Michael Hart: Birthday Remembrance

by Michael Cook on March 5, 2014
PG News

[In commemoration of Michael’s birthday, Jim Berger has written some reflections–Ed]

Michael Hart’s birthday comes around in just a few days. What do you remember?

Did you ever hear about the two buildings Michael disappeared in South Korea?

Or how about sitting out one of the riots during the 1968 Democratic Convention, with his girlfriend, atop a squad car?

If Michael’s life was not charmed, it certainly was interesting.

I can testify to keeping the water up in his furnace in the dead of winter while Michael was out of town. Michael’s home was storied and rightly so, for Michael was an inveterate collector of all things remotely interesting.

We played Frisbee golf, and once on Halloween, I savored an authentic, Star-Wars, light saber that lit up to perfection and made all the right noises.

But at Michael’s funeral, it became clear that I knew but half of it, if that much.

The dining room for lunch at the Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center was abuzz with fantastic stories and remembrances as we paused to break bread and personalize our grief with one another.

I had not known that Michael had been an Eagle Scout.

There is still much we could all learn about the man, and so, that is the question: What do you remember?

And with a bit of luck, we may even be able to share our stories on the radio. Negotiations to that effect are just getting underway. I am hopeful that one particular call-in program will find time for us, perhaps on Friday, at 10 a.m. Central Time.

As I say, negotiations are just getting underway. We’ll know more by Thursday. But that is something to shoot for. And dare I say, the richer and broader the response right here, the easier it will be for making a case to those who decide these things.

In that vein, I refer everyone to WILL – Focus – June 07, 2011, which 33 minutes into the audio file contains the last known phone call by Michael Hart to this particular radio, call-in program. Michael did not identify himself, but I recognized him, and we got together for lunch a short time thereafter.

It would be good to locate other calls of Michael’s from those audio files. It would be good to locate them all.

Who would join in such a search? That would require formally splitting up the task and zeroing in on topics about computers or
about books. I’m good for up to three hours of listening for Hart clips, if anyone else will join me.

Please consider that, and then let’s get in touch. But for the moment, for Michael’s birthday, what do you remember about Michael

It’s time to celebrate an incredible man. Please share what you have, be it modest or grand. Just click on the edit button and insert your own text at the bottom of the box that opens up below. Then save the page. Together we can get the whole picture of Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg.

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