This interview wasn't going to happen.
Originally, I didn't even have any room for any more interviews in
the Los Angeles area... I knew I had the Tom Jennings interview the
next day and I wanted to be fresh for that. I also knew that I'd be
heading out that evening after the Jennings interview to Las Vegas
for DEFCON and more interviews, so I'd need to be packed and ready
for the plane. But time is time, and since I was out on the West
Coast and was trying to fill out some time, I had made a few random
calls out from Davenport during the Waffle Sysops interview a couple
days earlier, and Larry Frieson had answered this cold call with
an invite to come up to Bakersfield to interview him. This meant
I'd get four interviews in LA instead of just three. Excellent.
Larry indicated he'd done Tech Support at Mustang, which was actually
a nice understatement. Actually, he'd been a part of Mustang for
years and had built many lasting friendships from it. As I drove up
to Bakersfield from LA (getting an absolutely amazing speeding ticket
along the way), he told me he could have a number of friends over
who'd worked there as well. There was even an outside chance that
Jim Harrer might show! (As it turns out, he wasn't reachable, but
just the idea was great.)
We set up in another house and spent some time beforehand talking
about Mustang and all the lore behind it. It's easy with the
weight of years to just dismiss Mustang as a "BBS Company" and act
like it hadn't been more than that, but it was obvious interviewing
these ex-employees that it'd been a family, a team, a part of
something bigger that everyone was proud of.
This interview set me off on another branch of research, the Mustang
BBS story. There are people out here who built their homes with
Mustang Money, who put their heart and soul into this place and
followed the ups and downs. I hope I can capture one tenth of what
Mustang was in the documentary, because these folks have really
set me on the way.
I stumbled out of Bakersfield at 3am with promises that I would
return to get the rest of the story and hopefully interview Mr.
Harrer as well. I didn't get a ticket on the way home... but I