1. Why do I need to include both past and present names?
This makes it possible for people that either knew you then or know you now to find your information. Many people have changed their surname for a variety of reasons (marriage, using one's stepparent's surname back in school, legal name change for personal reasons, you name it). Another reason is that I (the webmistress) have gotten to know many of you by your current surname. Many of you may have gone by a different/abbreviated/nick name back in school, but as an adult now use your legal name. No matter which name you click on when using the directory, it will take you to the same entry.
2. Why doesn't my sign up information show up in the website immediately after I submit it?
This is not an automated system. I run this site out of the goodness of my heart and I have a life. When I have the chance, I check email and manually transfer the information (that I receive in a sign up form/email) to my database. I upload it to the website at my earliest convenience- within one month at the latest.
3. Do I have to fill in all of the blanks on the sign up form?
No you do not. The bare minimum required is your name, class year, parents' name (to identify which family you belonged to, as we have many people with the same surnames and even same first and last names) and some form of contact information (one of the following: mailing address, email address, telephone number). However, the more information you provide the better- it provides me with backup contact information (good when email fails), etc. Another reason to provide more than one way to contact you: many of you who provided only an email address and then changed ISP's were unable to be contacted some other way, and thus missed out on the reunion. The rare time that I send out mass emailings regarding the site, a large number bounce back. After several failed email attempts, I remove your email address from your entry on the website and, if it is the only form of contact I have for you, you are then marked as missing.
4. Why are there entries for people with no contact information in them?
People with no information in their entry are missing. It is a blank entry for a person whom someone asked that I add to the website as missing. OR, I may have had contact info for them once upon a time, but they moved or changed ISP's, did not provide me with their current mail or email address, thus becoming missing people. Do me a favor and send me a change of address when you move or change ISP's- not only do you make the site up to date but I really appreciate it and it helps all of us out and helps you know about upcoming reunions.
5. What does the date in a person's entry refer to?
It refers to the last time I heard from the person OR knew some part of their information (usually their email address) to be current.
6. Why does the info in a missing person's entry change, even if they are still missing?
It may refer to the last time I tried to search for them or heard about a last known whereabouts.
7. Why aren't all of the people from my class year listed on the website?
The people listed on the website goes back to the original 200+ I found in the early 1990's and thus were listed on the website when it was launched on 1 January 1999. I can't possibly list every person that ever attended because, like most of you, I only lived in Gtmo for a certain amount of time and only have yearbooks from the years I attended- in fact I don't even appear in the yearbook from my first year at WTSampson because my family moved there after it had been sent to the printer. The solution was to add people's names as requested or as they turn up. If you have the urge to compile lists of people from the years you attended WTSampson (to fill in the website blanks) and forward them to me (for me to add to the site at my convenience), please feel free and my thanks to you in advance.
8. Why does the site limit how many photographs a person may have in their entry?
We do not have an unlimited amount of space for the website and photographs use up a significant amount of that space. To be fair to everyone, we limit each person's entry to no more than three photographs. As it stands, if everyone had just one photograph in their entry, then we would exceed our site's allotted space.
9. What if I
want to find a classmate or faculty member that
is not listed on the website?
I keep notes to myself on who is looking for whom and I write to let people know when their missing friend turns up. People searches are LONG and grueling. Typically, I'd lucky to find one out of every ten or twenty people I searched for. Add to that the fact that the list of missing people grows many many times faster than missing people turn up. Adding the names of all of these missing people takes time in and of itself. Please remember that SOME PEOPLE WISH TO REMAIN MISSING. I have been in contact with some who let it be known that they do not want to be contacted and I have respected their wishes.
I will no longer be going out of my way to do missing people searches as I've grown tired of being used as a free detective service. You can ask me to add people to the site as missing and if they ever turn up I'll email you and let you know. Beyond that, I recommend that you either try contacting others from their classyear or whom you remember the missing person hanging out with in Gtmo or you consult one of the many free people finder online sites such as Switchboard.com or whitepages.com. If you found this site, then you are capable of finding a person yourself. If the free services do not work, then try many of the online people finder services. Good luck.
10. Can I link to this site?
Yes, please do add my website as a link on your own website or refer my site to other webpages of interest to former brats, military personnel, GTMO-ites, etc. I only ask that you link to the main page of my website, which includes the site introduction, etc., to prevent confusion for the person who links to "GTMO WTSHS Students". If you have/know about a website that is Gtmo related, I will gladly add it to the "links" section of this site. I reserve the right to disqualify site links for improper content, actions, etc.
11. How can I contact the person behind this website?
You can write, telephone, or email me at:
17051 SW Cobblestone Drive
Sherwood, OR 97140
I was Tami Weeder in high school, Class of 1986, and lived there from Fall 1983 to December 1985. My family was attached to Supply. You can click on my entry in the website under either surname for additional information.
12. Why don't I get my photographs returned that I submit?
I cannot afford to return ship all photographs that I receive for addition to the site. If you would like to have your photograph returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope when you mail it to me in the first place. After 12 months, photos will be disposed of.
13. Why do I have problems accessing this site with my WebTV system?
WebTV has known problems with sites that utilize 'frames'. This site uses 'frames' formatting for much of its content. When we first launched this site, we received complaints from a few WebTV users who could not access it or had their machines crash in the process, but not from all WebTV users. At the time, we found that upgrading one's WebTV system to a newer model seemed to solve the problem. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone.
