Jim Selleck on "Purest Love"

"Actually, the infamous 'Lisa' gets partial credit for bringing Jeff and me together. Had he not been in the throes of a bout of teen angst over the ending of their relationship (...a love to topple empires, brighter than the sun, able to tip the very planets off their axis', blah blah... The fervor of Jeff's emotions in those days was affecting the seismographs at nearby University of Michigan. Since then he has been able to regulate them using large quantities of randomly selected prescription drugs.) he might not have been hiding out in the corner of his dark, dank, moldy bedroom (in the root cellar of his mom's house) that night reaching out for anonymous solace through his computer and modem.

Let's pause there. Consider for a moment that computers and modems were NOT common household appliances then. It was no mean technical feat to get online at all, let alone using the minimalist equipment Jeff had scraped together. His mighty 300 baud modem (yes, you read that number right) was connected to a Commodore VIC-20 computer, with a burned-out old black and white TV set standing in as a monitor. For those too young to know: the VIC-20 was one of the very first "home" computers. It had less (a lot less) memory than you get in a digital wristwatch today. The screen display included only 22 text letters across, no windows, no mouse, just text and maybe some extremely simple graphics. Experts classify the VIC-20 as a game cartridge player with a useless keyboard attached. Those same experts are unable to explain how Jeff managed to learn UNIX on his. But I digress...

You will recall that about a paragraph ago we left Jeff stranded in the mid-1980's, spurned by his lady love, dialing forlornly into the modems of other computer geeks. (Remember: no World Wide Web then!) And as fate would have it, he connected with my own little computer BBS (Bulletin Board System). Fate struck again! He requested a chat with the System Operator, and I happened to be in the room with nothing else to do. No premonition gripped me as I casually struck the key to enter chat mode. No feeling of dread or impending doom had I. Not one inkling that I might be starting a lifelong friendship with one of the most bizarre individuals on Earth.

So you see, Lisa hooked us up, in a way. Blame her if you are offended by anything we did afterward.

Oh, was I supposed to be talking about the song? Okay, its a cool song. Download it now, then call a friend you haven't seen in a while. Tell them Lisa made you do it."

Note from Jeff: Actually, it was Jim who entered into chat mode with me after watching me respond to several posts in the "bulletin board" area of the BBS. It was such a surprise, seeing the screen clear and the message "THE SYSOP IS NOW ONLINE" come across my screen out of nowhere, that it imprinted on my memory quite vividly.