As soon as he got wind Vernon was in the hospital with sepsis, Dave Crossland, Vernon’s old pal and typography colleague (er, partner in crime) bought tickets to fly out from New York to see him. He knew it was serious. As soon as he realized Vernon’s time might be even shorter, he arranged to fly out even sooner. He told me he hoped to catch the “new Vernon” while he could, especially since the past two times he’s come out to visit him, Vernon was asleep (recovering from coma or the first round of sepsis.) Truth be told, I was anxious that he wouldn’t catch Vernon’s window, but he did!
(Chris this of Dave visiting yesterday.)
Dave and his lovely new wife flew out Sunday morning and managed to get a little time with Vernon in the afternoon. Dave brought this Google Fonts poster for his wall—very special as Dave and Vernon were the trailblazers of Google Web Fonts.
When Dave showed the poster to Vernon and pointed out the fonts he’d designed, Vernon said, very businesslike: “Yes, so how will I get paid for that?” No nonsense anymore, this version of Vernon. I got the sense he was trying to take care of his family even from his position. He gets straight to the punch these days. It’s as if he knows there is no time for anything else.
It was a short visit yesterday, but Dave came back again today. They talked shop, which a very sleepy Vernon seemed to enjoy. He definitely knew who Dave was and that they’d worked together. I was so touched that Dave wanted to be with Vernon at many stages in his recovery and also here, at the end. I was so happy they were finally able to connect.
Here they are, watching a video of the both of them talking about free-ing fonts in Istanbul four years ago.
On another note, here is a funny story from earlier:
I was feeding Vernon chocolate ice cream (all he eats.) He was being so sweet. I said something like: “You are so full of love.”
“I am full of love,” he agreed.
After a pause:
“I am full of ice cream too.”