Week 386-391 - If We Did, He Did - 02-09-2014
If We Did, He Did
40 years ago, we met Paul Layman when he came to work at the County
of San Luis Obispo where Pete started seven months prior. Both
worked as computer programmer/analysts. Pete and Paul become
friends and in short order Paul became a best friend to both Pete
and Ellen. Paul is an amazing man. While Pete had six years more
programming experience than Paul, Paul quickly caught up and the two
shared in their journey to create great software systems. In 1978
Pete left the county to start his AlphaMicro business, San Luis
Software (now called MattsonExpress.com). Paul left a few years
later to create American Business Data Systems, also an AlphaMicro
For years Pete and Paul shared database theories and programming
techniques; so much that while most programmers write wildly
different program code, Pete and Paul's creations would be very
nearly identical. Paul even shared Pete's name. To differentiate
from his father, Paul T Layman, Sr., Paul was known as PT or Pete
until he came to the county.
Paul fast become close to our family and our children, spending
countless days and weekends at our house in Atascadero. Paul, a BBQ
wizard, loved to prepare meals of tri-tip, rack of lamb, chicken,
short ribs and more.
And his made-from-scratch Caesar salad was the best,
as was his BBQ'd french bread. Paul made the one-hour trip to our
house hundreds of times where we enjoyed meals, wines and movies. Three of our children were married in our local area and Paul,
without request, volunteered to BBQ for the rehearsal dinners. Paul
was generous as well with wedding gifts for our children.
In the late 90's we used to spend a lot of time at R-Ranch in the
Sequoias. R-Ranch is a logging camp turned into a timeshare, just
north of Kernville, California. One summer Ellen and the girls
spent six weeks at R-Ranch. Paul and Pete came up each Thursday
through Sunday to hike, play bingo, dance, play cards and of course
enjoy Paul's BBQ.
Paul would drive the hour to Atascadero, pick up
Pete and drive the three hours to the ranch. It was here that Pete,
Paul and Ellen designed a deck to surround our used above-ground
In 2000 we built the $9,000 brick deck around our $200 pool. Paul
came to our house every Friday afternoon. We worked on the deck
until dark, then Paul would BBQ and we would sit in our spa and
watch a movie. Then we worked all day Saturday and went to church on
This project took two months and we will always be
thankful for Paul's generous time, effort and meals.
In 2006 we started our great motorhome adventure. While it has been
a tremendous blessing, we missed the weekends with Paul.
Paul's house was always our first stop out of town
and last stop coming back. We have parked the MotherShip in front of
Paul's house a dozen times totaling 36 days. He has always reserved
RV Site #1 for us. It included free overnight stay, A/C power,
water, BBQ, wine and movies. And of course, great fellowship. On
one such trip Paul and Pete built the "office" in the MotherShip
using his workshop and power tools.
Over the last 40 years Paul has provided MattsonExpress with more
than a thousand hours of free consulting. You might think that
1,000 hours is stretching the truth, but I state the facts,
remembering what Paul always says "I told you a million times not to
Paul is an avid reader with hundreds of books in his library. When
Paul becomes interested in a topic, he dives into it. He has read a
dozen books on global warming and viewed several documentaries on
the topic. While Al Gore purports to be the expert, Gore will never
debate anyone; he just runs around the world making money off
speeches. Paul's depth of knowledge about global warming is great
and it is probable that Paul could shellac Gore in a debate. Paul's
memory retention is incredible.
Paul loves movies and along with this house mate
Robert, accumulated over a thousand movies (there we
go again with the 1,000 stories!). Paul is funny and loves jokes.
Pete has a few of his own, but many of the best come from Paul. "Two
men in a bar. The first says 'I drink to forget'. The second
replies "so do it, why do you drink?'" (Henry, we got it right!)
We talk to Paul every week. In 2011 we were in Louisville, Kentucky to get
our engine rebuilt.
We called Paul to catch up and mentioned the engine.
He did not inquire about how it happened or what we were going to
do. He simply blurted out, "How can I help?" Paul is the most
generous man we have ever known. Best Friend is an understatement.
While Paul's parents lived into their 90's, Paul passed away
unexpectedly on Jan 16, 2014 at age 67.
Have we had any influence in your life? If we did, he did.
So much of what we have learned and experienced was a result of
having Paul as a friend.
Paul is survived by his son Eric who lives in Portland, Oregon
and daughter Stephanie in New York
City. We hope to be as helpful to his kids as Paul was to ours.
Paul accepted Christ as his savior in March of 1995. The Lord
blessed us with 40 years of Paul's friendship and we look forward to
living with him in Heaven for Eternity.
With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy
P.S. Paraphrasing Edward from the movie Bucket List
last 40 years of Paul's life, were the best 40 years of ours!"
Photos from January 2014