As a visitor of this site, you, along with all the other graduates, attendees and friends of E.W. Grove throughout the years may not know it, but we all owe a big debt of gratitude to Jim “Buddy” Dancy (1933-2018), who started this site and took care of it for many years. I first heard from Buddy in 2014 when he erroneously posted a notice that I had passed away. He apologised profusely, saying he had based the report on an obituary of another David Brown posted in P-I. We had a good laugh, and he told me how he had been taking care of the site since 2001.
I didn’t hear from him again until 2017, when he reached out to me about the possibility of helping out with the site. I told him I would be glad to help in any way I could. He said he would like some time to clean some things up so it would be in good shape when he turned it over, but the following January I learned from his daughter, Kim, that Buddy had sadly passed away.
According to Kim, this is how her Dad described how he started the site:
“SITE ORIGIN: Somehow, I got in the middle of an e-mail between Jack Lasater and Bill Williams. Jack was asking Bill if he could act as a depository for the e-mail addresses for the Class of ’52. I butted in (those who know me best will not find that to be a surprise) and suggested we put up a little web site for the class. They both said “Go for it.” The rest, as they say, is history. ~ b. d.
JIM ‘BUDDY’ DANCY (’52) ~ Webmaster”
The Grove Class of ’52 very graciously considered Buddy one of their own, though he did not finish his education with them. In 1950, at age 17, Buddy left E.W. Grove and entered the Air Force, where he earned his GED. He was always very grateful that his former classmates welcomed him to reunions and class events as if he had finished his schooling with them. In 2007, the Paris P-I published a great article about Buddy and the site – you can find it here…
Buddy used state of the art technology at the time, Microsoft Front Page, to create the site and do all the updates. But unfortunately, Front Page was retired several years ago. Making matters worse, it requires some special extensions on the hosting server that most providers no longer offer. When I “inherited” the site, I thought it might be possible to update to WordPress or a similar more modern code. I even discussed it with our digital marketing company, who are experts in this field. They advised me that, while not impossible, with over 3,100 pages on the site it would be a very costly undertaking.
Add to that the fact that Facebook now fulfils most of the functions which were intended uses of the site…
A few years back I found myself unexpectedly in the museum business, doing volunteer work with a museum on their website and ultimately as a member of their board. This has instilled in me a sense of history and a desire to see that it is maintained in the proper way. This site is our history, and I believe that the best option now is to preserve the site as it is today, in static mode, as a historical record for all of us who were privileged to experience E.W. Grove. No further regular updates will be made to the original site, but we did find a way to “wrap” it in a more modern package using WordPress, so we can still post notices and updates here – and you can post comments, as well!
Please do let me know if you find inaccuracies or errors that need to be corrected. And if anyone out there can think of a better way, please do not be shy – let me know!
David Brown, Class of 1962