Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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Joel "Wemmick" Downs

I was hired by Joel Downs, back in Berkeley. He started with Lyle and Dennis, so he is the only non-Fong brother in the list of founders.

He was the ringleader, the editor-in-chief, the guy in charge of all the editors. He was also the teamster, HR, accounting, operations and custodial manager.

Postal Joel showed up at my surprise 25th birthday party, and was nice enough to help clean up after Matt projectile vomited in the home office (and on Allan Sugarbaker's brother Mike). Joel wrote a quote on the Creekside whiteboard - "It's amazing how much damage one radioactive goat can cause."

He travelled with Amy, Juniper and I down to Los Angeles one weekend - he and I shared very cramped quarters in the back seat of my '88 Honda Civic. After we arrived at Joanne's house, he made a healthy round of drinks - including something involving chocolate liquor and whiskey. Something like that - youch.

As a boss, he was understanding and practical. He didn't always jibe with some of my fruitier ideas, but after some discussion we've been able to find room for agreement (certainly more agreement than I ever got from Terence). I flew out from under his wing after I finished my work as PlayStation editor, but still we work on some projects together. Joel seems to very much enjoy being between Editorial and Development - translating requests into pratical feature proposals and explaining problems. Sometimes his idea translation services seem to include a lot of deleting incoming mail from Justin.

Back in 1999, he wrote a regular weekly column (most weeks at least) called "Wemmick's Temporary Sanity" and this column will give you a little of his take on the company and the office.


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