Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

September 2007 marks Tenth Anniversary
of the Nanty Glo Home Page and the
Blacklick Township and Vintondale Home Pages

In September 1997 the Nanty Glo Home Page was launched by an under-utilized technical writer/editor in Saratoga, Silicon Valley, California. Having been given my first "permanent" technical writing/editing post a couple of months earlier, I was, that September, spending most of my days waiting for the small company that employed me to give me some work to do. While waiting, I worked on improving my Internet skills, which included some "surfing" and some web page creation. A friend had given me some server space on an Internet service he used primarily to give free web services to churches and ministries he knew and liked, and I had experimented by creating a "Silicon Valley Today" news portal to prove my skills and make myself more employable in that environment.

The original Home Page has been lost, but the graphic above was its main feature at its first anniversary in 1998, a slight improvement over the original graphical page. This primitive diagram of Nanty Glo's main thoroughfare, state route 271, entering the borough from points north, (bottom left corner) shows Second Street from the borough line to Chestnut, and turning right on Chestnut-Shoemaker south toward Mundys Corner and Johnstown. The Blacklick Creek intersects the diagram in a robins-egg blue ribbon coming from Revloc and continuing on to Twin Rocks and Vintondale. Everything on the diagram was a link to another page or feature, most of which have long since been lost in cyberspace or changed addresses. Click the diagram for a rendering at full size.

As part of my "surfing" routine I looked up any subject that interested me. When I tried "Nanty Glo" in the Alta Vista search engine, I found a few mentions of the town I considered "home" in my 'teens and early twenties, but found no web site dedicated entirely to Nanty Glo or Blacklick Valley. So the same day I created the first "Nanty Glo Home Page" and launched it as a subpage of Silicon Valley Today. Though not advertised or publicized in any other media, it started getting "hits" (page views) almost immediately, and soon was generating more feedback, by far, than the much-longer-established Silicon Valley Today. I'd found a niche that enabled me to communicate to a growing audience regularly and simultaneously let me keep a presence—at least a "cyber"-presence as that word was used a decade ago—in the community where I had always felt I'd received a fair measure of acceptance, appreciation, and encouragement from the time I had begun writing the teen column in the Nanty Glo Journal in 1957.

A 50th anniversary, too

In fact, by coincidence, I began the teen column—which marks my entrance into journalism as a career—in a September, too. It was the first month of my sophomore year at Blacklick Township High School; it was also the month that my life had been set on a new course by the death of my brother, Gary, in a tragic automobile accident on Labor Day weekend that year. I had already been writing Blacklick Township "news" for the Ebensburg paper, the Mountaineer-Hearld, since eighth grade, and through an experiment I conducted through it, I got the idea for a teen column. The Ebensburg editor turned down the idea, so I finished reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People and applied Carnegie's suggestions on how to write a persuasive letter to the editor of the Nanty Glo Journal, Andrew P. Rogalski, who was one of Blacklick Valley's best known people at the time, being a regular sight at just about every newsworthy event in the Valley with his trusty Speed Graphic camera in hand.

I've written about the teen column and my subsequent promotion to editor of the Journal at age 20 elsewhere, so will leave that now.

As I write this I am preparing to travel back to the Valley to celebrate the Home Page's 10th Anniversary and the Centennial of my town of birth, Vintondale, on September 1 and 2. I hope to scout for some helpers in this endeaver while there, too. If anyone is interested in meeting during my visit (September 1-6) please email me with contact information and I'll get in touch.

In closing, here are the first two articles created for the Nanty Glo Home Page:
Introduction: What is Nanty Glo and Why Does It Have a Home Page? and
Home Page is 40th Anniversary Gift

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


latest additions
to the Nanty Glo Home Page

Report on latest NTAMHS Meeting
NTAMHS selling second local scene puzzle

Thought for today

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. . ."

C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963) Mere Christianity

The Nanty Glo Home Page and all its departments are for and by the whole Blacklick Valley community. Your feedback and written or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are welcomed. Click here to reply.

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