Great article on Walter_E _Wallis Palo Alto Issues, posted by Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2007 at 4:58 pm
Thank you Molly for your article on our friend Walter.
I don't always agree with him, often don't understand him, but love him for his interest, wit and openness. I feel I know him and know him better now. And Walter, keep it up. don't let anyone stop you. I hope I have as many interesting opinions when I am your age.
Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2007 at 8:05 pm
I was familiar with Dylan, but more a Mel Torme fan. I observed and predicted that the whiney lifestyle he champions would not have legs. Blues without the suffering. Nony Mouse, I am not all that you are blocking. Be very careful lest you learn something.
Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2007 at 10:05 pm
Walter in the article seemed like an interesting guy, someone I could talk to. Walter online offers interesting perspectives but rarely manages to follow up or enhance any extended discussion without distortions or insults. Too bad... But in the parlance of the younger generation, "props" for putting your name and your face out there with your strong opinions. Whoever vented on you through vandalism ought to be not only ashamed, but arrested.
Posted by Tammy, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2007 at 10:46 pm
I agree with the comments made by A.J. and SkepticAl. I wish Walter didn't pepper his comments with insults, name calling, and goading. It unfortunately diminishes the value of his argument, which I can't imagine he'd purposely want to do. If Walter were to refrain, then I could read his opinions with greater consideration than is possible now. I would honestly like to see that happen! Walter has walked the earth long enough to have opinions and I suspect several of them are actually worth hearing. But in order to effectively reach a person like me, those remarks need to be presented in a generally kinder, more respectful manner. (Not trying to say that I'm right and Walter's wrong -- obviously some people like his posts the way they are. Just saying what works for me and what doesn't, and wishing things could be a little different.)
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 7:21 am
Sorry for a fading memory - even before Mel Torme there was Spike Jones. I may be mistaken on another point, but I believe I usualy do not insult except in response to a non sequitor insult first offered to me.
Posted by Juliet, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 10:58 am
I thought the article wasn't very good. It said nothing about where he grew up, where he was educated, anything about his original family or any current family, and what in his background turned him into a person who doesn't care what other people think. Something inside him died or was killed a long time ago, the ability to connect to other people. That would be interesting to read about.
Posted by Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 7:24 pm
Point taken, but I still think it was a good article. I wasn't interested in reading a biography, although I understand some possibly would be interested. I just found that seeing a picture of him, learning a little more and finding the few interesting things the article mentioned was very informative. If I was Walter, I would not want the public to know all my history, that could be left for an obit. Leave him his privacy, his family and background are his business unless he chooses to share it, not ours. We can read his pithy comments and put a face to the name and a personality to the insults. That is enough for me.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 7:57 pm
I was born in Missouri, came West in the rumble seat of a 1928 Oakland in 1936 with 2 older brothers one younger sister. Raised in Sacramento, entered the service from there. Year in Korea, CIB, several PUCs, 5 battle stars. Tried Civil Service after discharge, didnít like it. 7 years in the desert at a chemical plant where I married and started family and completed engineering education. To the Bay Area in 1960, worked at cement plant, shipyard and finally engineering office. Went into private practice in 1975. Two children still in area, 4 grand children, 2 great grand children, one grandson in Marines. I obviously care what people think because I do this to influence their thinking. I developed my willingness to go against the grain when I put my lily white on the line to oppose Jim Crow back when that was not a good career move. I may have been an early opponent of P.C., probably because I expunged my guilt doing practical things. Obviously I connect with people, just not always to their comfort.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 8:16 pm
Walter: I greatly admire your wit and pithiness, not to mention your guts in signing your name ( unlike me).
I learn a lot from you, and what I don't understand causes me to do my research and think a bit. I see your name and always read what you have to say, having the attitude that your voice is like the (excuse me if I am being indelicate here, but I have to say it with all respect and gratitude) "village elder" that we now lack so often. You connect us with our history, and remind us when we are forgetting our lessons of our past.
All that said, I have to agree that once in a while it is hard even for me, a great admirer, to look "beyond" the sarcasm and name-calling and understand what you are trying to say. On the other hand, you are truly goaded sometimes, and I can understand your reaction. And, frankly, you have more than earned the right to express your opinion, not only by your fighting to defend the freedom to express any opinion you wish in your youth, but by the fact that you sign your name and OWN what you say. It is time we all got a little thicker skinned, and remember what some of the great wits have said about others ( think of Mark Twain, WC Fields or Winston Churchhill and their delicious insults)
Posted by Wolf, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 9:39 pm
Nobody in his right mind should care what some overly sensitive conformists complain about, while ridiculously trying their hand in amateur psychoanalysis at the same time. Stay the way you are! Thanks!
Posted by mmmm, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 24, 2007 at 9:44 pm
I don't think that Walter Wallis deserves all the attention he's getting... Additionally all this to me is another proof that this area, once quite liberal, is becoming more and more conservative all the time.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2007 at 4:49 pm
I sit in front of a computer running AutoCAD 2007 and all the other latest engineering software, accepting drawings over the internet and returning my work product the same way, in an engineering practice that started with a door slab across two sawhorses and a T-square.
I admit to intolerance for the fascination some people have with demonstably failed social programs.
I am, as you so astutely deciphered, old. When FDR was my age he had been dead 10 years.
Posted by Fred Balin, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2007 at 9:49 pm
Wasn't that you at the reunion of the first Homebrew Computer Club meeting (March 1975) that our Stanford/Palo Alto Macintosh User Group hosted a few years ago at SLAC auditorium ...
... the reclusive fellow in the blue jacket at the far right in the wide shot close to the bottom of Web Link
... and incorrectly captioned as Gene Wallace ...
... and who was introduced by Gordon French as the man who wrote under the name of "The Old Sailor" in the tech broadsides of the day, ...
... which spoke to that motley crew of radicals, weapons developers, community organizers, physicians, Paly High students, frustrated tech middle managers, and hackers of all stripes, who fueled the microcomputer revolution in the wake of the the tsunami among nerds released the Altair 8800, on January 1975 cover of Popular Electronics?
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2007 at 6:46 am
Whatever happened to Gordon French? His garage in Menlo Park should rank with the Hewlett Packard garage. I believe everyone in that first garage meeting became computer millionaires except me and, alas, Gordon. If only comodore had not dropped by the wayside.
Posted by Fred Balin, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2007 at 10:58 am
Gordon French moved up north a few years ago
Bob Lash, that treasure of a human being, one of the Paly kids at the first Homebrew meeting, who created and still updates the web site referred to above, and who worked valiantly and selflessly in an unsuccessful effort to stop Stanford from demolishing the history that was Bracewell Observatory, Web Link , tracked him down for me two years when I was planning another event at SLAC auditorium where the rapidly increasing Homebrew crowds finally settled in the heyday.