chris blogs

December 2006

14dec2006 · I remember Leslie Harpold

Usually, I’m not the person to write eulogies, and especially not for people I thought I’ve never known. But this case is different.

To be honest, when I read at Kottke that Leslie Harpold died, I couldn’t associate anything with her name. It merely sounded remotely known to my ears. But when I saw a link to her blog, http://leslie.harpold.com, I suddenly became aware.

I’m a big fan of web advent calendars, but I felt the whole December this year I was missing something. I forgot about 25 fun filled days of surprises, her yearly advent calendar. It was brilliantly designed and I enjoyed it every year—I can’t figure out why I missed it this year.

If you look there, you’ll notice the last entry is still December 7.

Digging deeper in my memory, I remembered her name from Click to add title, a Powerpoint competition between Leslie Harpold and Michael Sippey. It took place in 2002, but I still remember it clearly. I enjoyed it a lot, and it was one of the first proofs I saw one really can create beauty in Powerpoint.

The next thing I fondly remember, and that I’ve applied on my own, was her How to Write a Thank-You Note. Though published over three years ago, it feels like I read it last week.

She didn’t know me, she could never tell me I was wrong, she didn’t help decide my daughter’s name, she didn’t give me the first pirated software, she didn’t teach me why to say “thank you”, she didn’t take me to the hospital, she didn’t save my hotel rooms; I was too young to read her on smug (I will read it all!), I missed how the web changed her life (and that is essential reading for everyone), and I didn’t know of her damn hard life.

I regret that. I really do.

But she was there. She was there all the time, I just realize now.

I remember Leslie Harpold, and she is going to live forever. I’ll keep clicking “return”.

NP: Johnny Cash—The Man Comes Around (Early Take)

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