Of the group, I knew Doug and Katherine the least well. They had been a couple already, from what I understand, by the time I even met our mutual friend Sean (and his father, Julio) at NewGen Imaging Tech in 97. I never spent anytime with either of them outside of Sean's apartment on those occasions when we were busy playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching movies, or just enjoying Sean's cooking. I don't have any fascinating stories about how we met, or even of the conversations we had, though we had obviously met, and had more than one conversation. Erin, Sean, both Joes and especially Robert knew Doug far better than I ever did.
But Doug was a kindred spirit, fiercely intelligent and by far one of the most creative people I have ever known. I've listened to people talk about how smart I am all my life, but whenever I was sitting in the room with Doug, I felt like a complete idiot. Not that he was trying to make me or anyone feel that way, but simply from the wide range of subjects on which he could hold an intelligent conversation. Everything from politics and religion, to science and science fiction, and anything in between. He was equally at home talking about film and television as he was about books. Though I never took the opportunity to visit the home he shared with Kat, I've heard tales of their legendary library, a bedroom filled floor to ceiling with books. One moment, Sean and I might be discussing, with him, neutrinos and their possible use in communications, and then next moment he might turn his head and tell Erin a joke about their days in the theater, as if he'd been actively participating in her conversation as well.
The days at Sean's were frequently chaotic, but always made more memorable by Doug's presence. Though I haven't even set foot in California in 7 years, he was a part of my life when I needed (and had) trusted, honest friends when I needed them most. Doug is gone now, but will never be forgotten; he and Kat hold a special place in my heart, and those of our friends, and will always continue to do so.