Issue 3

Voice Card  -  Volume 33  -  John Card Number 18  -  Wed, Nov 23, 1994 1:27 AM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 32 John 18 ("Issue 2")...

Issue 3 holds special meaning for me. It was to be our first Christmas together as a group, and I spent the wintry month of December alone in my cabin, banging away at the keyboard every night, driving hard to get the packets out in time. I made dozens of important improvements and repairs, created several new stacks, and wrote over 30 cards. And then, on the very morning I was set to launch the issue and deliver all the packets to the Canyon Creek General Store and Post Office, my hard disk died and I lost everything.

This was one of the darkest moments in the annals of Archipelago history. Christmas was only a few days away and the thought of recreating a month's worth of work sent me into tailspins of despair. But I felt that Archipelago was at a perilous point in its development and that it was absolutely vital to keep the momentum alive and the train on track.

So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and went at it with everything I had. Even so, it came right down to the wire. I didn't get the packets in the mail until December 24th and then drove through a storm to arrive at my parent's house in Idaho on Christmas Eve.

There were over a hundred cards all together in issue 3, the first time we'd ever broken that barrier. In their cards, the pioneering members were waking to the possibilities of Archipelago for the first time, savouring its flavor, and making dozens of suggestions. Paul led the first ever "revolt" against the tyranny of a tight schedule. The original policy was to allow members "a fortnight" to reply, a rate which would yield about one issue per month. This was deemed just a tad too tight and we subsequently agreed to an extra week. Those were the days!

Some of the personal events mentioned that I had forgotten was the fact that Paul taught a two-day class at MSU and that Holly moved to (and then quickly un-moved from) southern California. Other hilights of this issue was Stuart's bizarre, steamy sex scene in our rapidly evolving crab novel and my mildly interesting essay on the art of programming. Due to continuing technical difficulites, Roger had not yet made an appearance. And Dionne's card on gender differences spurred a series of debates which lasted for more than a year, but Dionne herself became the first Archipelago dropout, and was never heard from again.