For most of this Scrapbook Project, I had the good fortune, indeed the privilege, of working closely with my peer Ronnie Vest. A precocious, unpretentious, hardworking West Virginian. Initially, I will profess readily that I was terribly overwhelmed with the fear that I would not be able to keep up with all of the technical aspects of this project. Fortunately I had what turned out to be a wonderful contemporary to help advise and guide me through it.
I should begin by stating that Ronnie and I both are in a somewhat unique position in the sense that we are both the same age. Which is to say that we are slightly older than most of our classmates. This is significant because consequently we both have, not just a similar sensibility, but also, a shared memory in a specifically important way. Both of us, like Dr. McClurken I’m sure, are old enough, not only to remember when most computers consisted of Type II Interface, but also, to remember how the world use to be when you could still get by without the access to all of these devices. As I remember it, the pace of life use to be much slower. Certain things were understood to be private; and people knew how to relate directly one-on-one to each other. Everything has changed not only profoundly, but also changes so suddenly. Sometimes, I swear, its hard to keep up with the ever-changing, uncertain pace of life.
Word has to be said, or word-up as the young people say nowadays, Ronnie is one of the few people I’ve met who makes it easy for you to ask for help if you need it. Coming from the environment that produced me, that’s easier said than done, believe me. He speaks plainly and doesn’t make you feel stupid by talking at you or giving you snide looks. This is certainly not to say he is without STRONG OPINIONS!
For the bulk of this project, he and I worked closely together in the Special Collections with Mrs. Parsons and her lovely assistant Suzanne. While he was busy taking each page, handling them with ever-so-delicate care, and scanning them, I was busy transcribing metadata, typing descriptions, and coming up with tags. As we worked, we both would fill the time not only with work but also with friendly conversations. Of course they involved the direction and definition of our earnest endeavor and meeting our most sanguine expectations. But also, they involved our shared sense that world as we knew it when we were much younger, in our youth when your heart is touched with fire, was so profoundly different from what it is today. We both wonder, with great concern, if people know how to handle situations without the aid of these devices. It seems that people always have to be occupied, rather than just enjoying and contemplating the meaning of silent reflection.
College is an experience that consist of many parts and multiple layers. Foremost among them, is creating bonds that will help to support and carry you through that experience. This is not only a theme which shines through vividly as you see the pages that we have scanned for this project; but also was my experience of working with this remarkable individual. Thanks for helping me feel like I could do it!