Wanna know how a little technology can make a difference?
In 2006, Liza and I moved back to the Bay Area after living in Vancouver for five years so she could accept an offer to work at publishing company she’d always wanted to work for. We’d settled on Berkeley, which meant that Liza would be commuting by BART into her new job, downtown in San Francisco.
It was July.
The previous Christmas, I had received an iPod as a gift from a family member. It was my first iPod to feature the colour screen and album graphic display. It seemed so sleek and futuristic and it made my first generation iPod look like a kitchen white toaster. Liza also admired it but was always less apt to desire tech toys than I am. She said she’d like to think about getting one for her new commute, which was only about 30-45 minutes but still the longest she’d had in a long time.
The night before her first day at the job, I made a decision.
After Liza had picked out her clothes for her first day, she went to sleep. I went to work. I cleared off all of my music from the new iPod. I meticulously went through my iTunes files and looked for songs that I was sure she loved. I even uploaded Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell in it’s entirety, and all of B-52’s Cosmic Thing, along with some Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Everything But The Girl and some Nick Drake. In the morning it was all ready.
I gave it to Liza as her “first day” gift. She put in her ear buds and went off into the unknown.
When she got to work, she called me. She said that “Love Shack” had been playing in her ear buds as she ascended the steps from the BART at Montgomery Station.
She was so happy she could cry. She had had a familiar sound in her head as she walked into a bold new chapter in her life.
I think we both teared up a little. Her. Me. And the re-gifted iPod.
So, Thank You Steve Jobs. I’ll bet you heard stories like this all the time, but I never got to tell you that one.