from the Webmaster . . .
This web site came into being after our 45th Reunion in 2002. It has developed in fits and starts, partly because of time constraints but mostly because sufficient interest other than my own took quite a while to develop.
I started on it again in the early part of 2006 after much prodding from friends and, in particular, the 50th Reunion Committee and in special particular Wayne Paskerian, who yelled at me and hit me upside the head.
In the past I had tried to make it participatory, asking classmates for contributions - stories, biographical sketches, news, pictures, just about anything. What seem to get the juices flowing - mine and yours - was putting up some old school photos I already had, along with some other photos and items I’d saved over the years or things that classmates had given me right after the 45th Reunion - articles, graduation tickets, things like that. People really responded to those postings and began to send in things they were finding in basement boxes, attic storage and old albums. Several folks got into the act of identifying classmates in 1940s photos. It has snowballed.
Now the site is growing rapidly and it is deepening as well, touching people in some very good and interesting ways.
I thought that my personal perspective on being the accumulator and disseminator of all of this information might be enlightening to others. If not, please do go to another page. If so, read on.
It's a bit strange being immersed in this stuff. I neither planned nor, early on, wished for this amount of backtracking. But it's been my habit for, I guess, most of my life to return to certain moments in the past, to certain times, or certain events for how they inform the present. In light of that, I'm finding this long, intricate trip backwards to be personally exciting; and I'm greatly enjoying the ways in which it is engaging our classmates, including many whom I simply did not know very well or at all.
At the same time a vague vision I had perhaps 5 years ago seems to be coming into focus, though in ways I could not have expected. My original intent was to make our web site simply a repository. I hoped that we would have ways for people to connect both with each other and with their pasts, but I didn't think much beyond that.
What has begun to happen is that the web site is becoming a sort of archeological accretion disk with its own gravitational field. People have begin to find and to send stuff that would, in another era, have remained scattered forever, other than when some of it came together at events like reunions, only to be scattered again. Once it's on our web site, though, it's there for as long as we have a web site.
The accretion is itself developing a critical mass that is, or soon will be, transformative. We are beginning, some of us, to make connections and see threads between people that we could not possibly have found in any other medium or by any other means.
This is what makes web sites so stunningly amazing sometimes, at least to me. They can do things like this. Our web site, our accretion disk, our archeological collection point is our shared early story, and the pictures and all the other information give body and soul to our story. We're seeing where we all started from in ways that few, if any, high school classes of any time have ever seen their early years. I don't pretend that the archeological evidence we have is anything more than fragmentary; but it is a far greater pile of fragments than any other similar collection point has. So it presents us with many greater opportunities for remembering, for connecting, and for celebrating together. It acts as both storehouse and conduit, an astonishing thought all by itself.
It's a happy accident that it happened at all, but we can be pleased that we are present for it and have it to share. In a certain sense I feel sad that every BHS class, or, for that matter, high school classes everywhere don’t have something like this. On the other hand, I’m very glad we have what we have and that I can participate in it with you. It’s the participation that makes it work and it’s what it stirs up that makes it valuable.
Perhaps I’ve gone over the top here, Perhaps what I perceive is completely personal and so idiosyncratic that you are shaking your head hoping that I’ll start taking the medication again soon. But if I’ve conveyed how unique the phenomenon of our web site is, then it won’t be too much of a stretch for you to believe as I do that one reason for its uniqueness is the uniqueness of our class. That singular quality lies in those members of our class who are and always have been “connectors.” We have a lot of them, each connecting in very strong ways to their certain segments of the class and, most importantly, to each other. Some, probably most high school classes have no such connectors, or at best a very few. I have no evidence for this gross generalization other than the many conversations I’ve had with acquaintances and friends whose high school classes had no glue at all, or so little that almost everyone in them lost track of everyone else and was glad of it.
Some of our classmates don’t feel connected or feel only tenuous kinship with the class. My hope is that this web site can wrap them in its cloak and be a means by which they can feel a part of it all either again or for the first time. Some of our friends are already gone. More will be leaving us, and at an accelerating pace. We are fortunate that we have such a means of connection, one that connects all of us happily to our pasts and to one another in the present,
As we go forward you, the archeological team, should continue your digging. I’ll be the reconstructor and conveyor of the artifacts you send here to Bones Central.