Note: WebTV seems to have worked out the kinks and its users no longer complain about the problem.
14. Is the information I submit to this site given out or sold or rented to spam services or telemarketers?
NO! WE DO NOT GIVE AWAY, RENT, OR SELL ANY INFORMATION FROM THIS SITE TO ANYONE. I am personally against telemarketing, spamming, and all other irritating forms of home/life/computer privacy invasion. While anyone 'out there' could access your information in this website and abuse it, it is much easier for them to get your contact info from any number of services (the kind that send you junk mail at home/on the computer/try to sell you garbage over the telephone/give out your contact info when you buy a house, etc., not to mention simply one little unscrupulous company or catalog selling it to another and it then snowballs). We set up this website in such a manner as to make it more difficult for anyone to gather information on people by having to go through several steps before reaching someone's entry. I can't help the fact that there are unscrupulous people/companies out there that specifically hire individuals to gather email addresses and info for their own purposes. And don't get me started on web-bots...
15. Why is my information out of date?
You may have forgotten to let me know your current whereabouts or contact info following a move or change of address. A classmate or acquaintance may have submitted your information for you- which may or may not have been correct at the time. Or if you've sent in current info and it hasn't appeared just yet, it may be that I am out of town (or downright busy) and haven't had the opportunity to make the change and get it uploaded so continue to be patient until it appears.
16. Is it possible to visit GTMO? What's it like nowadays (circa new millennium)?
Yes, it is possible to visit GTMO. Flights still run on the same schedule as they have since the 1980's (Tuesday and Friday flights) to and from Norfolk, VA, and Jacksonville, FL. You must be sponsored by a current resident of the base, they must receive command approval, and then you need a chunk of change! Last I heard (circa 2000), it cost $800+ round trip to fly from one of the above mentioned bases. I've heard that you have the choice of staying with your sponsor or at the Navy Lodge, though it may have changed since Gtmo turned into a prison. Once upon a time the base population was around 5,000 people and we could get an aircraft carrier in and double the base population. Nowadays, I hear it is barely 2,000, with many the 'commands' run by smaller groups of contractors instead of military personnel. There are now, however, many amenities we could only dream about when we were there- internet access, cable, a 'mall', McDonald's, etc.
*NOTE: with the prisoners, base population has swelled again, to the highest numbers seen in years, and you can learn about life there these days by clicking on the links page and reading and article published August 2004.
17. Is WTSampson High School still open on base in GTMO?
Yes. The students moved from the old high school up on Chapel Hill (back when the chapel was used for assemblies) into the new high school (down back by the golf course/enlisted club/enlisted barracks/swimming pool) in the fall of 1985, though the class of 1985 was able to use the gym (which had been completed at that time) for their graduation ceremony. Graduating classes peaked at several dozen, however, the class of 2000 had a whopping 6 students!
18. Why can't the next reunion be held in or near my city of residence?
This is to be fair to everyone, as people registered on the site reside all over the world. It's true that groups of people settled in/near big Navy towns such as Norfolk and Jax- however that consideration can't be the ruling factor for all reunions. I had to take into consideration many other things such as big airline hubs (which means lower airfares for people flying to the event, especially if they live too far away to drive), accommodations for a large group of people at an affordable rate, a place for the event that can hold the large number of people expected to attend (and then a bit extra- based on the unexpected reunion turnout we had in 2000), and other things for people to do in the area (many want/need the reunion to double as a personal/family vacation in order to get the most for their travel dollar/vacation budget). Locations vary from reunion to reunion to make up for the fact that most people have to travel great distances to attend. For example, I had to organize and travel to St. Louis for the first site reunion in 1993, from Utah to Florida for the 2000 reunion, and from Oregon to Las Vegas- even though I was the one putting on the events.
Note: I will no longer put on reunions. Someone else will have to step up to the plate in the future. I will advertise reunions that others put on. However, don't bug me if you have questions- bug the person putting it on.
19. Why did I have to (or why did Tami want me to) pay in advance for the reunion rather than at the door of the events?
Because I had to pay for the events in advance as well. There were many up front costs involved in pulling off the reunion (making and mailing invitations for those of us without net access, researching and contacting hotels for the event, not to mention finding people and maintaining this website). Then there were payments to the place where the event was held- a deposit before most of you even knew about the reunion, half of the money which was due way in advance of the reunion, and the final payment which was again, due weeks before the reunion. The hotel also needed to know how many people they would be buying and cooking dinner for. We also needed to know how many would attend in order to have a large enough room and so that enough tables could be set up (as witnessed by the staff setting up more tables as we outgrew the banquet facilities). As it was, at the 2000 reunion I also ended up paying the hotel out of pocket (beforehand-as I learned more people did not bother to rsvp yet were attending). I also had to pay additional money in the middle of the event for more food (as so many unexpected people showed up at the door). Also, if we had more money to work with beforehand, we might have been able to afford luxuries such as a professional DJ. Bottom line, I have lost a good $1000 running the site and putting on reunions over the years and I simply cannot afford to front this kind of money for an event of this magnitude again.