Chinese Checkers

GoBrad isn't just about work. He discovered the Asian game of Go and hooked me on it. We played during our lunch break for several months in 1987, clear up until the NEA's annual holiday closedown. When we returned to work after the holidays, he had lost all interest in Go.

I bought a Go game for my Macintosh to compensate for my loss. I tried to turn Brad on to computer Go-ing, but he just wasn't fascinated with the game anymore. Oh well.

Instead, Brad took on bridge playing and developed sufficient competence at the game to participate in local tournaments. One of his bridge partners was a fellow who, coincidentally, was the teacher in a statistics class I took a couple of semesters prior. I figured the two of them did pretty well as bridge partners, each being a mathemetician with an affinity for games of strategy, although their personalities couldn't have been more different. The statistician was a stinker with interpersonal relations problems. Brad got along with everybody, helped everybody, had something to say to everybody, and never said a harsh word to or about anybody.

I was studying data processing at Northern Virginia Community College during Brad's bridge phase. He was always eager to help me get over the stuff I didn't quite grasp in class, but--always the teacher--he didn't just give me the solutions to my problems. He gave me gentle hints, then asked me leading questions to get me to reason out the answers myself. Then, after I figured out where to go next, he would talk the leg off a chair about the ramifications and potential of my newly absorbed knowledge and how it applied to the real world, or didn't apply to the work we were doing for NEA.

At one point I was investigating the classes I wanted to take in the coming semester. Among my choices was a class in assembly language. Brad offered to take the class too, so that he could not only advance his own knowledge, but also to help me out when I inevitably needed it with the abstract subject matter.