image by Eddie Mize
Where do I even start? Yes, I was in Vegas, and got to attend Bsides and Defcon, and yes, I was with JM. But saying it like that doesn't do it justice. It was fan-fucking-tastic....beyond belief, and surreal. The sheer number of people who showed their love for John ~ and all of us who were with him ~ was slightly overwhelming. As one new friend said to me " To us, he is an Icon "
Of course, I had an idea of how revered JM was in the tech community. And I knew that would be compounded once he was with the 'bad boys & girls' ~ the hackers ...... but I wasn't prepared for just how much total respect and admiration there actually was for him. It started as soon as he got out of the limo. Everyone who was outside the hotel began vying for a spot, and grabbing their phones for a photo the minute they saw him. They were polite and welcoming, offering compliments and a hand shake (or hug), but showed great anticipation when they asked if they could have a picture with him. That was the first time I saw JM shine.
He took the time to ask and then address them by their names, and answered the questions they had. He stood smiling while they fixed their phones/cameras, and then grinned wide when they were finally ready for the pic. Over and over and over. It was impressive. No pretenses, no bullshit, and no walking away until everyone got their photo. He made a bunch of people really happy.
As for me, I'm still on Cloud 9. Defcon was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I met so many cool people with great big hearts. Seriously, everyone was so nice and completely genuine, I was blown away. Much more to share with everyone, but right now, I have so many things on my agenda, the rest of the adventure will have to wait.