We moved into our current house during the spring of that year, and were still new to the area. Toney was having a hard time adjusting to this rather… interesting part of the country. The boys were just four and two, and Andy (Black Lips Houlihan) hadn’t even been hatched yet.
On Friday I revamped the ABOUT page, where you can learn how The West Virginia Surf Report came into being. It dates all the way back to the Reagan Administration, if you can believe it. Many people believe the word “surf” is meant in a “surf the internet” kind of way. But I actually came up with the name in 1984, or thereabouts.
Yesterday I reread some of the earliest posts, and while there are some laughs, I was a little embarrassed by all the profanity. Obviously, I don’t have a problem with a few well-placed fucks and goddammits, but I waaaay overdid it during the first few years. And I was sometimes unnecessarily vicious, too.
But, when you get past the minor adjustments in writing style, not a whole lot has changed with what I do here. I’m still chronicling my daily life in suburbia, and bringing up the stupid crap that pops into my head all the time. Same as it ever was.
One thing that has changed, however, is the community that’s grown around the site. In the early days I didn’t know how to accept comments, then used a freebie forum for a while, and finally some half-assed service that betrayed me in the end. Many of those old comments are lost forever, which makes me sad.
However, I found this little gem last night. I’m amazed it’s still on the internet… It’s the original “babyshit yellow” forum from the earliest days of the site. The first few pages are relatively new comments, mostly from Rocky, Metten, and NJGirl, but when you get into the meat of the thing, you’ll see actual real-time comments from an earlier era.
Yes, those were fun times… you could change your name at will, and play multiple characters if you wanted. And since it’s been so long, I’m prepared to make a few confessions:
I was Sam Gassaway, the guy with the nonstop gastrointestinal trouble.
I was Erick, the poor bastard who was involved in an accident and had to have his scrotum replaced by a cedar box.
I was Mr. Chamberlain, the perpetually angry asshole who worked at AAA and spewed venom on a daily basis. “Mr. Chamberlain, how do I get to Utah? Mr. Chamberlain, how do I check into a hotel?” Heh.
I played the part of many other characters, as well… I sometimes spent more time in the forum, posting under fake names, than I did on the actual updates. I remember sitting in my office at my old job, posting to that page and laughing my ass off.
But things really took off when the site was moved to WordPress. Since then, it’s been a whole new kind of cool. I started asking a Question of the Day, and you guys took your rightful place in the spotlight. It’s no longer six or eight people posting under assumed names, it’s now a genuine community.
And that’s the thing that makes me the most proud: the large group of Surf Reporters who gather here every day. You folks are the best, and I mean it. You’re talented, smart, and funny. If I didn’t have to go to work tonight, I’d hoist a frosty vessel of the golden elixir in your honor.
In the comments section I’d love for you guys to talk about specific things that have happened here over the years, that really stick in your minds. We’ve already done the whole “how did you originally discover the site?” deal, but you can certainly answer that question if you’d like.
However, I’d really like to know about the things that have stuck with you, your personal favorite moments. Maybe it was an especially funny comment, or some phrase from one of the updates, or something else altogether.
Please help me celebrate the tenth anniversary of TheWVSR, And thank you, sincerely, for being a part of it.
Have a great rest of the weekend!