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Roy Pritts

Tom Norton

Roy Pritts, 1937-2007

Roy had been acquaintances with my Father, Dick Patterson, when both were gigging musicians in Denver. So it was partly because of that connection that I attended The University of Colorado, where Roy was Dean of The College of Music.

During my stint there, Roy and I wound up connecting because of the Olive console, a huge project that he dreamed of one day seeing in the pages of Mix Magazine. Once the console was finally restored, Mix wasn't too interested anymore, and I don't know about Roy, but that really hurt me on his behalf.

But such is life, and Roy certainly didn't let any of that stop him, as you can see from his vast accomplishments listed below. Sometime you may want to take stock of yourself, asking whether you've accomplished a tenth as much as Roy. I know he would enjoy it if that made you push forward, trying new things and expanding your horizons, rather than just talking about all the things that could have been.

Tom Norton, 1946-2005

It's difficult to encapsulate the life of a person into one page of text, and I found out at Tom's memorial service that it's even more improbable to do so with a person like him.

Good times were had by all.

I met him when I was designing The Fun House studio, and he made an unforgettable impression on me within the first five minutes. I was obviously not a big client of his, but he didn't care. He spent hours with me on that first day alone, showing me samples, looking up test results, and shoving graphs and literature into my hands without even the slightest hint that I wasn't his most important client.

I don't know how many piles of materials I left his office with on many occasions, after having spent a few very educational hours each time listening to his expertise on acoustics and why the whole thing was so exciting. He invited me to job sites, took me back to his secret warehouse, and even drove across town on his own time just to see the studio under construction. I asked him once why he was so excited about my project, and he replied "I just love studios!" How could you not have the greatest respect for someone who goes to work with that attitude?

Tom gets eaten by an alligator

He had spent so much time with me out of the goodness of his heart that I wanted to somehow repay his favor. When Mix Magazine called about doing a feature on the studio, I called his office, and discovered that I would never get that chance.

After a very brief illness, Tom was taken far too soon at 48 years of age. Upon attending his memorial, I was taken aback at the number of people who attended. There were hundreds of people there, and those who got up to tell stories of Tom had exactly the same impression that I had gotten from him. That he was always willing to lend a hand no matter the cost to his own time, that he was willing to bring virtual strangers into his home if he thought they needed help, and that he was always a joy to be around. But I also discovered that I had only known a tiny piece of Tom, and that I had really missed out on who he was. Kidding around, always smiling.There were dozens of pictures of him in various circumstances, and what struck me was that he was ALWAYS smiling, even when he didn't know the camera was there. There were pictures of him holding an infant up to a bush to smell the roses, of him cooking, laughing with the kids, making a fool of himself for their amusement, and of him experiencing joy with his family and friends. I've never seen a person so full of life, full of caring, and glad to be alive. And it occurred to me that I had virtually no pictures of myself or my loved ones in the same circumstances. I know that I have to learn from Tom's example.

My only regret is that I didn't meet him sooner. Best of luck in your journey Tom. You will be sorely, sorely missed.

Best of luck in your journey Tom.