and am training for the upcoming Long Beach Marathon. On Saturday mornings I do a long run as part of that training. So, when you're enjoying a well planned SCOUG meeting, I'm out running 12-20 miles.
There was some concern that I had abandoned my tagline of "Sleep is for the weak." Don't worry, I still believe in that philosophy. However, in running there is a similar saying, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body."
The list of SCOUG's accomplishments - past and present - still amazes me. Again, thanks to all of you for making SCOUG such a resounding success during the last nine years.
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