The Making of the CD

This idea of this commemorative CD was beautiful in the beginning.  But as time went on, it became a unending pain in the butt, like children.  Back when it was a beautiful idea, we imagined a cute little memento of our fabulous reunion with bountiful expressions of love and friendship.  The CD mailer would have a bow on it.  Plus, by making it free for the price of admission, it was easier to charge 75 bucks for dinner.  And we thought it would be a piece of cake to produce.  We would get someone’s geeky nephew to do it, paying for his services with geek currency: CD blanks.  Our CD would be a profusion of pixels, megabytes, and whatever.  But alas, the geeks had vanished, gone with the 1990’s.  Treasurer Russ Hatchl said we had no money to pay a professional. We were forced to adopt an alternate plan, plan triple Z—do the job ourselves! 

We knew we were in for some serious sweat.  Worse than having first-period P.E.  This job was way over the heads of a bunch of sputnik-era touch typists a.k.a Your Reunion Committee.  The CD subcommittee members were David Bennett, Janet Lemme Coco, Russ Hatchl, Bob Coco, and me, Ken Jones.  The full reunion committee included Sheila Brown Sheets, Patti Boesch Feeley, and Cheryl and Joe Keesling.  Our first major headache was self-inflicted. 

Russ, with help from Rod Harvill and David Bennett, took an un-godly number of pictures at the reunion, over 200, and nearly all of them keepers.  I blame Russ and his pixel-obsessive disorder.  He had bought a new digital camera just before the reunion. It was manufactured by Humvee and if pixels were testosterone, Russ would be Matt Dillon.  That new camera had more pixels than the Wakefield Drill Team had cheerleader wanabees.  Here’s a tip:  If Russ ever sends you a picture via e-mail, duck!  You will be drenched in pixels.  His pictures are huge.  All 200 reunion photos had to be resized, cropped, red-eye-reduced, and worst of all:  captioned.  

Are you wondering how we were able to identify every person in all of those pictures for captioning?  Of course not, you are wondering “When is he going to get to the part about the girl who can’t say no?”  Well ha, sorry to disappoint you but I am not referring to a wayward girl (like the “experienced” girls of W&L).  I am referring to a girl who can’t say no to horrendous requests for help with this ever-expanding CD project beast.  Janet Lemme Coco identified every person in every picture (correctly, we hope) of the reunion.  She was assisted by Russ with the identifications.    Then she typed up all the captions with the correct spelling (we hope) of alumni, spouses, SO’s, and even the Wakefield custodian.  I put it all onto the draft version CD and Janet proofed it all over again.  You can’t imagine how many ways one can misspell Marinel Talbott Mukherjee.  Janet also proof-read all 280 biographies.  But that was just a warm-up lap for the task that lay ahead.  Janet, bless her heart, working from faded copies, retyped, from Paul Abbot to Mary Jo Zeh, the Last Will and Testaments AND the Senior Prophesies.  Do you realize what that means?  That means that Janet actually read every line of that drivel!!!  Husband Bob Coco reports that Janet is convalescing well and hopes that she will eventually recover from the experience. 

Speaking of Bob, he managed the jobs of acquiring a recording of the Wakefield fight song and of collecting and scanning all 11 issues of the 1961-1962 Signal.  Re-reading them will set you back a few hours.  Look for the announcement about the class ring sale.  Did you agonize about whether to get open back or closed back?  Then reflect on the article about ten UVA scholarships available to senior boys.  You’ll never guess who was crowned the Betty Crocker State Homemaker of Tomorrow (Feb. 7, pg 3).  Bob took the Signals to Kinko’s because Russ’ scanner wasn’t big enough.  However, Russ did scan 280 mug shots from the Starstone.  They were needed to make name tags for the Dinner/Dance and to fancy-up the Classmates Stories section of the CD.  About 30% had to be scanned two or three times because of sharpness issues and other miscues.  Then he got the job of cropping some of the party pictures to extract current mug shots of many of the camera-facing reunion-goers to grace their respective bio pages.  About 40 of you, I think.  And to those of you who sent in your own current mug shot, a grateful thank-you from Russ’ exhausted scanner.  The second most exhausted piece of equipment has to be David Bennett’s computer.

David meticulously compiled and updated the vast 649-person student directory.  At the same time, he was transcribing your biographical information from old 1982 and 1992 lists, and the 2002 submissions to make 280 pages for the Classmates Stories section.  Each page was meticulously formatted with consistent colors and fonts so that I could paste it directly into the CD.  Did I overuse the word meticulous in describing David’s work?  I don’t think so.  Here is one among the ton of proofreading comments he sent me:  “Should it not be ‘bind us’ since there are three subjects to that verb?”  Get a life, David.  Bind us - schmind us, I haven’t counted subjects of verbs since Miss Geferoff’s English class.  By the way, did you know that she lived in a trailer park?  Check out the faculty directory in the Directory and Contact Info section.  If you don’t remember what Miss Geferoff looked like, you might find a picture of her in the Vintage Pictures section. 

That section was created by scanning 225 old Starstone pictures that I had stashed in a box for all these years.  They are the same pictures shown at the reunion as the free-running slide show.  My main contribution to this CD, however, was taking all of the image files, the music file, and MS Word document files provided by Janet, Bob, Russ, and David and organizing them for presentation in HTML code.  As is apparent when you view the CD, I was at the bottom of a steep learning curve with this HTML business.  Starting from scratch last October, I am now dangerously over confident in my web design skills.  I could go head-to-head with any 16-year-old geek, if I could find one.  It was unfortunate that so many innocent bits and bytes had to die in the process.  I slaughtered billions of them as I hacked and crashed my through this project.  But finally, it’s DONE!

Now that it is behind us, we on the committee will admit that we are happy to have put such enormous effort into this project.  We hope that you consider this CD a treasured record of those unforgettable years at Wakefield. 

If you would like to express a compliment on the CD, please contact anyone on the committee.  We are all listed in the student directory.  If you have a complaint, …. tell it to Harry Boscoe

Ken Jones