Friday, August 26, 2011

Steve Jobs' childhood home

Anyone engaged in a creative activity is faced at some time with non-challenging work.  If it weren't for the possibility of losing a client by refusing to accept a dopey assignment the thought generally runs towards a grudging acceptance.  Such was the case when asked to shoot the exterior of the house Steve Jobs grew up in.  I had it all sized up.  Pick a sunny day and bang out a roll or two from a discreet distance and be gone.  Simple.

I arrived at the house mid afternoon.  The streets were empty except for the blue pick-up truck parked in front of the address I had been given.  Somehow it seemed dishonorable to be secretive but it also felt odd to be standing in the street aiming my camera towards the ex-home of a famous person.  So I decided to find out if the owners were home and tell them what I was up to.

The owner of the house answered my knock and he appeared to have recently arrived home from work since he was wearing dark blue clothing typical of industrial workers I'd known.  I explained what I was up to and asked him to verify that this was the home Steve Jobs grew up in.  He confirmed the story and surprisingly invited me in to have a look around--provided that I took no photos inside.

The home was small but neat and soon after entering I was directed towards a cramped bedroom just to the right of the front door.  I remember looking to the room and being surprised that the room displayed early Apple Computer posters, as if the room were decorated for curious visitors.  And then I asked, "Are you Steve's dad?"  He was.

Paul Jobs and his wife Clara adopted the infant Steve when the unmarried birth mother and father gave him up for adoption.  I asked Mr. Jobs if his son had provided him stock in Apple--he said he had none.  He did volunteer that he was somewhat frustrated early on that the boys (high school aged I take it) needed prodding to get them to try and sell their garage production of electronics.  But then perhaps he wasn't aware of what they were really doing.

Since there wasn't much else to see in the house itself, Mr. Jobs directed me towards the garage where his son and Steve Wozniak had worked on assembling some sort of electronic device.  Except for a yellowed newspaper clipping that mentioned two local boys building computers (Jobs and Wozniak) the garage was clean and bare.

Thanking Mr. Jobs for the kindness of the home tour I proceeded to record the outside of his garage to satisfy my assignment.


Karen N. said...

Wow, This is the first I've ever heard an account like this about Steve's parents. You were really lucky to meet them.

rastAsia said...

Amazing story.. And even more amazing that you got to shoot a portrait of the man, as read from your earlier post.