Seymour "Skid" Weiss
in his office, circa 1987

 

In 1987, I was hired as an Administrative Assistant in the Promotions Department at Warner/ Elektra/ Atlantic Records in Burbank. I was 20 years old and had just moved all by myself from San Diego to the big city to study design at Art Center. In truth, I was pretty much a naive child who was on her own for the first time in life. Skid Weiss was one of my very first bosses, and in retrospect became one of the biggest inspirations in my life.

Skid's body was riddled with Multiple Sclirosis. He had a wheelchair, but would only use it as a chair or as a walker when he needed to go somewhere. He refused to wheel around in it, but never complained. I noticed that many people didn't take him very seriously. It seemed obvious to them that he was just someone obsolete that nobody had the heart to fire. He was a lot more.

Skid became my friend. Some mornings he would even surprise me with little notes on the notepads on my desk. Every day I would sit in Skid's office & eat lunch with him. He had a strict diet to follow, but he would beg me to bring him Taco Bell tacos & pastrami sandwiches which I often did... usually after a fight which he won by reminding me that he was my boss. You've never seen anyone enjoy a taco so much though. During our many hours together, he would ask me about myself and tell me stories about his life, the family he adored, and how excited he was about "the technology of the future" (most of which I'd ever heard of before).

He had gotten the nickname "Skid" because he ran fast as a child. His family was "typical working class Brooklyn." Part of his college tuition was paid for by a job as a sparring partner in a NYC boxing gym ("they paid me to beat me up"), another part by an anonymous donation which he attributed to a mobster (long story).

In his 20's, Skid wanted to be a "P.R. man," but decided that he needed a gimmick. His answer? The acquisition of a live duck (named Mr. Waddles, if I recall) that he brought with him to Manhattan parties decked in a bowtie, gaining himself a new nickname: "The Shmuck with the Duck." In his office, was a big picture of them together. His stories went on forever & each one was more outrageous than the last. It seemed like there was no end to them. He had even been a ghostwriter on Fantasy Island.

His views of the future were radical, and he was passionate about them. He enthusiastically told me his elaborate tales of "virtual reality," 3-D games, computers communicating through phone lines, descriptions of an internet, and tiny phones that would fit in your pocket. I remember responding, "Why would I want a phone in my pocket? Who wants to be on-call for people all day?" It all sounded like science fiction to me in 1987. I just thought they were fun stories from Skid's amazing brain.

This web site is and will always be dedicated to Skid Weiss, since he passed away long before he could have his own.

Thank you for being you, Skid. I will always miss talking to you.