Facebook Changing the Face of Reunions

8 years 2 months 1 week ago Saturday, April 28 2012 Apr 28, 2012 Saturday, April 28, 2012 2:30:00 PM CDT April 28, 2012 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
COLUMBIA - Columbia's mask ordinance officially went into place at 5 p.m. on Friday, but many businesses in the city... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 5:35:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Summer sport leagues in Columbia have been trying to keep athletes safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Mid-Missouri... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 4:36:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
HUNTSVILLE - An employee at the Randolph County Sheriff's Department was fired after body camera video was released to a... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are looking into two reports of indecent conduct on the MKT Trail, both of which happened within... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 3:39:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Tiger Academy of Gymnastics is hosting a summer camp for kids to attend, but it is going to look... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 2:22:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – As Boone County struggles to keep up with the need for contact tracing in the community, volunteers are... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 12:49:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - UM System leaders unveiled a new plan to bring broadband access to a rural pilot community on Wednesday.... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 12:09:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Bicentennial Bridge project is a $3.75 million dollar bridge to connect the Missouri State Capitol Complex... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 11:51:43 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved Missouri’s request for a federal disaster declaration for severe storms in... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 11:38:46 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The city mask ordinance for Columbia goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and education will be... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 11:00:00 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - In the midst of Missouri’s budget crisis, $125 million from the CARES Act will help higher... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 10:42:31 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
COOPER/BOONE/CALLAWAY COUNTY - Crews will begin striping work on I-70 on Sunday, and the work will continue into August. ... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 8:01:00 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Kansas City Chief's player Mitchell Schwartz spoke out on Thursday about DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic social media posts ,... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 6:45:00 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 4:29:00 AM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Deputies have identified the man whose body was found near Millersburg on Thursday as 31-year-old Ervin Hayes... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 7:36:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY- Businesses outside the city limits of Columbia are now having to decide what to do about the mask... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 6:33:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot about how we live, and unemployment benefits weren't left out. Unemployment... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 5:45:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – As cases are beginning to spike, some counties are struggling to keep up with the demand for... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 5:38:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
5am 68°
6am 69°
7am 72°
8am 76°