With Father’s Day coming up I was thinking what to get one of the most brilliant men on the planet – a rocket scientist, builder of cars and creator of off-grid living.
I thought it would be marvellous to ask one of the other most brilliant men on the planet if he’d like to speak with him.
My father worked on Apollo 13. He improved the efficiency of the landing rockets from 200 miles to 3 miles – saving the lives of the astronauts. Recently, he even improved a specific component of rocket accuracy by 1000% using a printout, a ruler and a calculator. A lot of what he does is teach people how to think – not to just trust the numbers technology gives us.
We also have 100 acres of land in New Mexico. I grew up off-grid for some of my youth in the cabin he built by hand. He also built the barn. All using physics, mathematics, sheer strength, and a lot of wood, concrete and beer. On top of the barn are the solar panels that power the house. And inside the barn, and scattered around the property, are the 17 vintage and antique cars he’s been restoring – my favourite of which is a 1930 V16 Cadillac (with two banks of straight eight engines). He also speaks seven languages, jumps over rattlesnakes to save cats and is one of the best life coaches I know. He’ll be 81 in July.
Elon, I think you’d love to speak with him – sure it’d be beneficial professionally to you, but also deeply personally. I know this is a crazy suggestion, but I’d regret never suggesting it, and I feel you’d regret never having the opportunity to meet someone so amazing who shares so many of the same passions.
I’m my father’s daughter, so obviously I’d love to meet you too, but first and foremost, have a conversation with my father, Norm.
Let me know if you want to reach out to him. Even though he programmed in the 1960s using punch cards, he no longer uses a computer – he says it takes up too much time – time he’d rather use thinking.
I really hope you find the time. He’ll change your life. He’s changed mine.