In Memory of Harold Hayes
by, 10-07-2009 at 03:31 AM (4085 Views)
In memory of Harold Hayes
In 1991 I sold my moving company in New Orleans and moved to Bayou La Batre Alabama. I had been running a bulletin board and was networking through Fidonet. I found someone selling a couple hundred used Hitachi cd rom drives and bought them to sell to sysops running amateur bulletin boards.
About 30 or more of the cd rom drives I bought wouldn't work but there was an electronics store next door. I got to know the guy who worked there and I would give him software and he would help me repair the drives.
One day when I went over there a man a few years older than me was there. He was trying to get a hard drive cable to connect two drives and reach the mother board. I had built many ribbon cables to connect the rom drives in the 8 bay towers. So I showed him that all he had to do was move the connector to another place on the cable and whack it with a hammer and it was good to go and would make all the connections.
He was a little amazed that I knew how to do something like that. And he shared what he had been fixing and building computers for his friends and relatives. I gave him a some of the shareware cd rom disks I had and we exchanged phone numbers. He started helping me with my hardware problems. He always knew where to get a good deal on computer hardware and how to get modems and other hardware conflicts resolved.
I got to know him pretty well. He was the only one in town who could talk about motherboards, processors, hard drives and help me resolve irq conflicts and tweak Windows.
I didn't see him for a while then one day I was in the bank across from my house and he was there. He looked bad. He could hardly stand up and I couldn't even believe he was not in bed. I asked him whats wrong and he said his heart was very bad and only functioning a little over 10%. I wished him well and thought I would never see him again.
A few months later he called me about something and I was kinda shocked. I asked him how he was doing and he said he was pretty good. He had gotten a heart transplant.
He regained most of his strength and energy and started helping shrimp boat owners manage computers that mapped the obstacles that they avoided to prevent snagging their nets.
Then Harold got books and started studying networking, ip addressing and stuff that gives me a headache. He started working for the big shrimp processing companies, networking and backing up their data. And he got smart. I still reminded him that when we first met he couldn't fix a ribbon cable.
I wrote the Cracktalk newsletter for over 9 years and he contributed a lot. Many of the great hardware deals I mentioned were tips from him. He contributed quite a bit of valuable information I shared with my readers. He tested software and gave me very good feedback. I learned a lot from him.
And, he helped me an my boys find a lot of roofing jobs and construction work in the area. When I wanted to build an office he loaned me a table saw and air compressor and other tools.
I stopped publishing the newsletter in 05 and took some jobs out of town,
then I was an owner/operator for FedEx Custom Critical for about a year. I still called Harold every few months. Except for my cell phone number and my parents's phone number his phone number is still the only one I have memorized.
When I talked to him around July he said he had developed cancer and the immune suppressing drugs that he had to take so his body wouldn't reject the donor heart was allowing the cancer to spread fast. I called him every few weeks to check on how he was doing and he would just say he was getting worse.
Harold died a few weeks ago. I talked to him about a week before he died and he told me he had been sent home to die because there was nothing else they could do for him.
I was so sad.
There are not many people in the world who would help other people like Harold would. He lived the last 20 years of his life with serious health problems AND the financial stress of large medical bills. And if that wasn't misfortune enough, he had a son that was murdered a couple years ago.
I truly miss Harold and I wish that he rests in peace.
Total Trackbacks 0