Catherwood (aka Craig Morrison)
My Friend and Mentor.
19?? – 2001
This page is dedicated to the life I knew with a good hearted person that changed my life. His name was Craig Morrison. He died recently. I wanted to share my thoughts and memories with those that visit my site. He had a profound impact on it and with out him, I do not think there would be this site or me still around for that matter. So, I share this with you, some thoughts and memories so he is not forgotten. This man was the closest thing to a father I had.
This is a work in progress. Because, I do not think I can write it all down now. For I grieve the loss of a great friend and mentor.
Craig was a stout, warm hearted man. I used to call him the giant Leprechaun. He lived his life amongst his computers and was a big part of the Southern California BBS community. (Online before the internet) We knew him as Catherwood others knew him as Craig.
When I was 19, I met Craig in the summer of 1989 in his office at the back of his house in Long Beach. I met him through one of his employees and friend of mine, Jason (aka Jester). I dropped Jason off to work at Craig’s on that summer afternoon. Craig was having some problems with a batch script (a series of commands that tell the computer what to do) that I helped resolve. So, he offered me a job working with him on his computers and scripting in his consulting company he ran from his house.
At the time, I was still struggling with my addiction to methamphetamines. I am sure Craig had some idea that I was not “well with the world” and yet he still kept me on. Craig somehow knew what to say to keep me coming back. Eventually, working with Craig became a haven for me. I found that I enjoyed working in his cramped office more enjoyable than doing drugs.
Don’t get me wrong, in the beginning, he was not an easy person to get along with, but I was so fascinated by all the things he was doing or trying to do with computers and networking that I just kept coming back. He would do things like send me home if I was 5 minutes late, make me redo a project if it did not fit within his strict guidelines, and I don’t think he ever paid me on time. Oh, but I loved being there.
His office was this 12 by 12 room in the back of his house. The walls were surrounded in computers. He even modified a medical filing cabinet to house computers in pull out trays so they were easy to work on. There were cables, books, disks, and computer parts everywhere! It was heaven for me and I wanted to be there for as long as he would have me working there.
And work I did, he had me on all sorts of projects, coding this and modifying that. We would spend long hours talking about computers, where they were now and where they were going to be. I did not think about it at the time, but that office was to be the framework for the rest of my career.
I learned a lot there. Craig taught me a lot. He taught me what he knew about computers and how it applied to the business world. He showed me, through his clients, what the practical uses for various types of systems are. He also let me play, he encouraged me to explore and learn.
Craig also knew when to take a breather of sorts. Late in the evening, after many hours of work, he would pull out the Bacardi and we’d have a couple drinks and sit around and chat. I miss that.
I worked for him through that summer and through the next year. Sometime during that period I just stopped doing drugs. I found that it hampered my ability to work.
Prior to meeting Craig, I had gotten in trouble with the Law because of the drug addiction. During the first year or so I worked for Craig, I was going to court for the trouble I had gotten into. Eventually it led to my serving prison time. I served close to 15 months and was released shortly after my 20th birthday.
Craig never judged. We talked about what I did to get me there and if I had learned anything from the experience. Then, he asked when I could come back to work. He never lectured me, just listened, gave his two cents, and moved on.
So, I returned to work with Craig, eventually handling some of his client calls for him. Here and there, he would talk about my joining the real world and getting out on my own. I eventually took a job with Costco and thus began the rest of my career.
I still visited Craig from time to time. He became more than a friend, boss, and mentor. He was like a father to me. He was there when a lot of my own family had turned their backs on me. He was a source of great insight for me, both professionally and non-professionally.
He followed my career through the years and my trials and tribulations of being the pain in the arse that I can be at times. We had our ups and downs yet it was the computers that always brought us back together. He had these ideas about computers and networking that kind of took root in my head.
When I was working for Craig, he used to talk about these meetings he had with some old friends of his from college. He called them the “Computer Smart Guys” meetings. He would always shoo me out of the house when it was his turn to have them there. I always wanted to attend but he would never let me.
Eventually, after several years, sometime in ’94 I believe, he finally asked me to come to one of those meetings. It was an experience I will never forget. I met several of Craig’s friends and colleagues. One in particular, whose name escapes me (he brought a GPS to the meeting attached to his laptop), had a profound impact on the way I view the business world.
Now, at the time, I thought of myself as an Entrepreneur. I had realized that I could never be someone who worked for someone else regularly. Craig had me chat with that friend of his that had made it in the entrepreneurial world. We talked about how he did it and he imparted to me some of his insight, which I still try to hold true to this day.
As I moved from Southern California, Craig and I kept in touch over the years. We remained close friends. His friendship and his insight will be sorely missed.
Craig came to visit me in Las Vegas shortly before his passing. We had some good times. We sat one day talking and he told me he was proud of me. I miss you Craig.