I still remember the first time I met Amy. Her family had just moved to Dorchester and was visiting our family’s home for the first time. She was my first female (half-second) cousin who was the same age as me.
While we attended the same elementary school, we did not share the same group of friends. However, we would smile and nod in acknowledgement of our familial connection when we would pass one another in the hallway or on the playground.
Eventually we wound up working at the same local grocery store where we were able to develop a closer friendship. Around this time, we discovered a shared interest in web design. Like me, Amy was frustrated by designers too lazy to understand the medium for which they were designing. In our minds, a web designer who didn’t know CSS was no web designer at all.
It was so cool to see someone I knew personally achieve so much in our industry. Her work was fun and playful and stood out in a very tough industry. She was even featured in the design publications I read which only made her even cooler in my eyes.
Her eventual move to England to be with her partner, Chris, whom she met through conversations about the UI he was developing for his online fitness community, truly opened my eyes to the power of the Internet to connect people in real life all across the world.
Amy and I fell out of touch in recent years. However, she did ping me a few months ago to laugh about a song I recorded back in high school called “Jesse Spano is a Speed Freak.” She may have been the one and only fan of that song.