One way to really base yourself in this world (and not just the floating
idea of the world in your head) is to meet a few of your personal heroes.
Fellow flesh-and-blood that have transcended mere acknowledgement in your
mind, yet upon meeting them you realize that they, too, are people, and
that this leaves some good hope you might achieve things as they have.
This documentary has given me more than my share of hero-meeting, but right
up there is Count Lazlo Hollifeld Nibble, or Count Nibble (or Ernie Longmire),
who is as close to a mentor to writing textfiles as ever I've had. While
being the textfiles.com guy doesn't automatically make me any sort of a textfile
expert, and certainly not necessarily a good textfile writer, whatever quality
I might have produced comes from his influence. Sysop of the Terrapin Station
AE/BBS, head of the never-a-release Southwest Pirate's Guild, and creator of
the Countlegger series, Count Nibble was one of the bright shining lights of
my early BBS days and one of my most anticipated interviews.
He's from 505, New Mexico, but is now living in the SF Bay area, in a nice
apartment overlooking a lake. I got a tad lost and did this amazingly weird roundabout
to find his home, but we got things together and I interviewed him about
all sorts of subjects, from his early Apple II days to the influence of Apple
Cats, Usenet, and the BBSes of his youth. We also talked socially because
we have so many parallel interests, it's quite astounding. How many of my
interests are because they were directly spawned by his writing, I will
hesitate to say.
His was a great way to spend an evening in one of my favorite places on Earth,
and I hope our paths cross again.