1 Jun 2021 — There is a somewhat sad view of life that holds that every moment of every day, every step we take, no matter what the direction may be, always brings us one step closer to the cliff we will eventually step off, when our turn comes.
In what we believe is the way that things “should” go, there is an expectation that human life is like computerized inventory with only a FIFO option. For those Helix users who have never had to contemplate computerizing an inventory, FIFO is short for first-in-first-out. Your grandparents will perish before your parents who will perish before you, who will perish before your children, etc.
In this view, tragedies only occur when someone cuts in line.
Clearly, if you've already looked at the dates above and done the math, it's difficult to call the loss of Gregg Sanderson a tragedy. He certainly did not cut in line, in the literal sense. At 88 years old when he succumbed to complications of Covid-19 last September, he lived as long as any of us could ever hope to live. But if you knew Gregg, you knew that he never wanted this ride to end. He always saw the world through the eyes of a young man.
Gregg’s skepticism about age, and aging in particular, and his wonderful sense of humor can be found in the frequent little thought nuggets he bestowed upon his friends, like this one, “Wisdom comes with age. Sometimes age comes alone.”
So why do we mourn his loss? What did his presence in the world of Helix mean to those friends he made along the way? And why, so long after the fact?
Let's try to answer that last question first. This memorium was originally slated to appear on our web site on November 7, 2021. It was a very gut-wrenching thing to contemplate at what was already a very difficult time out here in the Helix universe. So it sat in a folder on a Server waiting for the right moment.
Maybe we were waiting for a moment like the one before most people had even heard of Helix, no less actually seen it, when Gregg Sanderson had built a business for himself selling an application he built with Helix called Market Master. His concept was to automate, to the extent possible, the whole process of generating sales from leads. Today, a mere generation later, there is a company called Sales Force, with a building in New York City, whose eponymously named product is fundamentally exactly what Gregg did so long ago.
Or perhaps a moment like the one several years later, in San Francisco, when Odesta, the company that created Helix, invited a group of Helix application designers to share their booth at Macworld Expo at the Moscone Center. Gregg was one of those designers.
There likely will never be a right moment to acknowledge the loss of someone so important. But the rest of us in the group that week, a long time ago in a galaxy so far away, would agree that meeting Gregg Sanderson was like meeting the Beatles.
It was hard for us to reconcile the fact that Gregg may have had an actual life outside of the things that endeared him to his Helix friends. But he rarely talked about anything without mentioning Marla, his wife of 46 years. Together, they lived in Kingston, New Mexico, Miami, Florida, Telluride, Woodland Park, and Denver, Colorado, San Diego and Nevada City, California and Nashville, Tennessee before settling in Clearwater, FL. Gregg is also survived by a daughter, Sandra Mann, who gave him his grandson, Casey, and a son, Stever Robbins.
Now that his time with us has come to a close, it is small solace to say this, but being able to count yourself among his actual friends was even more incredible than "meeting the Beatles."
And while this is surely not the right moment, it is the moment that sadness was finally overcome by hope, as Gregg would often suggest, except, of course, during periods of "retrograde Mercury." It is the moment we are grateful to have shared a wonderful time with him and a moment where we hope that some great things that are about to happen in this Helix universe he loved so well would meet with his approval.