Enter the Net: Internet brings people together

By David Hughes

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is the “wild west” atmosphere it continues to enjoy. By that I mean this electronic frontier is a place where anyone can have an idea, present it – and to quote Capt. Jean-Luc Picard – “make it so.”
Not only that, depending on the complexity of the idea and the talent, or willingness to learn how to do it, that idea can come to fruition literally in an instant or over an extended period of time.
Loyal readers of this weekly tome know I have called the Internet and World Wide Web “the great equalizer” in the past. This is because anyone with access (not necessarily ownership) of a computer has exactly the same power as the publisher of a newspaper or management of a radio or television station in that they have the medium to reach any person(s) or the planet with a computer, tablet, smart phone and other devices we haven’t even dreamed of yet.
What got my Depends in a wad this week? (grin) Well, I was sitting around looking over photos from the BHS Class of 1967 40th Reunion and thinking how so and so had changed and others had not. A kind of profound sadness came over me because I had every intention of talking to as many of my old friends as I could during the soirée, but a combination of being old, too fat and others kept me from catching up with so many I wanted to talk to.
I was also sad that some members of my class didn’t bother to come, or had more important things to do and I wanted to know what they had done with their life in four decades.
Worse still, some of my classmates who attended have since passed on and are lost to the ages.
Our class has been very fortunate because of the efforts of one person – Bill Killian. Beginning well before that reunion Bill wrote – and continues to write – the “Class-O-Gram” which is sent to everyone in the class for whom he has an e-mail address. Here is an excerpt from the March issue: “Greetings Boys & Girl, Ladies & Gentlemen,
“Let’s jump right in and say a very Happy Birthday to our April born classmates.  They are:
Susan Bragg Crowson                 4/10
Diane Davis Gunter                    4/13
Janet Hecox Toombs                 4/14
Phyllis Henry                              4/05
“I would like to start out by apologizing to Sherry Chastain Kelley because she sent me something back in February that I didn’t get in last month’s COG.  That is that BHS Cheer squad was winners in the UCA National High School Cheerleading Champions. 
“Maintaining a charitable frenzy! Last year’s establishment of the Annual Sally Ann Witham Bradley Scholarship Fund was a great success! Sally, along with 3 others from the Class of ‘69, enjoyed their 40th Reunion so much that together they came up with the idea of a yearly extended class gathering. Mostly through her hard work and huge heart, the event has become an annual favorite that so many have grown to anticipate. Sadly, we lost Sally to cancer at the end of 2011. We wanted to honor her memory with thanksgiving in a sustainable way by helping others through a yearly academic scholarship given in her name. We gave a $500 gift last year but we all know that is not much help to student going to college.
“Here are a few tidbits that I did find out this past month:
“1)    Paul Burton Robertson’s son is a golf pro at the Alothian here in Little Rock.  I also heard that there is a pro tournament that’s going to be out there this summer.  If anyone has any information about that or how I can get spectator tickets please let me know.
“2)   Ron King’s Bikes for Kids ministry is still going strong and he can always use some extra hands to help get bikes ready to give away.  He has work sessions every other Saturday morning and I believe one night during the week.  You can call him to confirm that and schedule a time to drop by to help out at 376-9988.”
As you see from this snippet Bill packs in a lot of information each month.
While I don’t have contact with a lot of other classes, I understand some have selfless folks like Bill who keep them updated on each other.
All of the above being said, I have an ambitious plan to perhaps allow fellow Benton classmates to catch up with each other – no matter what year they graduated. I am going to create a specific page on Facebook that will be open to every BHS graduate to essentially write a short autobiography. By “short,” I don’t mean under “X” words, just that everyone kinda sticks to the important things that happened to them in life after graduation.
Your life in your own words.
I’m going to try and call it “Panther Tales,” or some derivation of that title, because it is a moniker near and dear to BHS grads.
Check on Facebook and sit down and start telling us about YOUR life. I’ll bet it will make fascinating reading

David Hughes is a former resident of Saline County. His column appears each Thursday in The Saline Courier.