Class of 1953 Web Site History
WEB MASTER - Perry W. Easterling
In early 2004 Clyde Arnold called me (Perry Easterling) and asked me to look at the
HHS Class of 1951 website and see if I thought that our class should also have a
web site. After looking at the 1951 class site I agreed that it would be something
good to keep our classmates informed and suggested that he start one up. Clyde
immediately said that he didn't have a computer, didn't know how to use one, and
was only able to communicate on the internet via WebTV.
After lots of discussions, I agreed to talk to Jim Edwards and see how their site was
created and how they kept it updated. Jim said that he had conned a nextdoor kid,
who was a computer Geek, to create the site and be their web host. After the site
was placed online, the kid moved and Jim had no idea how to update the site so what
they had was all they would get. Their class voted down paying for any space on the
web so it was eventually shut down.
By this time I was interested and realized that this was a real challenge because I
knew little about computers and nothing about a website so I then agreed to see how
to get one. Clyde said he would get material to place on the website as well as see if
he could get financing from classmates. After finding the monthly cost, as well as
cost of additions and changes to web sites (such as those of two of our companies) it
was decided that the only way to go was to do everything without going through a
professional. This would cost big bucks beyond our reach.
I agreed to use my computer, camera, scanners, and other equipment but not pay for
any web software or online cost. Also because my typing training consisted of a
short course at Tyler Commercial College and no on-the-job training since 1954,
someone else would have to do the typing. Clyde then asked me to talk to Barbara
Taylor Burke about typing and the rest is history.
PAGE DESIGNER - Barbara Taylor Burke (2004-2014)
Equipped with his scanner and accompanied by his supportive wife Pat, Perry came
by our home in Benton, LA in May 2004. Perry had a purpose: to get pictures for a
newly started 1953 Web Site. Only a hint of partnership in web site expansion began
that day. My pictures from the 1940s and 1950s left with them since with all the
website brainstorming going on there was no time for scanning photos! This was on
the same trip to Louisiana that Perry got photos from Nell Cassidy Butler at her
house and Donnell Bagley. Pat was a real encourager to both Perry and me in this
early phase of the project!
Since I had attended my first reunion of the class of '53 in October 2003, I was
captivated with an exciting possibility of an opportunity waiting for me to see more
of my classmates! So after Perry and Pat left, I began to dream on screen knowing
that they would be back sometime soon to bring back my pictures when they were in
Shreveport. The first page for me was the band page. I had been in news groups for
a few years on the net learning to do something similar to this type thing. This was
my #1 hobby at the time. It was time to put it to use for others if my help was needed!
Neither of us remembers exactly how it came about but Perry and I became partners
at producing a web site for Class of 1953 on that second trip to our house. He had
already begun with some pictures and the start of a Home Page using Yahoo
SiteBuilder that I viewed on the first trip. With my lifetime interest in music, the
band page was a joy to create so by the time he and Pat (our encourager!) returned, I
had something to show them.
On the trip to bring my pictures back, Perry and Pat took a look at the band page,
smiled and first thing I knew I had agreed to be Page Designer, but didn't want to
learn to publish so that is Perry's job. Promoter (Clyde) and Page Designer
(Barbara). Another thing I offered to do was find MIDI (music) from the 50's to put
on a few pages on the website. We have ended up putting them on most all pages.
Arecent addition (2008) has been a player toward the bottom of the page so you can
shut off the music if you prefer silence. All we needed was money to pay for the
Yahoo Site and pictures, pictures, pictures. The promoter (Clyde Arnold) was sure
he could get both from the class. He had full confidence in Class of '53 to come
through. Keep in mind that none of the three of us had ever done a website and were
groping our way through.
Then came navigation and organization which was done through trial and error and
my minimum experience with immulating this type thing in newsgroups on the Web.
The sections are our cooperative efforts of how to divide the many pictures we
received and how to name the sections.
Remember the photos on the web site are "thumbnails," and can be expanded. Many
are quite old and had to be improved with use of image editing programs such as
Photo Shop or Paint Shop Pro. We haven't tried to copy any other web site style
and don't know if this one would pass the test of a pro, but it's been our pleasure to
design it specifically for the class of '53 with lots of their help and encouragement!
Credit goes to Ann Houston Ruppel who designed the birthday page by month of
each class member's birthday. Had her health not prevented it, Ann would have been
a great permanent staff member on the website!
From the beginning, it was amazing to me how Perry and Clyde thought nothing of
traveling around not only to Hope but other places to get pictures. Clyde of
Memphis, TN provided a huge class picture that Perry meticulously worked into
what you see on the Class Picture Page--not without some extremely tedious work!
Clyde has also dug up some very old football pictures that are now published in the
sports section and has made many long distance calls and trips to solicit pictures.
