Reflections on Dieter Bergman

By Gene Weiner, Weiner International Associates
IPC Hall of Fame Member

There are so many personal experiences that I’ve had with Dieter from the past four or so decades, and it’s hard to select just a few.

Dieter Bergman15It could start with Dieter leading a gaggle of IPCers (“committee people”) such as Pat Goldman, Bernie Kessler, Gary Ferrari, Ray Prasad, Happy Holden, and others (including me) on the hunt through San Francisco’s Chinatown for the cheapest possible dinner.

Or, it could be the subsequent late-night hunts for an open ice cream parlor to settle the indigestion caused by said “cheap dinner” in the raunchy basement restaurant found by D.

It could be Dieter’s abduction of “yours truly” from a calm poolside setting after a Ft. Lauderdale meeting because Dieter wanted to see if a parasailing ride was worthwhile and safe. I was to be (and actually was) the “guinea pig” who was quickly seated on board a speed boat and launched 300 feet into the air. When Dieter and the others saw my grin (in spite of the lack of a safety belt or harness – they quickly reeled me in and took turns on the ride. Of course, my ride was “free.”

There are more stories and recollections than I, or hundreds of other IPC members, volunteers, or meeting attendees could possibly recant. These include the up-the down-subway
escalator races at the 25th IPC anniversary celebration in Boston … quite a fitting display for such a learned assembly!

My favorite, which I told to Lesley (Dieter’s wife), the first time we met for a breakfast at an IPC function, was as follows. It was during the first joint technical meeting between IPC and Taiwan’s ITRI-ERSO members. It was held at the original Grand Hotel (Madame Chiang Kai-Shek’s [aka Meiling Soong] magnificent “state digs” by the highway between CKS airport and Taipei. I arrived late in the evening the day before the start of the conference. I felt a warm hand on my shoulder as I was checking in (following nearly 26 hours of travel). I turned to see Dieter’s smiling face, and was greeted with, “What are you doing here?” I replied, “Attending the conference and visiting a company or two.” Dieter asked if I could join him for a coffee after checking in and I reluctantly said, “OK.”

A few minutes later we sat in the coffee shop and Dieter said, “Are you going to attend the session on photoimageable solder mask in the morning?” I replied in the affirmative even though it was scheduled to start at 8:00AM. He then handed me a box of clear views and colored markers and said, “Could you give that presentation for us? Our guest speaker will be a ‘No-Show’ and this is a very important new technology!” I replied that I was tired and totally unprepared and not up to giving the attendees their money’s worth. Dieter stood up, put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Come on! I KNOW that you can do it!” as he departed leaving me at the table with a pad of paper, a box of clear view sheets, a box of colored markers, and the bill for the coffee. I was up most of the night drawing charts and tables — free hand – outlining and re-writing a 45-minute presentation, and absorbing far too much caffeine.

I was later told that it was one of my best technical talks.

My stories are but a few of the avalanche tales and “Dieter-isms” swirling out there.

I can honestly say that Dieter was a man of the ages, one with no enemies, a challenge with whom to work at times, but always loved by all and an exemplary example of what a man could or should be.

 

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