“There are plenty of goofballs — like me — who stand outside Apple stores all night waiting for the company’s latest, thinnest, must-have offering,” Michael S. Rosenwald reports for The Washington Post. “There was nobody like Gary Allen, who died Sunday from brain cancer at 67.”
“Allen, a retired EMS dispatcher, traveled around the world — obsessively and expensively — to be among the first in line at the company’s new stores. He attended more than 140 openings, collecting all sorts of trivia. He could even tell you where Apple store tables are made (Utah; he stopped by the factory once to say thanks),” Rosenwald reports. “The history of Apple’s global conquest is stamped in Allen’s passport.”
“I met Allen four years ago when he drove from his home in Berkeley, Calif., to Tysons Corner Mall in Virginia. It was an unconventional cross-country destination but understandable given the occasion: The 10th anniversary of Apple’s first store,” Rosenwald reports. “By then he had turned his passion for Apple stores, which now number 450, into a widely read blog about Apple’s retail operation called ifo Apple Store. It was followed closely by tech bloggers, Wall Street analysts and Apple store employees, who greeted him at the Tysons Corner store with awe.”
All of the stone is imperfect, including the interior stone floor. That is so unlike Apple. pic.twitter.com/7Qp7YHWYSd
— Gary Allen (@iforoadtrip) June 20, 2014
“‘He made all kinds of friends all over the world,’ his brother, Jim Allen, told me when he called to tell me about Gary’s death. ‘I think that’s the part of it he most enjoyed,'” Rosenwald reports. “In March, Allen announced his blog was ending, saying so many others were following the stores now. ‘Who am I to keep up with them?’ he wrote. ‘So, I’m going to focus on my family and friends, drop the demands of writing and get back to what it was before—just fun.’ …The real reason he gave it up, his brother said, was the brain cancer diagnosis. He didn’t want people to worry or fuss over him. The site is down, likely for good. Allen leaves behind another brother, Bob Allen, his wife Nancy, son Devin, and an incredible free spirit.”
Much more in the full article – very highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Besides being a true original, Gary Allen was simply a very nice man. This is sad news. He is gone much too soon and he will be missed.
ifoAppleStore.com is now offline, but, thankfully, you can still see Gary’s work via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine here.
ifoAppleStore shuts down after 14 years – March 28, 2015