by Anura Guruge
1. Don Pyle, 1987, was my Best Man!
No, it is NOT denial. Denial is not part of my DNA and as some of you have worked out I have a very strange (and to some, disturbing) attitude about death. So it is not that …
Right now, as far as I am concerned, Don Pyle is not dead, and I hope the same is true for Sandy.
That there are 4 grandchildren involved blows my mind. Never knew them. Not even sure how old they are. Actually, thinking back, I am not sure I ever met Sandy’s two kids (from a relationship that predated her marriage to Don). Of course Sandy would talk of them.
I can’t comprehend how 6 people could have died in such a huge house, parts of it built of stone. As the news stories point out if was meant to be ‘part castle’. No I have never been there. During 1985 to 1995, which is when I associated with them the most, they lived in a rather modest, but lavishly furnished house in Ellicott City. In 1987 or 1988 we went and spent some time there and they came up one winter to New Ipswich.
I have three broad theories as to what could have happened. In one of those ‘they’ did NOT perish in the fire. [In NONE of these three scenarios do I see Don nor Sandy conscious and in the mansion when the fire broke out. Simple as that. They were either NOT there or they were NOT conscious. Get it? That the authorities are handling it as a criminal investigation is GOOD. This was NOT an accident. There was NO WAY Sandy would die in a fire IF she was even able to crawl on her hands and knees with every limb in her body broken. Trust me on that. More later.]
As far as I can see no bodies have been recovered as yet. IF and when they do, I want to see EXTENSIVE forensics including DNA, dental records and bone length measurements! IF they say the heat of the fire turned much to ‘ash’ and ‘dust’ I will remain skeptical.
“Andover Inn”, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. This is NOT my picture, I found it on the Web, BUT this is what it looked like the 2-3 nights Don & Sandy stayed there in January 1987. Huge snowstorm the night before. As was invariably the case when Don & I were together strange ‘things’ would happen. Like a guy in a BMW, who was illegally parked, blocking other cars, losing his windshield wipers and getting very upset because one he couldn’t drive in the snow with no wipers and because replacement BMW wipers are NOT cheap. For reasons WE never fathomed this guy believed, when all that we had been doing, was what we were best at doing, which was propping up the bar at the Inn, that we HAD to have had something to do with his missing wipers. It was just the way Don & I looked. The two amigos. As we kept on telling the guy, to the amusement of all, “why would we want two BMW wipers and even if we did, why would we bother to go out in a storm to take it off your car … we would have just picked up the phone and ordered a pair and had it delivered to the bar”.
I have been in touch, via e-mail, with a mutual friend, somebody who did stay in touch with the Pyles. He is in Santa Barbara. Like the Pyles he also worked for Rixon before CASE bought the company. So he goes back with the Pyles much longer than I do. Plus he has been to the mansion. He only heard about the news at 10 pm California time. Wow. He is going to call me today. He and I will go through some thoughts. Kind of strange. He, my friend in Santa Barbara, was at the wedding. The night before, when everybody else had gone to bed, the three of us, sat in my suite at the Andover Inn (Massachusetts — part of Phillips Academy (as in the Bushes)), which is where I got married that time around, drinking champagne and talking shop. All three of us were heavily into networking — and my other friend made this very telling remark: “if people knew … what we know about this business … there would be World War III”.
I have also had a number of e-mails from another friend. Another ex-CEO of various networking companies. He also, by coincidence, happens to be in Santa Barbara. He only knew Don by reputation. But this friend used to have a mansion in Marion, Mass. just across from the famed harbor. Sometime c. 1998 it caught fire — while all of them, luckily, were away in Miami. His brother, who was my Best Man in 2003, was the first, in the family, to get to the fire given that he too was living in Marion. He had to call up his brother, in Miami, and basically start: “you are not going to believe this …. but I am standing in front of your house … and it is in flames … the cars are burning …”. There was extensive damage BUT they managed to save it and they were back living in it within the year (I think). Well, he has been pouring over the news story. He doesn’t sleep! He is skeptical too.
Well … I will stay on top of this.