1. Welcome to our brand spanking new digs! :) For more details, read here. Meanwhile, please pardon the dust -- lots of tweaking going on. Enjoy! -Ray PS. If your username/password no longer works, email both to me at solari @ gmail.com and I'll reset it.

Some History and Thoughts

Discussion in 'Sports Board' started by Gator Bill, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    A lot of you remember the old Prodigy boards, a good many of us were on them talking sports. I also was a member of GatorCountry ran by Ray “Solari” Hines who had started a couple of forums on the internet before GatorCountry really caught on. One of them was The Skybox which he had discontinued.


    Anyway, as Prodigy was shutting down a lot of us wanted to hang together. I was on Spring Break with my wife at her sister’s house in Atlanta on a whim wrote to Ray to see if he would be willing to let us use Skybox. The same evening, he had it set up and made me the moderator/administrator. I sent out invites to quite a few of the fans. At that time Gators, Vols, Irish were the main ones I had positive relations with and I did not make a general announcement as quite frankly there were some fans, I was very wary of bringing on board.


    I also did not want to be the final authority as an administrator so approached Terry and Tom McCord to be equal partners with me. A Gator, a Vol and an Irish. I never had a reason to regret that decision.


    What I do regret is that over time I sort of phased out. Tom also did less as time went by leaving Terry to be the main guy and he has done an admirable job.


    Anyway, I have done some soul searching and don’t really understand my fading back, age, internet as well as other factors. Also, in the past I had some pretty heated discussions with many of the members here, quite a few that I have since gotten to know at a different level and have great respect for and hope to be more positives in my relationships down the road.


    I also want to make clear that I consider Terry as the head moderator here as he has stuck with it from the start to now and I have great respect for him. It has been my pleasure to meet him and the McCords several times. I do not have any intention of disrupting how most of things go here but also do not see any reason we have to have political discussions on the main Sports board and see no reason to tolerate those who cannot comply.
     
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  2. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    I meant to put this in the above but didn't so will add it here. Solari had an opportunity to sell The Skybox name but didn't because he always respected our forums and actions. At least that is my understanding and we owe him a lot. Thanks Ray.
     
  3. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    I meant to put this in the above but didn't so will add it here. Solari had an opportunity to sell The Skybox name but didn't because he always respected our forums and actions. At least that is my understanding and we owe him a lot. Thanks Ray.
     
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  4. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    The two deleted posts were duplicates of the comment above that were posted by accident when my internet was acting up and I hit post not realizing it had posted. Sorry.

    Comments are ok
     
  5. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Want to add that a lot of the folks still posting here were also on Prodigy representing Ohio State, Michigan and lets not forget Huskerman and Nebraska. Don't mean to leave anyone out and don't take offense if I did.
     
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  6. Stu Ryckman

    Stu Ryckman Well-Known Member

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    And Purdue. ;)
     
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  7. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    And Purdue, who can forget the Purdue Slide Rule. A slide rule was a staple for all Engineering students until modern calculators. You could tell an engineer walking across campus by the slide rule hanging off his belt.

    Thanks Stu, feel free to mention any one or any school I left out.
     
  8. Terry O'Keefe

    Terry O'Keefe Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Bill I wonder what Solari is doing these days. I seem to remember that he was stepping back from things and doing something else with his life for awhile. I think somebody linked a blog that he was writing.
     
  9. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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  10. Scott88

    Scott88 Well-Known Member

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    Ah the old Prodigy days.
    When all we could do was post text thanks to the "speed" of dial-up.
    Yeah... it was fun. I think Terry found me and told me about Skybox after Prodigy dwindled...
    Glad to have been here all this time, and having met quite a few of the members, it's a great group.
    Thanks to Ray for keeping us running all these years, and thanks to Bill, Terry, and Tom for taking turns keeping folks in line. :cool:
     
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  11. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Yes, my participation has been minimal, possibly due to the obvious minimal performance of my Volunteers. I cannot promise to be on more but I will make an effort. As of 10-March, I will be fully retired. However, my time, until Cindy can retire will be spent traveling between Austin and Chattanooga. My mother and step father are now 83 and 86 years old. He is suffering from dementia and my mother is in no shape to care for him by herself.

