Facebook Changing the Face of Reunions

4 years 10 months 1 week ago May 16, 2012 May 16, 2012 Wednesday, May 16 2012 Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:50:00 PM CDT in News
By: Megan Noe
loading

COLUMBIA - Has Facebook made high school reunions obsolete?

Charley Blackmore, a 1963 Hickman graduate, insists, "They're not dying out."

Blackmore has spent the past 14 years creating Kewpie.net, a site he calls "the Kewpie gathering place, where Kewpies can come together to visit or find out about what's going on."

As a DJ, unofficial historian, and all-around reunion resource, Blackmore has helped with dozens, if not hundreds of high school reunions, more than he can even count.

Just months ago, the New York Times reported attendance and the number of reunions held had dropped in recent years, a trend that doesn't appear to hold true in mid-Missouri. Blackmore insists Facebook and the Internet have helped, not hindered, the annual gatherings.

"The hardest part of putting a reunion together is locating the people that are in your class," said Blackmore. Now, he's using the Internet to do just that-and with great success.

"The attendance was only affected by 5 percent or less that didn't have email, that I actually sent letters to," said Blackmore of his last reunion.

And he insists knowing what people are up to via Facebook doesn't dull the mystery and excitement of a high school reunion.

"I don't think it has anything to do with people not coming to a reunion. I think it encourages or induces people more so to come to see each other, cause you want to say, ‘No, that person doesn't really look like that. They're 67 years old, they can't look like that. I want to see that person.'"

After all, there are some things that just aren't the same online.

"It adds a different flair to the reunion when you might be telling that person goodbye for the last time," said Blackmore.

It's a sentiment echoed by the Hickman class of 1943. Its members went to high school long before the Facebook generation, and every month anywhere from eight to twenty of them still gather at the Columbia Senior Center for an old-fashioned reunion.

O.V. Wheeler and his wife rarely miss the gatherings. Sporting a class ring and a Kewpies button, Wheeler insists the Internet is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

"One of our classmates from down in southeast Missouri was up, and one of the guys came in, threw his arm around her, and said, ‘Oh it's so good to see ya.'

And she said, ‘Just remember, it's better to be seen than to be viewed.'"

Wheeler then laughed, "We'd been to three funerals that week so we'd done a lot of viewing."

For the class of 1992, though, Facebook has completely changed the way the reunion committee works for the better.

"At one point ten years ago, four of us from Rock Bridge... sat around my dining room table with phone books and just called people's parents trying to find out where they were," said Suzette Waters.

This time around, the group estimates they've found more than 300 classmates on Facebook. They've created an event on the site, they have a reunion group, a page for each class, an e-marketing campaign, and continue to message classmates who haven't registered yet.

Waters said she hasn't heard of anyone who's disinclined to attend because they've kept up with friends via social media.

"There's a total disconnect between being able to know what someone's doing from a text message or a picture and then being able to talk with them."

It's a belief that seems to ring true regardless of generation.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a proposal to spend roughly $242 million more than planned this... More >>
22 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:23:07 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said Missouri still is giving money to Planned... More >>
23 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:49:00 AM CDT in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Police in Ferguson, Missouri, are investigating after a private security guard shot an armed man at the... More >>
23 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:47:37 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with the 2014 southwestern Missouri shooting... More >>
1 day ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:42:50 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four St. Louis officers are suspended without pay amid internal and criminal investigations over whether they... More >>
1 day ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:36:25 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Solid Waste Utilities will open its Hazardous Household Waste Facility Saturday. Columbia residents can drop off their... More >>
1 day ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7:18:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Family Access Center for Excellence, or FACE , is working to help more families in Boone County... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:55:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. House voted to repeal a set of Obama-era consumer protection rules Tuesday. The move lets Internet... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:18:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Members of Missouri's House Budget Committee want to make records of elected officials' flights on the... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 8:52:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill looking to remove construction worker payment restrictions on contractors is moving along in the capitol... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Crews responded to a vehicle fire on northbound Highway 63 in Columbia around 6:30 Tuesday evening, just south... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors allege that two Kansas City men killed a man after kidnapping him and attempting... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri appeals court panel said utility regulators had no authority to grant conditional approval for... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:08:00 PM CDT in News
BUNCETON - A water leak that occurred around 5 p.m. on Tuesday forced the city to turn off the water... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman who used her neighbor's home to receive a fraudulent loan was convicted of... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:44:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House gave initial approval to a bill that would overturn a St. Louis ordinance... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – On April 4, Cole County voters will see two propositions on the ballot designed to improve Jefferson... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed native bumblebees on the endangered species list at the start of... More >>
1 day ago March 28, 2017 Mar 28, 2017 Tuesday, March 28 2017 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:06:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
10am 54°
11am 55°
12pm 56°
1pm 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld