Dear Fellow LCHS Alum,
Welcome to this Web site, For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun: An LCHS Alums' Internet Community of Nostalgic Angels. Most importantly, let me invite you to participate in the fulfillment of its purposes. How? Please take a couple of minutes to read on.
We spent our most formative years in Central Illinois, going to the same schools and sharing a variety of experiences. I often think of you and our times together with much pleasure. I have memories of many, many interesting experiences and adventures. I am sure many of you also take pleasure in remembering those times. The immediate purpose of this Web site, then, is to evoke memories and stimulate reflection.
The years together were short, but the experiences bonded us, and we will always be interested in one another. Thus, another purpose of this Web site is to provide a forum for sharing information about our lives, including life stories. By life stories, I mean factual descriptions of personal experiences and people of significance to you.
For this purpose, this Web site offers two sections (pages) where your information could be presented (in addition to the "reply to all" function of the group email). One is the directory & contributions page (link below), which could present contact information, such as mailing and emailing addresses and phone numbers, as well as family information: who are your spouses, children, and grandchildren? What have been your careers? Publishing this kind of information, however, poses somewhat of a dilemma for me (the Internet vs. privacy), as I explain on the directory & contributions page. The directory could also serve to honor the memory of those who predecease us. Please tell me what you believe should be posted to honor them, for I have little information at present. Information for this page could be mailed to me at P.O. Box 3127 GSS, Springfield, MO 65808, or emailed to me at email@example.com. The other method of contributing is to post to the guestbook (link below), which could be useful for news and discussions.
The directory and contributions page could also be used to present other kinds of information, for example, anecdotes about classmates and teachers and memoirs of challenging experiences and accomplishments (or other experiences). Of course, some of your memoirs would relate to family and career experiences. What stories can you tell based on your jobs/careers? What stories can you tell based on your hobbies and other leisure-time activities? What stories can you tell about growing up in Lincoln? For those who continued to live in Lincoln, what remained the same, and what changed? For others, where have you lived, and what can you tell about adjustments to the local culture you had to make?
Some of you have considered writing about your lives, because it is natural to want to express and record experiences so that children and grandchildren can know what life was like for you. There will not be a better time to do it. Also, you will get the attention of the younger readers by having your stories published on the Internet. Here's the process I suggest: compose in a word processing program, save the draft, and revise to your satisfaction. Then, copy and paste the material to your email program and send it (you can also compose in email programs and save drafts for revisions). When I receive your emailed material, I will process it and publish it with a link to your name on the directory and contributions page.
(If you are hesitant to write because I became an English teacher, "forget about it." Here, I'm your classmate, and I only want to facilitate contributions, not edit or judge them. I'm sure I speak for all of your readers in saying we just want to "hear your voice.")
The Internet presents a revolutionary opportunity for us to renew and reinvent ourselves as a community for those who are interested. The most immediate function and result of these Internet activities is the creation of a newsletter through the guestbook feature and the "reply to all" function of the group email. It is now feasible for us to have a newsletter, which in its traditional printed and mailed format typically requires prohibitive amounts of time and expense for each issue. Another result of this Web site, through material on the directory and contributions page, will be a "collective memoir," a new and distinct kind of creation for us to share with one another and others.
Our Internet group of mid-20th Century LCHS alums forms a representative sampling of a most unusual generation of Americans. Our autobiographical sketches and collective memoir may be of interest to historians, sociologists, and literary/communications specialists, and here's why: enough time has elapsed for historians to complete a significant body of work on how our parents' generation survived the Depression and won WW II. Our generation, however, has not been thrust onto the stage of history so dramatically. For this reason and because we are just now entering "the golden years," historians are just beginning to tell our story. (See the links & things page for links relating to our generation.)
As they do, what will they say? What will they even call us? Do you know that some historians include us in our parents' generation, the "Silent Generation" (1930-1945)? It's not entirely logical that we should be so classified. Also, we don't exactly belong to the "Baby Boomer" generation because we were not born after the war's end. Then who are we? If we are "WWII-Time Babies," we are rather small in number and perhaps especially difficult to define. What does it mean to be a "WWII-Time Baby"? In what ways are we or are we not a hybrid of the more conspicuous generations that preceded and followed us? The material generated through our Internet communication (this Web site and related emails) will provide significant insight into the values and personal and career-related experiences of our generation.
Our class, however, includes people who are coming to computers and the Internet hesitantly or who avoid this technology altogether. My own experience with computers is another story (both @!&# and ;-). For eighteen years, I have worked with and played with (wrestled) computers for communication, and computer hassles are ongoing. Every Web site requires maintenance. During development of these pages, I checked and re-checked the features and functions, including links. At times everything worked, but I have no control over the servers that publish these pages, and Internet companies seem to make "improvements" accompanied by adverse effects. So, if something does not work, try it another time. If the problem continues, please let me know, and I'll see whether I can fix it. I do believe this project will be worth while if only a few enjoy what they find here.
Perhaps you know of a classmate who is not into computers but who would be interested in this project and want to contribute by regular mail. If so, please do what you can to encourage participation and pass along my regular mail address. I will transcribe mailed contributions and publish them by using hyperlinks related to classmates' names on the directory & contributions page.
I borrow an apt literary quotation, one of the favorites of a professor friend of mine, Dr. Russ Rutter of Illinois State University: "Few things are impossible to diligence and skill." Dr. Samuel Johnson
If you choose not to write, please re-visit this site from time to time to view the exhibits and see whether there are (new) contributions. Feel free to send your comments and suggestions.
I look forward to hearing from you and posting your material on this Web site:
Notes on Web site design and function:
The 1960s photos and guestbook pages have background images (watermarks), taking probably about a minute longer to load than the rest of the page, at least until your computer is used to visiting those pages.
I've included 1960s Lincolnite photos of seniors, administration, faculty, and staff, to honor all. Additionally, on the mementos page, I've published our last issue of The Railsplitter because some readers may not have their own copies. I've nearly exhausted the 15 MB of free space allowed by one source (Yahoo! Geocities) and have begun using another source of free server space (Tripod-Lycos). So, if you have an appropriate photo (photocopied version) or other photocopied item to accompany your submission, there will probably be room for it. Just let me know what you have in mind.