The Bill Gates Of Boynton Beach

I called my folks on the way home from work tonight. I do most every night at 11:35. I wasn’t a particularly easy kid. I’ve tried to be a better son as an adult.

Usually my dad is asleep and my mom and I will chat as I drive home. There’s always something going on. Their social life is busier than ever. If that fails, someone’s seen a doctor and there’s medical news to be discussed.

Tonight, probably because of the World Series, my father was awake. He got on the phone.

He was very excited about his second day as a computer teacher. In the clubhouse of their Florida condo there is a computer lab with a dozen or so networked PC. It’s a teaching facility, put together by some residents, with my father’s assistance. That’s where the computer club meets.

There are still plenty of people in the condos who’ve never used a PC, but want to. Their kids want to send them photos or email… or maybe they sense they should learn as an abstract concept. They just don’t know how to get started.

One of the cooler things about being a resident of this ‘adults only’ condo complex is, my parents live in a non-judgmental world. Every new endeavor is encouraged. You want to dance or sing or make ceramics or learn computers? Go for it. Everyone is supportive.

My dad is their computer teacher. How cool is that?

He’s not a pro. He has no training. When he last attended school, computers didn’t exist.

He’s just a nice guy – one of them. He’s got a bit of knowledge and a lot of passion. Being passionate is a valuable trait no matter what you’re doing.

My father’s strength is his ability to unlock the little things for these seniors. They’re simple things you might take for granted, like how to enter an address for a website or how to do a search. Even double clicking is a foreign concept when you’ve never double clicked!

He is opening a new world to these people.

Today he showed them a site where they could find newspapers from their hometowns. Then he popped over to for some videos. He found some video of a tornado and eighty year old jaws dropped. My dad’s a god!

My mom, one of his students, told me his class applauded when he finished his lesson. It was one of the nicest, most genuinely sweet things I’ve heard in a long time.

My father’s class will learn a lot from him about computing. But seriously, he’s getting the better end of this deal. Having passion is one thing. Having your passion rewarded is something few of us ever experience.

3 thoughts on “The Bill Gates Of Boynton Beach”

  1. Reminds me of a story I had with my grandma(she was 80 at the time). She came down to visit my wife and me when we lived in Houston about 7 years ago. She knew we had some relatives in Houston so I went to yahoo!(there was no google yet, that I knew of) and typed in there name. It gave me their address, which I plugged into Mapquest and had their name, phone number and directions to their house in less than 5 minutes. My grandma was amazed and then wanted to see what else it could do.


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