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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

4th anniversary “My Town Friday Shout-out”

I received an email from Pauline a few days ago.  She was asking me if I would be posting for our big 4th anniversary celebration.  This group has played such a large part of my life for so long, filled a need not many of you realize was there, that I had to make an effort to write up a few of my memories. 

I went back through my posts, sorted the labels for the Friday Shoot–out, made a few notes:  if I’ve not missed labeling any posts, I have done the Shoot-Out on 135 Fridays; the first was on March 13, 2009 – People.  Mid 2009 I started working with Gordon, Patty, and Chef E on the My Town Friday Shootout blog, and by September was practically working the blog solo with the help of Chef E on the photo headings and an occasional ‘member voice’, the person that suggested the topic talking about what the next week topic meant to them.   

Slide show, 1st Anniversary

In February 2010 to celebrate our first anniversary, I made a slideshow using the spotlight photos (idea by Gordon) plus making sure that everyone that participated over that year had at least one photo represented.  This slideshow represents a full 40 hour week of work, looking at everyone’s blog and pulling photos from each, naming and creating.    I loved the task and the result. 

On June 30, 2011, I celebrated my 100th post. 

For this post, starting with the first post in March of 2009, I started looking backwards, reading comments to see if I could track down when, and who ask me to join ‘the gang’.  I never found a direct reference but it was sure fun reading all the comments.  Patty or Reggie girl must have sent me an email.  They both showed up in comments starting the 28th of February, 2009.  Before ‘the gang’ I would have 3 or four comments, if lucky, for my posts.  That first week I had eleven, in April 25 and by July I would have upward of 40 per week.  Just like today there are often not as many comments as participants; I think at our highest point we had 52 posting for the Shoot Out.  In the year that I was involved with the FSO blog as an administrator, I spent nearly 4 hours a week reading, commenting, emailing, meeting the friends I’d made.  I even talked on the phone with Chef E and with Reggie girl.  Plus the work I did on ‘Flowers’,  2009 was a very productive year for me.  Proving once again that the more you do the more energy you have. 

As a group we gained and lost participants, our ‘founding fathers’ Patty and Reggie Girl, Gordon and Jen as the first FSO admins, dropped out or stepped back.  Real life many times getting in the way with the time it took to post / read / and comment on a regular basis.  We lost friends and gained others.  We lost Barry in July of 2010....  Not one of us failed to grieve that loss and possibly some of the light went out of the FSO for those remaining.  Following each other, celebrating the birth of children and grandchildren, awards won, books published, illnesses, and loss, we were close and committed.  We were the FSO Gang.

Over the four years we have gone from a small group taking snapshots and talking about our towns to a very large, warm and friendly group, cohesive, appreciative; then back to a small group now focused more on the quality of the photos, less about our towns and the people in them, growing, changing but remaining always The New Friday My Town Shoot-out Gang.

Reggie GirlSAM_0312  - visiting with me in Houston June, 2011  

  And other member in 2009               

Chef E Gordon Butler & Bagman Barry
PattyH Kent Sol Linda
Audrey Natalie The Pink Birdhouse Kerry
J9 Shabby Girl Strawberry Girl Sarah
NanU Redlan Simply Heather Carrie
Noe Noe Girl JarieLyn Pauline Robyn
Jen Doreen Denise Sarah
Kim Sara LuLu Kathy in CA Melissa
Kelly Zaronga Sandra Leigh Gigi
GigiSxm Mary Rebecca Kerri
Ann Jama Elaine Si
Scriptor Senex Claire Lena Noida

.And many more.  (Sorry if I missed you – tell me I’ll add you to my history list.)

Hello to all of You - GingerV






  1. It is funny how things change, but I still love this group old and new. I plan to post on this topic as well. Great memories you have.

  2. What a great memories we had , sharing photos from practically strangers turned online friends.

  3. What a marvelous piece of work you have given us today. I can remember back when all the names seemed strange to me and I felt a little intimidated to post but with the help of everyone I have had a wonderful time. I hope you find serenity and peace of mind in your new life and continue to be part of this blessed group of like-minded photo lovers.
    Blessings to you

  4. any idea what has happened to reggie girl? She came on to my facebook, a regular, and then drop out. I hope she is well.

  5. Gorgeous rose. I am new to photo posts and I really appreciate those who host Friday Shoot Out.

  6. That's a wonderful tribute post, Ginger. It's great to see that slideshow again, so many memories. And the list of the 2009 gang, I feel like a proper oldtimer remembering so many of those people. Thanks for the trouble you have gone to to put this together and sorry it's taken me so long to visit.

  7. Wow, I missed this post. I remember them all. I began in almost the first few they had done in 2008, shortly after I began blogging. It was therapy for me. I speak to Reggie girl now and then, Patty just disappeared like Gordon. I know she still does her photo blog, but I had hoped to meet her one day.
    Does not seem like every one visits, but it was like that back then. Great tribute post Ginger!