Between the months of November 2005 and March 2006 I emailed over 250 past and present roomies a questionnaire asking them to relate their favorite chat room memories over the years as the basis for this project.
I honestly had no idea how many of us would participate but I feel that the fact that over 100 of us chose to participate says a lot about what this room means to so many of us. If any of you reading this want to be part of a future revised version, feel free to contact me by email and I will add you to any future versions.
The years have gone by so quickly. It seems just like yesterday that I somehow found this little area of AOL named Oldies Music Chat.
I went in that first day and I have been coming in ever since. Somehow the “CHATROOM” became the place to be, for this person anyway. At times it was thought provoking, educational and always fun to just unwind and get my mind off the pressure most of us endure in our everyday lives.
I came into the room thinking that I was the expert and that I knew it all about the music I grew up with. Boy was I proven wrong.
I soon realized that I really didn’t know anything about the music I thought I was expert in. It amazed me when I actually saw roomies like MFPING, RECORDLOVER and REMO in action. God were they good.
What a fun place to come to. There were incredible, funny comedians who made me laugh so hard that I would break into smile days later just thinking about something I had heard. I soon realized that my sense of humor came across in the chat room also and soon I was the one telling the funny stories and getting the responses from the roomies in the form of an LOL or LMAO.
Quickly it became apparent to me from talking to all these wonderful people that not everybody had been as lucky as I and that some of the roomies had major problems in life and that for them anyway, the CHATROOM was a much bigger part of their lives than any of us could Imagine. I know in my heart, that I was thankful for the chance to at least try to put a smile on some of those faces and make it a little easier for them to cope with their problems.
This was a caring group of people who shared the happiness and the sorrow with each other.
That fact hit home for me in March of 2001 when I suffered a heart attack. At the time I was working on a Top 100 songs of the Oldies Chat Room project and I asked my then 14 year old daughter to find my address book and Email to everyone that her dad had suffered a heart attack, was going to be alright and that I would not be answering any Emails for a
week or so. What followed
was truly amazing.
I received dozens and dozens of heartwarming Emails from the roomies wishing me well. I had my wife bring the Emails to me at the hospital and to this day and for the rest of my life I will always think that one of the reasons for my quick recovery was the fact so many total strangers cared.
I recovered quickly and was able to go on a little vacation that included a day at HUGYFEST2001. It was there that I was able to actually meet so many of the people who I chatted with almost daily and to thank everyone for their concern and help in getting me well.
In 2003, with the help of 30 roomies who sent me their thoughts and comments about HUGYS, I was able to put out a little 30 page story about that incredible weekend.
It was a little time consuming but to be honest was a labor of love for me, to be able to put in print, what that weekend had meant for me and for so many others. And then my writing career was over or so I thought LOL.
In late summer of 2005 I went to ROCSBBQ2005 in Long Beach, California.
While there I was able to reconnect with some of the wonderful people and had met in 2001 and to meet so many new ones. I came home, energized and came to the conclusion that I wanted to do something else for this room that had become such an important part of so many lives. I wanted to somehow chronicle the wonderful moments we had all shared and to somehow put it in writing so those of us who took part had a little something to preserve over time.
So friends, that’s it in a nutshell.
What follows is not for everyone. It’s for all of you who have been there over the last 7 or so years and been a part of this wonderful experience we share.
To use a quote from my good friend Rich, RVB442, directly from the 2001 HUGY story. I have stopped trying to explain the room to people who are not part of it. They think we are weird and just don’t get it.
Well, Rich, we do get it and for you and everybody else who has been a part of this incredible journey, sit back put on your favorite oldies and prepare to smile, laugh a little, shed a tear or two and remember the past.
What follows on the following pages are pretty much word for word what has been sent to me by the members of the chatroom. Except for an occasional edit as I saw fit, I have tried to tell the story as it was told by all of you. Thanks for all of your input in telling the story from your perspective. GOHAWKSGO