You're as loony as the rest of us.....................

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 20:21:55 02/28/18

In Reply to: Loon Membership posted by TravelingBear


I considered you a Yellowstone Loon as soon as we started communicating last year, once you identified yourself as "TravelingBear", who I had observed on John's chat pages for years, and occasionally chatted with via the pages.

The truth is there never was any formal requirement for anyone to be a Yellowstone Loon, even though Paul likes to kid about the "secret handshake" or other trappings of exclusive clubs. The only requirement was that one had to be seriously addicted to Yellowstone National Park, and there was no test for anyone to pass or fail.

Your experience with having fired off two emails and not heard anything back had to be painful. I can't help but wonder if you were effectively trying to gain access to the Secure Loon Page, which was part of Lew and Deb Demler's "Home of the Yellowstone Wolf" website. It has a long circuitous history. It was originally created by John (J.T.) Humphrey back in late 1999 or early 2000, when the very first Loonion was being planned for Memorial Day Weekend, 2000. There were Loons coming from all over, and many were concerned about the wrong people (like those who might burglarize a house if they knew the occupants had driven a few thousand miles to Yellowstone, and would be gone for 2 weeks) finding out their plans. It was the earlier days of the internet, and a number of female Loons were cautious about divulging their real names for fear of security exposure. After a year or two, J.T. handed off the Secure Loon Page to Lew and Deb, who maintained it, improved it, and when the Home of the Yellowstone Wolf was created, incorporated the Secure Loon Page within. Lew created a calendar function that I and several other Loons used for many years to publicize activities, particularly day hikes, but also social activities connected with Loonions, like Loon Lunches, Rolling History Tours, and evening campfire gatherings.

I know there was a time, in the mid to late 2000's, when a number of people complained of having tried to get a n I/D and password set up, so they could access the Secure Loon Page. When Lew saw them post on one of John's chat pages about having trouble gaining access, he would typically post his email address, and suggest they contact him. At some point, Lew's health started failing, and for many years, his decline in health paralleled the gradual diminishing of the formal Loon community. Some of that may have been due to the migration to Facebook, but much of the flight preceded that phenomenon.

Not only are you welcome to join us at Old Faithful in June, but any other Yellowstone fan that wants to accompany you is welcome as well. In the world of the Yellowstone Loon, bigger is always better when we are talking about group gatherings.

As a "chronic" organizer, I would suggest that if you were to have the group that accompanied you in September along in June, we encourage everyone, both long time Loons and newer Loons to sit amongst each other, so as to promote mixing and folks getting to know each other. I will state here in front of any Loons (and Lurkers) that might read this post, that when I spent time on 2 occasions with your group back in September, I had a great time, and found everyone very cordial and fun to be around. They would all be a good fit for the wonderful world of the Yellowstone Loon.


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