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Resident Sea Monster
Oct 25, 2009
Raleigh, NC
I searched but couldn't find a thread regarding's tenth anniversary. If one exists then I apologize for posting in the wrong place.

That said, 2019 is also the tenth anniversary of my joining this site! On October 25th, 2009 I became a member of this absolutely amazing community full of incredibly smart, talented, and passionate people. Like @Zachary said in his
Mid-September Photo Update article I had no idea that more than a possible handful of other BGW lovers even existed. I remember in 2009 I went to the park for Howl-O-Scream and had such a great time that I went home with a sense of keen sadness that it was over, the melancholic comedown after the high of being surrounded by all the fun and excitement. And when I was back in the "mundane world" I wanted SO much to have a way to reconnect to that fun and excitement, to still feel a part of it. And so I searched on the net for all of two minutes and came across this freshly created forum.

ParkFans, as a whole, has been like a good friend who's just as thrilled about Busch Gardens as I am, one who geeks out over new announcements and shares my ever-deepening sense of nostalgia and attachment to the park. Individually, the people I've known here are equally as dear, like invisible friends leftover from some unshared childhood who magically possess many of the same memories and feelings as I do (and if it weren't for my absurd schedule and crippling social anxiety perhaps we'd meet up some day!). You all keep Busch Gardens close to me... And you endure my drunken posts which says a lot about you.

Speaking of which I'd like to reiterate some things I've said in those posts; that ParkFans is an exception to other online communities because of its dedication to fairness and understanding. The administrators themselves are not lofty, power-wielding entities who are separate from everyone else but rather a part of us. We know them, and they - for better or worse - know us. And despite the occasional squabble our family of members largely has great respect for each other. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone back up in their arguement, apologize, and take another run at it because they realized and appreciated that they may have presented themselves poorly. True debate happens here, healthy debate. And I think that's rare and wonderful.

As it happens I'm going to be at HoS this coming October 25th and I'm going to raise a glass (and by glass I mean one of those plastic cups with the fancy stems) of wine to ten years of fabulous people, exemplary reporting, and to many more years ahead. Good night and good health to you all!
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