Friday, September 24, 2010
The Internet...Good or Bad?
I got home and sat out back with a good hand rolled cigar and a couple of Miller Lite longnecks....as I was enjoying those, my cell phone rang...on the other end was the chief of the crew that had called me Wednesday...he had decided to stay with his wife tonight(being due with child) rather than make the 100 mile one way trip to his scheduled game. He asked if I could fill-in for him, and work one of the wings tonight at Versailles in a huge match-up with rival Coldwater. The two teams have multiple State Titles between them, and Versailles has rallied with a 4-0 record, including an opening night win over Celina...the Bulldogs lone loss thus far. Coldwater, after the death of their Hall of Fame coach, John Reed, are out of the gate at 2 wins 2 loses, following a State Title in 2008 and a runner-up finish last season....they are now coached by former All Stater and former Cav and BG Falcon, Chip Otten....hopefully the rain will be done by kickoff time and we should have a close fought contest.
The weekend will remain busy after tonight....JV at Waynefield tomorrow, followed by a Fall baseball double header at 3pm...Sunday, Sam(back from Columbus, after working the Eastern Michigan at Ohio State game) and I will wrap things up with a football double header for the local youth recreational league.
It was around 1992 when I first discovered the Internet...I had purchased a small computer...crude by today's standards, that was Internet ready. I hooked up with AOL, on dial-up, and watched the money fly away by the minute. As I said, it was crude, and hard to navigate, and I lost interest in it rather quickly. Fast forward to 1999 and I begin my interest in Houseworth Family Genealogy:
I also discovered the VSPA:
The group of fellow Air Force Vietnam Cops that I joined....those 2 discoveries convinced me that the Internet was indeed a useful tool.
Over the years, I have hooked up with many cousins from the Houseworth, DeVore, Waldron, and Feeley bloodlines that intersected my own....I have reunited with guys from my days in Vietnam, and friends from my childhood growing up in Venice, Florida. The Internet, despite being filled with much garbage, bullshit, and perversion, when used properly opens up a whole new world. Friends from my past, cousins I never would have met, along with discoveries of long dead ancestors and deceased friends would still be unknown to me.
I try to limit my time on-line to 2 hours a day...sometimes I fail, but usually I can get what I need done in that time. This blog, which I usually spend an hour or so working on 5 days or so a week, has also brought people from my past, or folks I didn't know, but do now...it has also helped me link folks that are looking for information or people...once such case happened this week.
My best friend growing up in Venice, was a fellow Buckeye named Mike Graff. Mike was 8 days younger than me, and his family had moved to Venice in 1953 from Martins Ferry, Ohio, located on the extreme eastern part of the state on the Ohio River and West Virginia border. Our family and our Poling cousins, moved there a year later, from the flatlands of far west Ohio, and the tiny town of Scott. By 1958 the Graffs and Houseworths were neighbors...living just a stones throw from our house on School Street to their place on Groveland Avenue. Mike and I remained close, bowled together, played Little League Baseball, and back yard football together for the next 4 years, until we pulled up stakes and moved back to Ohio. Mike went on to be and all star Baseball and Basketball player for the Venice Indians before graduating in 1967...he remained in the southwest Florida area for the remainder of his life.
On a vacation trip in 1975 I saw Mike, his parents, and met his wife....it would be the last time I saw any of them...his mom passed about 1990, his dad, Ozzie, in 2002, and Mike passed away in 2003 at the age of just 54...his wife Terri followed him a year later. Mike had a son Mike J, and his sister Luana. Luana is a couple of years old than Mike and me. Earlier this week I got a message on Facebook from a women who had stopped by this site, and was looking for Michael Graff, son of Ozzie, from Martins Ferry....Patricia is her name, and she is the daughter of Ozwald Graff's sister, and was looking for Mike or someone who could help with that Genealogy. I added her as a friend on Facebook and gave her what I had...including old Venice Yearbook photos, and other stuff I had from the days shortly after we moved back to Ohio. I also searched for Luana, who last I knew was living in North Port, Florida....I found that rare name on Facebook, and the rest his history.
I had not seen or talked to Luana Graff since 1962...almost 50 years, but here she was, on Facebook, living in Florida, and remembering me like it was yesterday....I flipped that information on to her 1st cousin Patricia, and there you have it....Success! Thanks to the Internet. What would be the odds of ever hooking up with the dozens of folks from my past, without this tool? The Internet, for all it's garbage, is an amazing....and knowing it is just over a decade old as far as being practical....you gotta wonder just how much more advanced it will be in the next decade? And hopefully the good it brings will far outpace the bad.
Time for some checking on both my football and baseball gear....going to be a busy weekend. Have a good one...
Photos-The wind was blowing strong as I made my way around town this morning...in the second photo about 3 dozen or so Buzzards(or as some call them Turkey Vultures) had been grounded on the Jetty by the West Bank of Grand Lake....and my best friend from my Venice, Florida, days...the late Mike Graff....although gone, he is now a link that has brought together family members who have not seen or even knew of each other for the past 60+ years.