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Ten Years #208190 01/13/13 12:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,298
seagirt Offline OP
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Posts: 3,298
I haven't been on here as much as I should be lately, but John's group email today reminded me to check in. It also reminded me that a somewhat major milestone snuck past me without me realising it!

On 27 December 2002 -- just over ten years ago -- I registered for the Collector Forums. It was the first message board or online community of any kind I'd ever joined. I was 12 years old.

My first post concerned the possibility of doing a bus trip around the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge, which I had participated in two months prior. (Over the next decade, I would volunteer at my namesake Sea Girt Lighthouse for eight Challenges, 2003-2010.) From there, I started poking around, and I think I remember really getting into the forum in January or February 2003, when I had a day off from school, wanted an avatar that someone had of Sea Girt (at that time only available to Wackos and up, which meant I needed 50 posts), and posted 49 times in various threads to boost my count and get it.

I have no doubt that in those early days, you all thought I was rather a pain in the ass. (You may still...) Yet I also managed to keep a ruse going that I was not a teenager...I think for over a year. (I was told by someone at one point after "the reveal" that they'd thought I was a 40-year-old woman.)

At some point in 2003, I think I came out about my age. It was around that point where the forum here became a true family, the first digital family I would have. The next years would bring daily communications on these boards, as Harbour Lights thrived, lighthouse travels beckoned, and we were there for each others' triumphs and travails. Postcard exchanges, name the lighthouse games, the annual Roll Call of States...all of these were wonderful pieces of this forum's fabric.

I met a few members over the years in various circumstances, especially through the New Jersey Lighthouse Society and New England Lighthouse Lovers, but life circumstances -- the very basic fact that I couldn't drive yet, had school, and had a bank account limited to birthday money -- meant that I missed Regionals, Reunions (though I tried to convince my parents to forego the family vacation to the Outer Banks for the Mackinac reunion), and Wacko gatherings. I first got to meet a large group of Wackos at the Summer 2007 New York gathering, where I took the Q train -- with trepidations -- to Sheepshead Bay to tour New York Harbor with Dave's trip through the region. Here, I finally got to meet so many of you, and though it was our first physical meeting, it felt like we'd always known each other.

Around then, Facebook came around, Harbour Lights started to wither...but although I was here less, I always have had this group to fall back to. I took up some other hobbies...I finally got the Land Rover of my own I always wanted, a 1993 Range Rover, and I finally got to satiate my ocean liner geekdom with a dream trans-Atlantic crossing on the QE2. I had some new online communities in those worlds, but this one was always first.

Since 2002, I've come a long way. I'm closing in on 400 lights visited, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and Ireland. Family roadtrips have become high-reaching solo endeavours. From being "the kid" at the various lighthouse club meetings, I'm now the First Vice President of NELL. I've gone from middle school twerp to university graduate.

But all along, for the past decade, the friends I found on these pages half a lifetime ago have been there through thick and thin. Our dear Collector Forums may be a little less frequented today, and a lot of us talk on Facebook instead these days, but in the end it's still a tight-knit group...and a very special one to me.

So on this, a few weeks over my tenth anniversary as a member here, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all being yourselves. Thanks for all the laughs, the tears, the controversy and the congratulations.

Quite simply...thanks for being family.

--- Greg

Re: Ten Years [Re: seagirt] #208191 01/13/13 01:20 AM
Joined: Jan 1970
Posts: 7,854
Dave H Offline
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Greg,

Don't forget that you have been a big part of the history of the CF. Yeah, even as a twerpy kid . . . You have shared adventures and pictures with your on-line family. And, I think you really hit the nail on the head when you commented that when you met folks in person for the first time you felt you already knew them. I had the same feeling the first time I attended a large gathering of the wacko family at the good old ICE at Rosemont.

Thanks for your participation and your continuing service to lighthouses.

Re: Ten Years [Re: seagirt] #208192 01/13/13 02:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,165
flacoastie Online
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Posts: 6,165
Greg,

You've always had a lot of knowledge and was never afraid to ask a question. This is a BIG + in your favor where now days kids seem to know it all and are afraid to let someone know that they have a question. Keep it up and join those of us that don't frequent Facebook by posting more often on this old, obsolete Forum.


Rich
Re: Ten Years [Re: seagirt] #208201 01/14/13 08:30 PM
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 239
lmyhre Offline
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Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 239
What a great post, Greg. I have been a forum member for about 14 years or so and remember when you first came aboard. I don't post much, but visit frequently and read most of the posts. Recently, I've wondered how you're doing because I feel like I know you, even though we've never met. I guess that's the family feeling you're talking about.

I always enjoyed your posts - always thoughtful and well written, even when you were a kid. I don't participate in Facebook so haven't been able to read what you've been posting there. But I miss your posts here.

It was great to hear from you. Stop by and check in here more often.

Larry

Re: Ten Years [Re: seagirt] #208203 01/15/13 06:29 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,581
bright eyes Offline
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Posts: 2,581
Greg,

If I had a son....I would want him to be like you!!!

All the best!

Mary

Re: Ten Years [Re: seagirt] #208207 01/15/13 04:41 PM
Joined: Jan 1970
Posts: 13,047
Webmaster Offline
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Posts: 13,047
So, kid, you're a college grad now. Big Stuff! What are you doing now?

(And thanks for the great post above, young man!)

Re: Ten Years [Re: seagirt] #208210 01/16/13 06:06 PM
Joined: Jan 1970
Posts: 6,801
rscroope Offline
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Posts: 6,801
Congrats Greg!

We've had a couple of youngsters on the Forums over the years but you're the only one who did it on his own.

We enjoyed finally meeting you in person in Brooklyn, and at our last meeting in Vermont. You've accomplished quite a bit in 10 years, and I hope your love for lhs continues in your future.

Hope to see you again at a NELL function very soon.

I remember how secretive and careful you were intially LOL.

Great hearing from you.

Bob, MaryAnn & Kristin


LONG ISLAND BOB

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