Jeffrey Aaronson’s Improbable Journey with Steve Jobs, a Guy Who Changed Our Modern World (Part One)

THEN: THINK DIFFERENT (Part One)

February 1984: It’s a classic winter day in Aspen. Snow is falling like heavy cotton as photographer Jeffrey Aaronson sits hunched over his light table, editing film. As he lowers his loupe and glances up from his slides for a moment, he suddenly notices a flash of brown amidst all the white outside his window. A UPS truck is pulling up in front of his studio. Jeffrey isn’t expecting a package, so curiosity immediately tickles his frontal lobe.

In a matter of minutes Jeffrey finds himself staring at a large white box sitting on his studio floor. He can do little more than shake his head and smile when he sees the word Macintosh printed on its side, along with its signature design.

Inside the box he finds a brand new Apple Macintosh 128K computer along with a keyboard and a new thing called a mouse. He also finds a hand-written note from Steve Jobs. It simply reads:

“Be a part of the future—Steve”

At that moment, Jeffrey knows he has just opened up more than a computer box; he has opened up his entire world—a world in which anything is possible. Not because of the machine per se, but because of the impact the machine’s creator has had on him. The computer is merely a symbol of all that is possible when a brilliant imagination is supported by hard work and fearlessness.

Jeffrey smiles at the boldness of his friend’s characteristically minimal note, and is stunned by his generosity. But then again, not really. In the past month, Steve Jobs has bowled him over countless times…

Steve and i book cover

Read the rest of this improbable story and see many more rarely-seen photographs of Steve Jobs in our ebook, Steve & i, which is now available on Amazon for Kindle devices. It will be available for the NOOK, Sony Reader and iPad soon.

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28 thoughts on “Jeffrey Aaronson’s Improbable Journey with Steve Jobs, a Guy Who Changed Our Modern World (Part One)

  1. Pingback: Riccardo Mori » How Jeffrey Aaronson met Steve Jobs

  2. Becky this was a wonderful post! You definitely gave another view of Steve Jobs that many didn’t know about. You definitely made him seem personable.

    Hugs!!

    • Cat, so glad you enjoyed it. I’ve always found the details in life to be the most interesting, especially since they’re what make human beings so complex. Clearly, Steve Jobs was brilliantly complex. I’m glad I was able to share this multi-dimensional view of him.

  3. What I loved about your piece, Becky, is that you captured the playful side of Steve Jobs so well, both in words and photos. I suspect that his playful side had a lot to do with his capacity to let his imagination have free rein in the design and development of his products. Thanks for sharing this with us ~

    • Thank you, Nancy. That is the side of Steve Jobs Jeffrey experienced the most, so I wanted to make sure it came through in the story (particularly because nearly everything you hear about Jobs is about his serious/controlling side). We are all complex human beings, but a genius like Jobs was clearly multi-dimensional. And yes, I suspect you may right about his playful and artistic side stirring his imagination.

  4. With all the press which followed his death, this is my favorite. No doubt it is stories like these which tell the most of who he really was. There is great expectation that his biography will feed that desire so many of us have to know more of what made this man tick. The photos speak for themselves, no doubt, but your words enhance them beautifully!

  5. This is an amazing story — and you told it so well! It’s the best thing I’ve read about Steve Jobs since he passed. What I find so beautiful, is your recollection of these events as they happened to your husband. That really speaks to the power of your marriage, and all that you share with each other.

    Also, the pictures are incredible. You are one talented family!

    • Steve Jobs was an amazing human being and Jeffrey and I wanted to share a side of him that most people don’t know. This was one of the toughest stories I’ve ever written (particularly in such a short time frame) because I wanted to get it just right. Your heartfelt comments are deeply appreciated.

  6. Becky, What an enjoyable post! And the fact that Jeffery got the thumbs-up from Steve Jobs to do the interview for Newsweek, being leery of the press. Jeffery’s pictures are so personable catching a side of this man most have not seen. Jeffery and Steve seemed to relate like soul-brothers . . . Amazing story. What a joy to see. Do you feel like Cinderella yet? You should! Hugs, Nancy

  7. just a fantastic story – both the life experience and the delivery! For me, the timing of the passing of Steve Jobs, whom I have of course never met, is causing much introspection. I wonder where this will all go…. thanks, Becky!

    • Thanks, Beth. There’s more to come with this story. And I know what you mean about introspection. Steve Jobs’ passing stirred up a lot in me tool…and I think it did for many others as well. If there is a such a thing as a silver lining with somebody’s passing, at least I feel like his brilliant life is inspiring others to remember to try to rise to their potential.

  8. So fun to see these photos! I have always wondered what they may have looked like! In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any in the news that have captured this side of Steve Jobs. Very cool.

    • Glad you enjoyed them. Steve Jobs was perhaps the most photographed CEO in history, and was always clearly in control of his media image. I like these images because they give more dimension to the young genius, capturing his humor, etc. There are more to come in my next post. Stay tuned…

      Thanks for taking time to comment!

  9. Ah, geez, what a great story. I had no idea.

    How cool is it that I know Jeffrey Aaronson (kept him up one night in a Paris hotel room with my snoring)? Hope he has forgiven me.

  10. Becky, beautiful said and written. How wonderful that you and Jeffrey knew the late, great Jobs. So great Jeffrey’s photos now grace so many publications. Ann

    • Thanks, Anne. I’m glad you enjoyed this story. Jeffrey was very lucky to have become friends with Steve Jobs (not because he was “The Amazing and Famous Steve Jobs,” but because he was an exception human being. The two had a special connection that Jeffrey holds very dear.

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