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GOOD-BYE

Dear Former W.T. Sampson Students & Staff,

This site began nearly 20 years ago, in early 1993, as a database of 200+ former W.T. Sampson students and faculty I was able to track down. It went online the winter of '98-99 and grew to thousands of entries over the years. I have spent far too much of my life and money keeping it up to date, freely reuniting people, organizing multiple reunions, and much more. I have reached the end of my patience and dedication and have made the decision to discontinue work on it. Please access the info as long as it remains online, but do not contact me regarding its content any longer. Take care.

~Tami, the webmistress
September 2, 2012

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You know you're from Guantanamo Bay...

-Although it’s in Cuba, Spanish is considered a foreign language
-You say “Gitmo” or “The Base” & expect everyone to know that you're talking about Guantanamo Bay
-You're bound to find iguanas at the beaches
-There’s only one elementary school and one high school
-A major school field trip consisted of visiting the Northeast Gate
-You once screamed/whistled/yelled at the Marine officers from the school bus windows
-You once got screamed/whistled/yelled at from the Navy officers sailing by on their ship
-Almost the whole school went to the same party and the ones that didn't go knew everything that went on
-You can name everyone you graduated with
-There’s only one church/chapel serving all religions
-You learned how to drive on the abandoned runway of McCalla Airfield
-There’s only onr major street and that’s Sherman Avenue
-There’s no such thing as a highway
-Your maximum speed limit is 25 mph- anything faster is considered speeding
-The same automobiles were sold around to different families in town
-You learned how to swim at the Windjammer Pool
-McDonald’s was the only fast food restaurant available (after 1986)
-You decided to walk somewhere for exercise and 5 people pulled over tk ask if you needed a ride
-The local shopping mall consisted of two major stores: the Commissary and the Navy Exchange
-The sound of fighter jets flying in the air all day was normal
-If one of the planes flew near the fence line everyone in town got nervous and started to assume the Cuban Government was going to attack
-The same yellow school buses where used for Public Transportation and Charter
-You never had to pay a fare to take Public Transportation
-All the bus drivers were either Jamaican or Filipino
-You once knew or knew of someone that confused Banana rat poop for plant seeds
-There are THREE big yearly celebrated festivals:
Cuban-American friendship Day, Fourth of July, and Jamaican Independence Day
-You never forget the day Celia Cruz performed a concert in town
-The same floats were used for every parade and festival, especially the Gigantic Iguana (first seen Xmas 1985)
-The best place to watch fireworks was at Phillips Park along with the drunk and rowdy military
-There’s only one local television channel
-You can remember the day when you finally got cable
-The movie theatres are all outdoor lyceums and free
-You refer the Unites States of America as “The  States”
-Your living room furniture had plastic covers
-You had the large brown turtle shell lamp hanging on your wall
-You reminisce about the Cuban trailer park from before it was demolished
-You lived in a duplex house
-TK housing area was considered ghetto hood while Deer Point was considered Beverly Hills because that’s where the Captains of the Base lived
-You mistake police officers for Marines because they both wear camouflage uniforms
-You refer the cops to as "Base Police"
-There’s only one Golf Club and you can play for free
-There’s only one hospital
-You went fishing at Windward Side ferry landing
-The best parties of the year were thrown at the Cuban Club or the Fil-Am Club- especially during the holidays
-Getting invited to a party at the Officer's Club was a Big Honor
-The only way to get to and from the airport was to take the ferry to Leeward Side
-You've taken flights on different aircrafts from 747, C-9, C-141, Cargo planes to whatever was available
-Half of the girls wore the same dress from the Penney's catalog to the prom
-You know that G.T.M.O or Gitmo or GTMO are the same abbreviation for Guantanamo Bay
-You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Guantanamo Bay...


GROWING GTMO ONLINE COMMUNITIES:
*2/1/09: Please check out Facebook to find hundreds of former Sampson Students plus a couple of Gtmo related groups.  Look under student's names, GTMO WT Sampson Highschool Pirates 2010 Reunion, W.T. Sampson Pirates, GTMO, etc.

*1/19/09: For an organization dedicated to providing reunions for former residents of Gtmo (military or not), click on Guantanamo Bay Association in links at left or go to the following: http://www.gitmobay.org/
*2008: For an online community of  60's & 70's students (created for their 2008 Florida reunion) please go to the following: gtmo-reunion.subscribe@yahoogroups.com


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SITE BACKGROUND:
This site began as a database created in early 1993, as I located 200+ former students and faculty members of William T. Sampson High School, U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Maintained over the next six years to help Sampsonites reunite with old friends, it was reborn
online as this site January 2, 1999.   I refer to it as my "third baby", as it has required the same kind of time, care, and dedication.  The site now has over 3600 entries spanning from the 1940's to the present.  I have organized/put on three WT Sampson All Class Reunions over the years (1993 St. Louis, 2000 Orlando, 2005 Las Vegas) and advertise any other Gtmo reunions I hear about.  Recent base and reunion photos were added along with other features such as school records information.  My thanks go out to those who have aided me in the creation/maintenance of the site/its database.  I've tried to be accurate with entries,  providing the last known information.  I would appreciate your keeping me up to date should your contact info change- after all this site is only as up to date as you make it.  Feel free to contact me with questions or corrections.  If you do not want your information to be shown here, please contact me for removal.
For board/forums questions, please contact Gordon Lindgren '89  (see site directory). Changes/additions to the site happen whenever I am able get to them, usually once every 4-6 weeks, so your patience is appreciated.
-Tami, the webmistress