March 16, 2010
Happy Birthday Mark Giangrande!
My co-editor, Mark Giangrande, is enjoying his birthday today by, well, blogging about the FCC's just released broadband plans. See post below. Mark and I go way, way back to the early 1980s. He was attending IIT Chicago Kent Law School and working in the law library there while I was a freshly minted law firm librarian. Back then, when a law firm librarian needed to be bailed out, you placed a call to Chicago-Kent's law library. Not that other Chicago academic law libraries weren't also helpful but Chicago-Kent was the one to call when it was time to hit the panic button. Their help was simply amazing.
Mark was the first techie I knew. When I bought my first Mac in 1992(?), Mark configured it for me because, well, I was an idiot. The odds are high that he is still using my old IIci to run something. Later, Mark went to library school, attending the University of Texas program and working for Roy Mersky during his time in Austin. He has his share of Mersky stories but I'll leave those to Mark to tell.
In the mid-90s we found ourselves both working in Miami at different law schools. I have fond memories of Mark being faced with an admistrative mandate to make his school's website "more Catholic." Thanks to Mark, I also found what probably was the only place in Miami for a good hot dog. When you're from Chicago, you have to find a good hot dog!
What amazes me about Mark is that he continues to practice reference and legal research work day in and day out at his age at DePaul Law now. Once upon a time, legal research was my speciality but I eventually burned out. One must be curious, one must want to find the answer to the issue presented all the time. Curosity was not an unlimited resource in my professional life but it remains so for Mark.
I'm not going to say how old Mark is today but he is part of the boomer generation who has "screwed up the profession." (In case you are interested, Greg Lambert and I agreed in a telephone conversation today that the reason we baby boomers screwed things up in law firm librarianship was because we boomers failed to stop the explosive growth in law firm attorney hiring and its consequences, namely the hiring of far too many MBA types to run mega-law firms who wedged themselves in between firm law librarians and the partners who once ran law firms -- oops, our bad, LOL).
OK, I am going to say how old Mark is. He's "59 and feel it, though not as a complaint. It is what it is" to quote Mark. It always is what it is. But after all of these years and what we have lived through, we remain good friends.
Happy birthday Mark --Joe