- Category: Contributors Corner
- Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012 23:27
If you grew up in Anderson, Indiana, you have memories bottled up until the day you die. All through life you think of your schools, church, family, friends and the streets we all roamed. There are some memories you want to forget, but somehow cannot. This is our life, and we share it all we can.
Brenda Vaughn Thomas grew up in Anderson. She went to Madison Heights High School and attended Mt. Hope Free Will Baptist Church. She had many friends and took pride in her town. Just like us she loves where she came from.
After graduation she followed her husband to a small middle TN town so he could go to college. They loved the area so much they decided to stay. Her parents and brothers had ties to the area so they came down, settling in Cookeville as well.
Brenda and her family lived a Christian life, according to the values they learned growing up in Anderson. As her kids grew up they heard stories of how it was for kids back "home." Even miles away Brenda showed her Anderson roots.
As the decades passed and her kids grew up she dreamed of reaching out to her Anderson friends. She was active on Facebook, so, on August 1, 2011 she created a group, "If You Grew Up in Anderson, IN."
That was a crazy day. It took off with more fire than an Anderson Sectional. Within the first 24 hours there were over 1,000 members. That was only the start of bringing memories alive. There were posts and pictures of the days of old. They showed many landmarks of Anderson; everything from restaurants to schools and neighborhoods, making this a day to remember! Brenda, not knowing what she had got into, enlisted some help from her trusted friends. Her Administrators held firm in the vision she had.
The early months were "trial and error." It was so exciting to see what would pop up next.
They were inexperienced and eager to learn. The biggest problem in keeping everyone happy was to cut down on notifications and in their e-mail. They learned how to handle the problems simply by going through settings to set their preference.
Besides the many posts, and pictures one of the things Brenda was proud of was the fact the group has a missing person document in the Doc section. This is the one reason the group was founded to reconnect with family and friends. There is so much in the Doc sections that has members searching throughout. It is one of her favorite sections and we they everyone to look for missing people. You might know where someone will be.
Before they knew it, they had over 2,000 members. Almost every member participated and nothing was off limits, which led to a few problems. Debates started brewing and feelings were hurt. Brenda even regretted starting the group. Her Administrators took actions by deleting some posts. They wanted to keep it the way she wanted it.
All she ever wanted was a peaceful page, one that stands on high morals and upholds integrity. She was worried that with all the bickering the members would leave, but, the more actions they took, the more the members approved, making their group a favorite page. Still there were others who wanted it their way which caused some to leave and after an illness Brenda left herself. It was heartbreaking for her Administrators; she had always been the conscience of the group. All the Administrators pulled together to make her proud, even producing some rules to preserve the group. Ever since the rules were applied, the membership has grown. This shows that the group will last through time.
One of the best things about this group it is open so people can see. Members who left would still stop by to see how they are doing. It is a craze that has many intrigued. When they saw how the rules took hold they would come back. Member or not, it is one of the most popular pages on Facebook. Brenda would often check in and have private chats with some of the Administrators. They would always encourage her to come back, which she eventually did, making our group whole.
By the ninth month there were over 4,000 members with over 1,000 pictures in the group's archives. There was excitement about celebrating their first year Anniversary with the group's first event "Meet and Greet" on August 12, 2012 at Mounds State Park. With all the hoopla the group grew to over 5,000 members. That's not even counting the non-members who still look at their page. The first event was successful and everyone wanted to make it an annual event. They are hoping to have the 2013 "Meet and Greet" at Shadyside Memorial Park.
The group goal is quite clearly to preserve memories of Anderson, Indiana today and yesterday.
This is where Brenda and her Administrators stand. They want to keep this a fun and moral page so every member will be proud to b e a part. Brenda is the first to admit this is not her group. This group belongs to the 5,000 plus members. She and her administrators work for them. They are not as important as the members themselves. They take pride in watching every member join in.
Their second year is full of optimism. The post has never been better. They renew themselves when they see new members discovering this for the first time. New blood comes in everyday and Brenda is enjoying the group today more than ever. Her main goal is to be able to pass it on to the generation ahead. Nothing would thrill her more than someday hearing a kid made an A on a report for school from all the group offers.
There's a lot to learn here, and if you grew up in Anderson, Indiana, we really want you with us. Join the group and start sharing memories now: https://www.facebook.com/groups/249146618437655/
Article Submitted By Michael Pierce