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April 20, 2005


Okolo is a man, I have to confess, who puzzled me for quite some time. You see he's one of those guys that you think you know until you try to say five hundred words to and then you realize that you've embarassed yourself. At least, that's the way he made me feel one time.

When I die and go to heaven, Okolo will be my unix sysadmin. There's probably nobody on the planet this side of Kernigan and Ritchie who know it better. He knew how to build an ISP from scratch before the idea of an ISP became a commercial reality. But I didn't really go to him for unix advice back in the day.

Instead, I did one of those stupid things back in the day which was to assume that since he had this African name and his mother (if I remember correctly) was from the Continent, that he had all his afrocentric polyrhythms in full swing and that the best of them would rub off on me. Yes I actually thought maybe I could catch a bit of the flavor just hanging out with a dreadlocked brother. But like most suburban posers, I was just projecting. Fortunately, I think I was able to keep it a secret from him and he didn't kick me out of his apartment in uptown Harlem.

I'm sure I was one of those annoying black equivalent Andy Rooney types just trying to put on a show, so I have this distinct feeling of frustration that Okolo didn't help me assemble the great black cyberhall that would be the virtual equivalent of a meeting with Malcolm, Martin, WEB and Booker 24/7. Though that dream has never quite disappeared, the expectation that Okolo was on point for that did long ago. I just never wanted to impose on the brother, and this confession has remained subliminal until this moment.

What I knew then and know now to be true is that Okolo is one of those rare, individuals who is gracious first and always. There's something about him that, I don't know, struck me as healthy and pure in the way most Americans are not. I sometimes worried that the evil of the world would crack open and swallow the brother. Maybe I'm completely and totally off about this, but he always impressed me as that kind of nice guy. At least the fact that he resisted my cultural/political fanaticism of the early 90s is testament enough to his levelheadedness.

Anyway, I got an email from him for the first time in a coon's age and he turns out to have a gut! Huh? What? He's blogging a reverse-Supersize Me, in which he's going to shame all us in the pajama corps by doing some fraction of a triathalon, maybe even a whole one. Any fraction is too much for me, but his is all for a good cause, to fight leukemia.

Okolo is one of the mellowist and coolest people you'll ever meet, and you ought to support him.

Posted by mbowen at April 20, 2005 12:02 AM

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Response to Mike from Okolo
It is rare that someone lets you know what they think of you. Few people are honest enough to do so. I always find it refreshing, even if all of it isn't rosy. First a few fact corrections. I'm not... [Read More]

Tracked on April 20, 2005 08:09 AM