Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another Max...

Max, November 23, 1998

This isn't my week. Today I learned about that a good friend of mine, Max Mandle, passed away suddenly at the age of 55. Max used to work with me, and was my boss for a short while...and I learned a lot of things from him. Like Sonia, he was one of the most important mentors I had in my life. Max was funny all the time...but had a way of engaging you when he needed you to focus on something. Quick to laugh, Max was a lot of fun to be around.

Max was one of the first people to try out an old Polaroid land camera that I bought at a garage sale for $2. He took this photo of me when I came into work one Saturday in 1998.

I used to call Max on his birthday every year; Max lived up in New England, and we saw each other infrequently...but we did keep in touch once or twice a year, and I always looked forward to calling him on his birthday, just to say hi for a few minutes at least.

Max focusing intensely on the work at hand...

I hadn't worked with Max for several years now...and haven't seen him in person since 2001. But the friendship remained strong. While Max could get easily excited/stressed about things at times...there's one major thing that he never seemed stressed about: that he almost died on 9/11/2001. Max had tickets on one of the four flights that were hijacked that from Boston to L.A. ...but Max switched flights at the last minute after some meeting details couldn't be worked out before his trip, so he decided to fly out earlier. If it wasn't for that...Max wouldn't have been here until now. But, just as suddenly...he's now gone.

The last time I saw Max, October 6, 2001, when I got to stay over at his place during a trip to Boston.

Max, I miss ya, buddy. You were a great friend, and someone I always looked up to and admired (not that you would have felt that was appropriate). I hope you are in a better place, and that your family and friends are taking your loss well.


Dan Mandle said...

I was playing around with this new find everything about a person on the internet tool: and after finding out way too much about myself, I decided to take look for my Dad's name. I truly appreciate your admiration for my father as few others can. One thing that brings me peace is knowing that in his short time that he was able to influence so many people just by being him, and not trying to make new friends everywhere he went.

Dan Mandle

Andy said...

Dan, if you'd like, please contact me. I'd love to talk with you for a bit about your father. He really was a good friend, and I'm really honored and fortunate that Max and I crossed paths. I would not be where I am without him.

You may not remember me, but he told me on more than one occassion that you looked up to me, which is funny because we only met once (around the time of the last photo of him and I in 2001).

Drop me a line through here if you'd like to talk. :)