Review: Skip’s Legacy by Edward “Skip” Biron

★★★★ Skip's Legacy by Edward "Skip" Biron

It is the dream of most people to live a life worth writing stories about. In Skip’s Legacy, a memoir by Edward “Skip” Biron, readers are introduced to a remarkable man and his fast-paced, spontaneous and impactful life. The details that the author remembers from more than 5 decades of life make for an exceptional read, as though this were a journal, rather than a memoir. The small points of humor and philosophic musing also fill in the gaps and give readers time to reflect on a life truly well-lived.

After serving in the Navy as a radioman, Skip Biron applied for a job at Ma Bell, but he could never have known that it would become his passion for the next forty years, until he eventually retired in 1989. Despite never having attended college, Biron became a Senior Planning Engineer with AT&T, and was respected throughout his field, even holding a patent. The real story here, however, is the fact that Biron evolved throughout his life, changing his perspectives without ever changing his values. He lived an honest, relatively simple existence, but he bridged perhaps the greatest gap in recent memory: life before screens moving quickly into a world overflowing with computers.

Biron represents a rare generation of people who remembered what life was like before the Digital Age, but also ushered in the earliest generations of computer technology. The change from Skip’s younger years to his final years at AT&T span an incredible period of American history, and his story is like many others. Readers are welcomed into intimate moments with his friends and lovers, as well as big-picture discussions of changing times, trends and technologies. The author’s power of recollection is striking, as is the casual style of narrative – easy to read, yet difficult to put down.

Skip Biron is a unique man – a traveler and a discoverer, a fearless innovator and an adaptable professional. His story easily could have been twice as long, and even this book’s pace must have left out countless anecdotes of his successes and epiphanies. He is the type of man with the wisdom to look back at seemingly unimportant moments and glean meaning. It is inspiring and heartfelt stuff, and by the time readers are finished, they will feel like they truly know this man, and will undoubtedly respect him. It may also inspire others to approach life more fully.

There are very few technical errors throughout the book, and while some of the narrative is repetitive in its form and style, lacking much sentence structure variation, the reading experience is pleasant overall. There are also moments in the book that are a bit too commonplace to warrant a memoir, but Biron’s voice and overall drive keeps the narrative moving, and the reader engaged in his life.

Skip Biron was not a professional writer by trade, but he is passionate about the craft of life, and that comes through on the page. This is a story that can be enjoyed over time and savored, just as Skip Biron has so clearly done with his life.