Gather Round, Children!

Long before Instagram…

Long before Picasa…

Long before Google+, Photobucket, Mashable, Tumbr…

…and long before the Internet had a capital “I”, there was was a web site that I started way, way back in the mid 1990’s.  You know, the Dark Ages of the internet.  (No capital. See?)  Back when seeing a Uniform Resource Locator on a TV commercial was rare.  Back when dial-up modems screamed at you every time you tried to connect and often didn’t.

The server on which it ran lived in my spare bedroom in California at first. It was built from spare parts gathered from all corners of my world.  For a time, the computer case in which WolfeScrapbook lived was from the computer that automated all of E! Entertainment Television’s programming for something close to a decade or so.  (To all of my former E! colleagues, remember TAS? I still have a 3 ½” disk with the TAS software on it that my friend and fellow surf tech, Ron Baer presented me with long ago.  It’s a cool souvenir.)  There were probably some other parts in there from the E! channel, but I only remember the case.

WofeScrapbook was my family web site on which I posted pictures, coded in HTML by yours truly, so that my family could access them from their computers up in Alaska.

So why am I telling you all this?

I post a lot of photos on Facebook and talk a lot about Nate and Garrett, my significant other, Beth’s kids. From all the attention they get, you’d think they were the only kidlings with whom I’ve had the opportunity to share space.

Well, this isn’t the case.

I have two boys of my very own who are now grown up and who I love and miss very much.   They don’t get a lot of Facebook time from me because of course, they’re not around for me to photograph and dote over as I would if they were in the same area code.  But they’re not, and they suffer from a temporal disparity that allows me to share my experiences with Nate and Garrett far more easily than when this whole Internet thing was still in its commercial infancy.

So anyway, I’m making this opportunity to tell you all about my older boys, and let all of you know that they are ridiculously awesome!  And they should be – they’ve been all sorts for awesome for nearly three decades now.

Jonathon Wolfe was born in Belgium while I was stationed there.  For a time during high school, he took to all things Japanese like a fish takes to water.  Toward the end of his high school career, he decided to go to culinary school and worked as a chef in Portland, Oregon for close to ten years.  He’s in the middle of a career switch and is studying Electrical Engineering enroute to a bachelor’s degree.  The dude can cook like crazy and the dude can fix PC’s almost as well as dear ol’ Dad can.

Andrew Wolfe was born in Anchorage, Alaska and has remained in his hometown.  He is largely self-taught, academically speaking, and writes splendidly about all sorts of thing.  He works in the Alaska film industry behind the scenes mostly, but occasionally appearing on camera.  His nickname is “Sauce,” and I’m not going to go into the whys and wherefores of that name’s origin.  But if you address him as Sauce, he will answer.

Both of them are talented gamers and know their way around their computers.  They get that technical stuff from me, I suppose.  Then again, some degree of technical savvy is necessary these days just to navigate life, so they are well prepared for that.

Jon is Android.  Andy is iPhone.

Jon is a little bit country.  Andy’s a little bit rock ‘n roll.

(That’s not true.  I just thought it was funny.)

They are as close as brothers can be and I think that’s the thing I love most about them.  Even though Jon’s been living in Portland for many years now, they still stay in touch almost every day using Skype.  They regularly play together online MMO’s and FPS’s (Massively Multiplayer Online & First Person Shooter for the uninitiated.)  And they help each other when their computers malfunction.  (They only call me for tech support when things get really bad.)

The bottom line on all of this is that Facebook has given me the opportunity to share fun moments with Nate and Garrett.  But I’ve been sharing far more fun moments with Jon and Andy over the years, but without Facebook, y’all never saw it.

To Jon and Andy:  You guys rock!  You’ve always made me proud.  You’ve always kept me laughing.  And you’ve always been there when I needed to lean on you – even when you were far too young to be leaned on.

Thank you for all of that.  And thank you for being exactly who you are.

I’m so proud to be your Dad.


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