================================================== HISTORY OF THE "Tribute to Roddy McDowall" WEBSITE (how, when, and why it got started):
First off, I must confess that I'm a bit iffy on the dates here. I am basing these numbers on the "file creation" dates of my scans and the "date stamp" of the first e-mail message I got about the page. Sometime in October of 1995, I was playing around with my scanner, still trying to figure out what the best settings were for dpi and file type. I had scanned all the "family and pets" pictures that I was interested in scanning, and really didn't feel like repeating myself, so I was wracking my brain trying to think of what to do next. At some point, I wandered off to my bedroom in search of scanable material. I have an autographed picture hanging on my wall (which McDowall kindly sent me some years ago) right where it can be seen by any and all who enter the room. Grinning like a mad fool, I grabbed the photo and rushed back to my desk. When I finished scanning the autographed photo, it struck me how cool it would be to have *all* my Roddy McDowall pictures on computer -- Not only could I look at them anytime I wanted, it would be easier to show off said collection to my friends. Still, I needed a way to organize all those scans. An index of some sort. Just then, a little cartoon lightbulb materialized above my head. HTML! It was the perfect answer. I could create a page with miniature pictures which, when clicked, would automatically load the full size picture and easily return to the index page again. You can guess what I spent the next couple of evenings doing. Somewhere along the line, I decided to spruce it all up a bit. Add a banner, write something meaningful, maybe key in some reference material. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of fun, and very educational. I had no intention of putting the page on the web. Every time I was trying to learn a new type of code, I used my McDowall page to experiment with. I had other projects going at the time, actual web work, and was in a rush to get out of the house one day -- setting up a massive batch upload for the computer to chew on while I was away. In my haste, the McD directory and all its contents were included in the transfer. When I came home, all the files were resting snuggly on my space provider/server. It seemed a shame to delete them. I told myself that I would leave the stuff on the web, and add a link on my homepage, for that one other lonely McDowall fan out there who might stumble across it one day. A couple of months later, I got an e-mail message from (either Pam or Robin, don't actually recall) that lonely fan I had speculated about. It was a great kick to finally have someone to share my stories and opinions and favorite films with. A week or two after that, I got another message. And two more the next week. I decided to throw a "hit" counter up on the page. When the numbers started climbing, my jaw nearly hit the floor - and the e-mail messages were steadily increasing. By the end of 1995, there were 10 of us sending electronic messages across the country to one another, and I decided it was time to create a mailing list or I'd be spending the rest of my life answering e-mail. As February of 1996 winds down, there are 18 list members...and there's new mail to the list almost weekly from interested persons and potential new members. It only seemed natural that the next step was to give ourselves a name -- to form an "unofficial" club. Names were tossed around the list for a couple of weeks, with "The Musgrave Foundation, A Roddy McDowall Fan Club" winning out over such candidates as The Gooney Birds, The Lord Love A Ducklings, and other less "dignified" names. Currently, the RM tribute page averages 50-80 hits, or visits, per week. Of course, many, if not most, of these are repeat visits by the same person; using special stat tracker software to monitor the site still reveals a minimum of 30 separate visitors per week. The Roddy McDowall Fans are coming out of the woodwork and gathering on the World Wide Web. --Roc

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