"Hi. It's Steve."

Article excerpt

Byline: Aaron Sorkin; Aaron Sorkin is a screenwriter and producer.

Aaron Sorkin on an unforgettable phone call.

"Why don't you come on up here and let me give you a tour of the place."

I'd never met Steve Jobs but we'd begun a phone friendship. It began when I was quoted somewhere answering the question "Mac or PC?" and I said, "Everything I've ever written, I've written on a Mac." He called me to say he appreciated the quote and said if there was ever anything he could do for me I should give him a ring. Then he would call me from time to time to compliment me on an episode of television or a movie I'd written that he'd particularly liked.

When someone's making a courtesy call I like not to make them stay on the phone very long. So I never got a chance to tell Steve that he was making truly great American products that people wanted to buy. I never got to tell him about the experience of "opening the box" that so many of us are talking about this week. Or about how my young daughter can't walk past an Apple store without going in. I never told him how I loved his sense of showmanship.

There's a huge difference between a showman and huckster. A showman's got the goods.

The second-to-last call I got from Steve came the day a television series of mine was canceled. "I just want to make sure you're not discouraged," he said. …