Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rest in Peace Wayne

It's been a crazy 24 hours. As I type this, it's almost exactly 24 hours since I learned that my friend Wayne Barrow had passed away. I spoke to Wayne the week before I left for Vegas, he and I have attended a few of these conferences and have had some fun times. I had planned to call him sometime this week to catch him up on what he missed.

The picture here, was from the 2008 Blackboard World conference and that is of course Wayne, behind the big W. When he said he wanted to take a picture of him in the big W (for obvious reasons), I started laughing so hard because all I could think of is the opening scene from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" where Jimmy Durante yelps, "It's under the Big W".

When Wayne was first hired at MassBay, he and I did not get along at all. He was my boss, he was younger than I was and I made more money that he did at first - I don't know if that's where the tension came from or what, but it wasn't fun or pretty early on. I don't even recall when or how things changed but when they did, we became good friends. When he left MassBay a couple of years ago, we remained in touch and even got to be at a Blackboard World together in 2011, again back in Vegas.

Wayne was recently working very hard on his Master's degree. From what I hear, he had been experiencing shortness of breath in recent days but he chose to attribute it to the excessive heat and oppressive humidity.

I am still in shock and very sad over his death but I know that the best way to honor those who pass before us is to forge ahead. What was a bit spooky - this morning in my work email, there's a message from LinkedIn about how my contact Wayne Barrow had endorsed my skills in Instructional Technology; either an erie backlog in LinkedIn's email system or my buddy Wayne has Internet access from the great beyond.

Rest in Peace my friend, you will be missed!

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