Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Curve


If you have been reading my posts you will remember that several weeks ago I was talking about the past, the present and "curves". I didn't say what the curve was - I was coy - but, here is the rest of the story...

In 2003 I was contacted by a high school classmate with whom I graduated from high school with in 1969. She was trying to get together a mailing list and database to facilitate re-connecting with our high school classmates. Our Class president was in the final stages of cancer and she wanted to let as many people know as she could. She envisioned a website where we could post information.

She was looking for somone to put together a website. Now, I had the ability, but did not volunteer that information real quick. After a couple of weeks I finally confessed - and in 2003 our Class Website was born - http://www.ifhs69.com/ It has been a labor of love. We have re-connected and made new friends.

I don't quite remember how it happened, but before too long there were 4 core members who helped feed information, run ads in the Iowa Falls paper to generate web traffic, and provide information for newsletters. Other classmates mailed in donations to help with the website, others sent in pictures and newspaper clipping from when we were in school. Mothers also called and let me know where their kids were because they heard we were looking for them. And, friends, and realtives of classmates also called. I have heard from, or received emails from, around the country. I have even received calls and letters from other classes around the country that wanted to know how to do what it is we do... One thing led to another and suddenly our little group "morphed" into the 40th Reunion Planning Committee. It has been fun, challenging at times, but fun. So, I hear you saying, "so what, what about it..?" Neat story - but, so?

Well - a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the Des Moines Register in regards to our class reunion. The Register is interested in doing a multi-media project that focuses on an Iowa high school reunion. They like the idea of 1969 because it was an interesting, pivotal year. They like the idea of Iowa Falls because of its size, relatively close proximity to Des Moines, and they like our IFHS Class of 1969 because our class is on the ball in terms of planning. They see a lot of possibilities with multi-media storytelling and have assigned a reporter and photographer to meet with us and record our reunion. They recently did a “Buddy Holly Remembered project, http://data.desmoinesregister.com/holly/index.php and our high school reunion project would be similar.

They are planning to show how the class of 1969 dispersed across the nation and globe after graduation and they envision a rollover map that would bring up our yearbook and current photos with thumbnail bios. There would also be video interviews with members of the class. And, of course, they would showcase ’69 culture (TV, music, sports, news events, etc.) The project has been approved by the senior staff of the Register [it means they agreed to devote the time and resources] and they believe that it’s a cool project that would resonate with many Iowans.

A bit of history
One of the senior editors at the register wanted to do a story on a 1969 Iowa Class Reunion and went to the internet to do research – he landed on our website. He was intrigued by not only our website, but with our planning and the fact we are going to hold the reunion in the old high school. The editor assigned a reporter who contacted me about doing a feature story and I met with her for 3 hours yesterday.

There will be a feature story before the reunion and then another story after the reunion along with a newly designed interactive web site featuring our class and our reunion. It is my sincere hope that classmates who have not decided whether or not to attend, reconsider and join us for what promises to be a memorable reunion. We're in the process of sending out a newsletter to let everyone know what's happening.

Who would have thought that 6 years ago that by building a website and keeping it going would lead to the Des Moines Register doing a story about our town, our class and our reunion? Life is truly amazing - sometimes weird, but amazing notheless.

2 comments:

The Things We Carried said...

Very cool when things like that happen! Congrats on the site you have worked on, as well!

photowannabe said...

Well done. It is fun getting in touch with those from high school. I was able to reconnect with some of my classmates through web-site pretty much like yours. 1961 was a loooong time ago. Glad there are some who can actually work on the computer.
Good post.