I think the hardest part was that I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. The last time that we spoke was the night before the 2016 US presidential election. “Catfish, I think Trump is going to win this one. Didn’t you say that you could place a bet on anything in London. See if you can put 50 bucks on Trump to win”.
I never placed that bet.
I was in a different world (living in London with a two year old and a pregnant wife) and communication with my family was limited. Monthly calls were the norm and I always assumed that everyone would be in Dallas when I came home for good.
In the early hours of the morning on November 21st, 2016, the phone dedicated for calls from the United States began to ring. The only news that comes from the states at 3 a.m. is bad news. I picked up my phone and checked my messages to see who was calling. I immediately knew it was bad because it was my mom. I opened the message and my life turned upside down.
My brother was an alcoholic and our family had been trying to help him for years with his addiction. The years of abuse gave way to a massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage. As I cleaned up the blood in his house, I knew that his last hours were full of pain and suffering. I suspected that he passed away on the morning of the 20th due to the numerous voicemails that my mother and father left that afternoon.
I sat in his house for a few days feeling numb trying to clean up all of his belongings. Every item that triggered a memory, I would here his voice screaming “CatFISH!”
My brother was the king of the nickname. He was always ready to anoint a subject with a name. His best friend was known affectionately as “The Doctor”, he named our dog “Buckwheat”, my best friend was known as “The Captain”, you might hear “Peckerwood” as a term of endearment while driving and during my later years I was known as “Catfish”. All I would hear during our conversations was “Let me tell you something Catfish……Catfish you don’t know diddly…..Catfish that camera on your phone is spying on you.”
He always had a stock tip or a hot sports opinion about an upcoming game. He always put his money on his opinions whether it was the market or a game. His life was charged by the rush of reports on CNBC and the Greatful Dead.
The idea of a company that would focus on FIX connectivity happened in the summer of 2019. I kept thinking about all of the hacks that I had setup for extracting data out of Bloomberg RUNZ and into various message parsers. I kept asking people about using FIX as a protocol instead of using RUNZ messages. One day a friend asked me what I was going to call the name of the company and out of nowhere I blurted CatFIX. The spirit of Bobby came to me and I anointed his memory with a word play on CatFISH and FIX.