We asked him to work particularly on the sports section getting photos from our HHS
days since that was his strong suit! He was aptly named "Promoter" as he passed
the basket for financing the monthly cost, made the first 6 months payment himself,
and solicited pictures from a lot of people in the class. Nelda Thompson Doyle was
also a great financial contributor to the beginning of the web site in the
first two years and has been a big supporter.
Other early-on-the-scene pictures as Perry recalled were from Bobby Bruce and
Clyde who gave them to Perry to scan, a very time-consuming job. Bonnie Shirley
Sinyard's collection of albums of pictures was a "gold mine!" Perry picked them up
in person at Bonnie's home in Hope, scanned, and published them. Ann Houston
Ruppel sent some invaluable photos and designed her own Golden Anniversary
Page. Had Ann's health been better, she would certainly have been more involved in
the designs of the site. Bobbie Sparks had been an enthusiastic supporter of the
class projects in contacting Hope people for us. She has also done some of the
scanning so that photos could be sent electronically as attachments in email to Perry
for publishing. Bernard Dunn furnished lots of interesting pictures including one of
his father, Happy Dunn, whom everyone in Hope knew because he was a local
policeman. Bernard brought even more to the 2008 reunion.
In May 2004 in Shreveport, Perry contacted Nell Cassidy Butler and Donnell
Bagley. Donnell lives in Vivian, LA (a few miles from Shreveport) which required
effort to bring pictures to Shreveport where Perry and Pat were visiting. Donnell was
convinced by a promised free meal at Horseshoe. The next day Perry and Pat made
a trip from Shreveport to Benton, LA (about 15 miles) to get some pictures from me.
Helen Harris sent some great pictures by mail! And, Gene Holdridge brought some
to the 2008 reunion. It's not too late to send pictures for publishing on the web site!
Surprise us with more!
Some of our writers have been Clyde Arnold, Nell C. Butler, Donnell Bagley, Perry
and I. Most of the memories of the reunions were written by Clyde; fishing and golf
Each year we have reunions, we'd very much like to have short writings from a
bunch of you. Wanda Sinclair McCorkle deserves recognition for sending a poem by
Marlene Russell Formby along with memories to be put on Marlene's obituary page.
We were able to get photos of Marlene from her page on the funeral home's
memorials. We have a few stories from others of their memories of the deceased of
our class. As for the communication to the class by email and then repetition on the
announcement page, I believe it was Pat Easterling who suggested we have a prayer
list. Duplicated on the Announcement Page, the email's purpose is to get the
concerns and joys to you quicker; then on the web page for reference in the future.
Betty Willis, Bobbie Sparks (Mrs. Terriel), Jesse, Perry, Bonnie and others have
played an active role with that. Others are invited to help.
The website is available to publish the reunions with photos the class furnishes. We
like to put up the date as soon as it is decided on so that people can mark and save
the date to avoid conflicts if they plan to come. Then we will add details as the
reunion plans progress.
Other projects as a result of the web page have been for two children. At this time
one of them is still pictured by scrolling down on the ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE.
Click to see more up-to-date photos and information. The one there in 2014 is the
grandson of a classmate, Bobby Lafferty.
The plaque presented at the 2008 Reunion (55th) was a complete surprise to both
Perry and me and very much appreciated. An award for enjoyment of the project is
pure delight! Thank you to Roy Seymour who initiated the project, ordered and
presented to Perry and me at that reunion!
My conclusion of the website work and my renewed association with HHS Class of
1953 is that it has been a big blessing in my life---about 10 years as this history is
Barbara TAYLOR BURKE
July 31, 2014
WEBSITE PROMOTER - Clyde J. Arnold, Jr.
Clyde presented the idea of a website at our class reunion in 2004. We received
enough funds to pay for seven years' space on the web for starting the website. We
were all three excited and took this as an indication the class wanted one to keep in
touch with the class--especially between reunions.
As promoter, Clyde contacted lots of class members by phone to ask for photos to
be sent to Perry for publishing on the web site. Some of these Perry scanned and
returned to the owner of the photos by mail..
Without these photos and those we still get from time to time, there would be no web
page! Thanks to all who have helped make our Website continue for the past ten
Barbara Taylor Burke
September 6, 2014
WEBSITE TREASURER - Betty Saunders Willis
Betty keeps our HHS Class of 1953 Website bank account to pay for our space on
the internet. She gives a report at reunion business meetings.
The work is all volunteer. The checks go to Yahoo Sitebuilder, the publishing
program for the website.
We appreciate your sending photos, information, prayer requests, updates, and the
special part you play in sharing memories, news and photos with our class.
Perry, Barbara & Clyde
10 Years and Counting!