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A Remembrance of Jef Raskin, by Peter Jennings

Don't have time to write now, but thinking about Jef Raskin and some of the good times we had together, a couple of anecdotes come to mind that should make it into the film.

One was Jef's penchant for blindfolding guests to his house in Cupertino and leading them about, spinning them around several times, removing the blindfold and telling them to find their way back to wherever the blindfolded tour had started.

It was not easy to accomplish this. And this was not a large house, just an ordinary 3? bedroom home. Ordinary? Well it didn't have an oven, because Jef thought all food could be cooked on a stovetop. Perhaps a leftover from when he lived in a former bread delivery van in San Diego. But I digress.

The problem with finding your way back was that Jef had built a secret door behind a bookcase. So unless you thought of going through the bookcase, you couldn't get there from here...

The phone number at that house was easy to remember. 996-1011. Apple was 996-1010 and, of course, everyone knew that. I don't remember my own phone number from 1978, but I remember Jef's.

The other anecdote that comes to mind is the story of the Rolls Royce. Jef drove an old clunker, despite having made a few million when Apple went public. One day, Mike Markkula told him that it wasn't right to take important clients to lunch in such a vehicle. So that afternoon, Jef went out and bought a Rolls.

When he and Linda got married, they needed two cars. So Jef traded the Rolls in for two identical Saabs.

There were some great parties at Jef's house on the ridge in Cupertino, and the concert hall he built had marvelous acoustics. Both the Philharmonia Baroque orchestra and Chanticleer probably owe their existence to the benefit concerts Jef and Linda held to raise money for them in their early days.

Oh, and there was the miniature paved runway Jef made for his model planes. Complete with accurate markings. We always wondered what the Russian spy satellites made of this little runway in the Santa Cruz Mountains. From above it looked just like a real one, completely to scale.

Take care.



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