    Once Cindy can retire, we are looking to move back to Tennessee. Cindy is trying to speed up the process by sending out resumes to East Tennessee to spend the last 3 years of her career working there. I will be house hunting on my monthly trips. Cindy will be in charge of selling our existing house and will move into an apartment in Austin until she can find employment in Tennessee.

    We will both be very busy over the next few years. We have a bet going between us whether Cindy will retire before Tennessee makes it to another bowl game. I'm betting on Cindy retiring first.
     
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  12. Terry O'Keefe

    Terry O'Keefe Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Good luck Tom, I hope it all works out for you and Cindy.
     
  13. Don Ballard

    Don Ballard Well-Known Member

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    Tom, your timeline to retire coincides with my 85th birthday. Congratulations!:)
     
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  14. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Tom, we certainly hope to see more of you and Cindy. I will be 84 in May and Jeanne will be 82 in Oct. However at this point both of us are doing well and we don't require any assistance and we hope to keep it that way for more years.

    We just got back from visiting our daughters in Florida as well as my longest term friend that we have known each other since the 7th grade. Interesting that he and his wife who live in Orange Park Florida, a across the intercostal from Jacksonville, have been able to schedule their vaccanations for next month. We are going to contact our Health Department this week to see what our schedule might be.

    We have certainly enjoyed the times we were able to get together with you and Cindy and if you get back to Tennessee would love to do it again.
     
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  15. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Oh, I think I can speak for both Terry and I in saying we miss your technical expertise. I do for sure.
     
  16. Gator Bill

    Gator Bill Well-Known Member Administrator

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    Would hope that before we get to old to travel etc that there might be some sort of gathering for Skyboxers again.
     
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  17. gipper

    gipper Well-Known Member

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    Well at least the day started well, I found some stimulus money in my bank account. Of course we did beat the spread.
     
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  18. kp

    kp Well-Known Member

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    We got stimulus money too the other day. That was.pretty quick.
     
  19. Terry O'Keefe

    Terry O'Keefe Well-Known Member Administrator

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    You guys made me look, and I I got my check today as well,
     
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  20. JO'Co

    JO'Co Well-Known Member

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    I looked too, but it's not there. I NEED that money to buy more Amazon and Zscaler!
     
  21. Tim Gentry

    Tim Gentry Well-Known Member

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    Bill,


    i just found this beginning post on this thread. I haven't been very active on Skybox over the last year or so for a couple of reasons I think. The first was I had to have coronary bypass surgery in January of 2020. Then, while recuperating from heat surgery the virus hit and it just took the wind out of my sails for a lot of sports related things including my beloved Fighting Irish. Of course the politics in sports didn't help either whether it was NCAA or PRO Sports. To complicate things more just when I thought things were coming along well I broke my femur on January 9th of this year and even more I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis(getting old isn't agreeing with me). Throw in some depression and anxiety and here I am a soon to be 69yr old man in world that seems hell bent on destroying the culture I grew up with.

    Now I find a guy(JO'Co) who was a big part of finding and staying on those early Prodigy chat boards is gone. I guess I'm trying to say I'm not aging well in heart/mind or health.

    I am thankful to Terry for seemingly being the glue that keeps this all together and I'm glad to have met even if not in person all the guys on the board, even Stu(just kidding). Over the years when I tell people how I got to my first Notre Dame home game I tell this story of meeeing some Irish fans on the prodigy boards and getting to know some guys like O'Keefe, O'Conner, Maloy, etc. they think I'm making it up I'm sure. But it's true, as time would go on and the move to Skybox came of course Sid, The Gipper, McCord, Stu, Bobda, jif, Krebs. Husker, RECane, Scott88, Ballard and so on(please forgive me if I've forgotten someone) would become acquaintances too if they posted on a ND thread.

    I've tried to confine myself over the years to only threads about Notre Dame Football because really, that has been for many years the only football I really enjoy watching at all. I usually get in trouble if I stray away on other threads. If I've said anything offensive to you over the years(I know I've pissed off Bobda a few times for sure) it's because I forget that other fans love their college teams as much as I love Notre Dame.

    I'm rambling now so I'll stop. I just think losing JO'Co like this has made me stop and think about a lot of things in life.

    I hope you and your families are well and I'm hopeful my health will continue to improve and I'm going to try to be on the board(ND topics) more. Terry, thanks again for keeping this all together.
     
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