This week I learned of a close friend's passing. Natural causes. Too soon. Not unexpected. The causal events being a shock nonetheless. It made me reflect on my life and his, as well as the various intersecting and divergent paths we took.
We met one autumn night in 1981 at a security user group. He was mid career, presenting and championing the underdog solution as an independent. He was quiet, convincing, and sure of his facts. I was at the start of my career, beginning in security and eager to get involved with other like minded people. Afterwards, at the pub, we had the opportunity to speak. We covered important topics like governance, technical vulnerabilities, single malt scotch, and Armagnac.
We must have managed to make an impression on each other for we continued to cross paths over the years. Often at events or in pubs. We watched the '87 crash unfold over a pint. He also introduced me to some of the most interesting people I know. They in turn led me to others.
We found synergies. Eventually we found ourselves working together officially; although, only for a surprisingly short three years. Afterwards, we continued to get together irregularly to stay in touch and discuss our field, lives, foibles, pet peeves, and paths.
The time pressures of family and career limited my opportunities to reconnect. Here is one path where we diverged. Where I chose the path of family. He did not. Recently, he confessed to me that it was a path he regretted not taking.
He was a man of many interests, knowledgeable, humorous, charming, and at times highly distractible. Here's to Colin Rous, a mentor and a friend gone home.