Community Feature

GrannyJ - One of WebTV's Best Kept Secrets!
by Rexy

[Now meet a great WebTV user who moves about the Internet quietly yet teaches HTML to all who seek her assistance. She has a wonderful site on gifs, MIDIs, and a site dedicated to a dear friend. Also, she is a member of the ADH Homepage Helper group.--ck]

You won't find GrannyJ posting in the newsgroups or in any chat rooms, nor will she advertise any of her great pages. She simply doesn't have the time. She couldn't even tell you how many hits she gets to her site weekly as she took the counter out months ago when it started going backwards. Yet, she might just possibly be one of our community's greatest resources.

GrannyJ moves quietly, gracefully and unobtrusively through WebTV and the Internet, teaching HTML and searching for unique gifs for her GrannyJ's Gifs Galore. This site now boasts 18+ pages. And when she is not adding to her WebTV helpful gif site, she is tirelessly teaching others to build their own webpages or simply helping them put an image or music into their e-mail signature.

GrannyJ is originally from western Pennsylvania, but moved to Florida in 1968 after a divorce. Raising a small daughter, she worked a couple of different jobs, before she found a job with the Florida Parks Services in 1971. She is now an Administrative Secretary for the district office in Orlando, Florida. Her daughter, now grown and with a 14 year old daughter of her own, lives in Virginia.

In November of 1997, GrannyJ's daughter had told her about WebTV, and how easy it was to surf the Internet and have e-mail. Having outrageous long distance bills, she was interested in a less expensive way to keep in touch with her family. So she went the next day to Circuit City to check it out, and came home with a Sony Classic. "I never realized at the time, what a change in my life it would make."

At first, she was not interested in doing web pages. "I saw other people's pretty e-mail signatures, and wanted to have one too. A friend I had met sent me Paul Erickson's HTML for WebTV. Well, that got me started and then I met Joe Kane, the Music Man. He was a wonderful family man who loved music, HTML and helping people learn it. He took me on as a student, and we became good friends." With Joe's encouragement, GrannyJ started her GrannyJ's Place on Easter Sunday, 1998. On June 9, 1998, her dear friend, Joe, died unexpectedly, and GrannyJ could not bring herself to even work on her page for a month or so after that. [She was to have met him and his dear family in person on Father's Day that year!]

"One day though, I decided that Joe would want me to continue to make pages, and I also decided that I wanted to help others as Joe had helped me." [She made a tribute to him here.] And this powerhouse has not stopped since that day.

She began her Gifs Galore Page at that time, as well as her Oldies But Goodies MIDI page. "The MIDI page really became a great hit, and people started e-mailing me for help on putting MIDIs and gifs in e-mail, or asking if I could find a certain gif or MIDI. At about this time, I also discovered alt.discuss.homepagehelpers and of course I joined the construction crew. It is a great group of volunteers who help and advise people who want to make homepages."

There is not a day that goes by that GrannyJ does not get an e-mail requesting her help on HTML or for a specific gif or song. She answers every e-mail. On an average, she probably helps at least 100 WebTVers a month.

This grandmother, however, does not take on this responsibility lightly. A task master, to say the least, is what GrannyJ becomes when she teaches her students. She takes one through the basics and before one of her students ever writes HTML, they will learn how to transload, cut and paste, and will be given homework assignments which she will expect to be completed. "Some people learn very quickly, but others I can spend hours, days, weeks with, until they finally understand. I love helping others. It is so gratifying to me, but of course, working full time, I cannot dedicate as much time as I would like."

"I continue making pages. I think I have become addicted to it. I love creating them and trying new techniques. I cannot imagine not being able to help others and create with my WebTV, and I hope I never have to."

[Community Editor's Notes: GrannyJ, that is a lovely tribute to your wonderful friend! Also, your homepage is wonderful and so helpful. Ah now, your "Oldies But Goodies" and movie theme songs are a delight! And your gifs are numerous and such fun. I loved your waterfall, birds, angels and much more!--ck]

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