I missed noting it, but 30 years ago on Saturday, June 9th, 1984 I graduated in the third graduating class of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. It was an amazing two years and I’m happy to say that I’m still in touch with many of the people I met there.
The speaker at my graduation was Ron McNair, the first African-American astronaut. Earlier that year, in February, I got to see him launched into space on Space Shuttle mission STS-41-B. Unfortunately, he was one of the seven people killed in the Challenger disaster a couple of year later.
While most people, I would assume, don’t remember the speech given at their high school graduation, I remember him talking about daring to be “a flea weight in a heavy weight world”. I took those words to heart and it is one of the reasons OpenNMS is able to challenge products from the likes of HP and IBM.
I should note that on Sunday, June 10th, 1984, I started working as a machine operator in a plastics injection molding plant in Asheboro, NC. In retrospect, it wouldn’t have hurt me to take a day off but I guess that just how we open source geeks roll.