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April 08, 2008


Roger Pence

Al Barsa had a way about him that, I think, might have sometimes given off a wrong first impression. Al was blustery, opinionated, and had a big ego. (Perhaps the only three things you could say to him that he wouldn't argue with!)

He and I disagreed about many things technical; yet, over the years, I learned, time and time again, that Al's heart and generosity were substantially larger than his ego.

By the time elbows hit the bar, Al was always able to put arguments and differences aside and really just wanted to know how you were doing. And he was always there with a favor when you needed it.

Godspeed, Al. You were truly one in a million.


Kevin Hill

My toast to Al. He will be sorely missed and cherished just as we will miss the 400. He will always be a part of COMMON in our hearts, in our minds and in our souls.

As I recall my first encounter with Al in COMMON in Anaheim, CA in the early 90's, he appeared to me to be a brash but very pragmatic person with great courage and convictions. In his own right a charisma that would bring fear to IBM when he has an agenda. Nevertheless, by my account of him of the sessions I attended as well as from other attendees, he had a direct but humorous way of imparting his ideas and knowledge. He was not afraid to speak his mind on what the system ought to be or behave. I am sure all of you have experienced this in his sessions or talking with him.

My first impression was here was a guy full of ambient knowledge but rather cocky in nature. It took me throughout the first session and talking to him personally to appreciate and understand his approach. Not everyone would apprecaite his brashness but nevertheless everyone I knew wanted to attend his sessions or get would want to meet with him.

As I recall on my first one to one meeting with him in MOM back in the first COMMON, I began to see his other kinder side. He has a great sense of humor humbled by his great sense of pride towards his family. On occassions as he let his guard down, he would share some glipmses of his personal delights with his immediate family.

As long as I have seen or known Al (personally, I do not know him as well as some others but only on my encounters with him or with my discussions with others), he has always been very dedicated to COMMON, IBM and to his sessions - his pursuit of happiness. He has no qualms in helping or sharing his knowledge on issue resolution relating to his forte.

To Al, I salute you and I salute your legacy. It will be a hard sell to be substituted a we move forward. You are the original cast that will pave the way for others to follow and imitate. In my prayer to you, I dedicate a moment of silence and remembrance. I am sure you will always be there tweaking the performance of heaven's system - appetitus rationi pareat.

To the family of Al Barsa, I would like to extend my deepest condolence to each and everyone of you. May God bless all of you and may he bring you comfort in these most trying times and moments.

My epitaph to Al's legacy - Veritatis simplex oratio est.

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