As a Northern California kid who came of age in the 1970s, I'm feeling my mortality today.
The deaths of Steve Jobs and Al Davis within days of each other are like chapters closing in the book of my life.
It's hard to remember a time when I wasn't keenly aware of both or fascinated by what their minds created.
These men built indelible brands in Northern California that, throughout the world or nation, spawned worship, envy and sometimes hatred through their innovations and personalities.
Davis helped make the NFL the most popular sport in America in my lifetime. Jobs changed the world by inventing personal computers and smart phones that altered how we interacted with one other.
Their soaring trajectories intersected in January 1984, when Apple famously sponsored what is considered the greatest TV commercial of all time: The apocalyptic ad heralding the Apple Macintosh personal computer.
It was aired during Super Bowl XVIII, which was won in a rout by Davis' Raiders.
Davis never won another Super Bowl again. His footprints on American life veered off course and took many strange turns, including a brief flirtation with bringing the Raiders to Sacramento.
Davis lived until Saturday, when he died at 82, but his best years were in the 1970s, when I was a kid whose prized possession was my Raiders jacket.
Jobs, who died Wednesday at age 56, was not rooted in the past. He was about the future. When I held his iPhone in my hand for the first time, I wondered where it had been all my life.
With each invention, you wondered what Jobs was going to do next.
Now we won't wonder anymore.
Nor will we ever see Davis hold that Super Bowl trophy again. The present and future were tough on the old man. There is a lot of baggage attached to his success now, baggage he acquired in his later years.
I choose to remember the best of Al Davis.
I became hooked on the intoxicant of professional sports largely because of Davis' Raiders of the 1970s. They wore silver and black, the colors of cool for my friends and me. The Raiders wore beards and seemed dangerous, which my parents despised, and which made me love them even more.
Davis' Raiders won, and he created an aura of toughness. The Raiders were the winningest team on Monday Night Football when telecast became an American sensation and made football the ultimate TV sport.
Once that happened, baseball was no longer the American pastime. Every player and owner in the NFL owes Al Davis a debt of gratitude because of this achievement.
If the NFL ever built a Mount Rushmore, his face would be on it. He hired African American coaches, a Mexican American coach and elevated a woman, Amy Trask, to run his team when no other woman held such an elevated position in the ultimate macho sport.
When I posted Davis' picture on my Facebook page, the first several comments came from people with Spanish surnames.
People of all colors and ethnicities identified with Davis because he won, he was cool, and never backed down to NFL authority figures. He didn't just say he couldn't see color - he proved it.
Did Davis carry on ruthless grudges? Did he foolishly move his team from city to city? Did he sue anyone and everyone? Did he sometimes seem unstable in his winter years? Yes.
But he was still a giant in his field. He changed our perceptions of the NFL. He won big.
Like Davis, Jobs could be ruthless and very tough on some people. Jobs also was intensely private and reclusive. He gave few interviews.
When I first learned to drive in the late 1970s, I would cruise past the Apple campus in Cupertino and wonder what was going on in there.
Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, were the toasts of San Jose, my hometown.
When I was a kid, you could drive to the edge town in San Jose and pick pears and apples.
Now there is no edge of town. There is Silicon Valley and Jobs was our Johnny Appleseed.
I never liked gadgets until Jobs invented some that became essential to my daily life. I've lost my house keys and credit cards. I would never lose my iPhone. iTunes brought music back into my life.
I remember Jobs going on local television back in the 1970s with his long hair. Both Jobs and Davis wore their hair long, though Jobs' hairstyle was more Beatles and Davis' more Elvis in his latter years.
They were both cool. They were American originals. And based on where I grew up and where they worked, Davis and Jobs were ours as well.
They are only memories now and reminders that all of us run out of time in this world, no matter how great, memorable or innovative.