Oct 11, 2005

The elusive Chanco chenille prototype

I originally created my web site to document the emblems and history of Kecoughtan Lodge, and expanded it to include Chanco Lodge when it merged with Kecoughtan to form Wahunsenakah Lodge in January of 1996.

One item that has always seemed to escape my research efforts is the mythical Chanco Lodge prototype chenille issue, also known as the 483 YC1. I first learned of this patch in the Blue Book listings for Chanco Lodge, but no Virginia collector I have ever queried about this item had ever seen one, or knew anything about it.

Turns out I was asking the wrong Virginia OA collectors. I recently asked DeWitt Holland, a longtime Chanco Lodge member, about this patch to find out if it really existed, and was thrilled to find out that not only does it exist, but DeWitt designed it and holds the only example in his personal collection.

DeWitt kindly sent me color pictures of the front and back of the 483 chenille prototype, as well as the historical background, along with the original order form and order confirmation. DeWitt explains why the patch was never produced:
There is only one prototype chenille. I did design the chenille. It was made in December of 1993. It was voted on at the January 1994 Lodge Executive Committee meeting. It was voted down as being too expensive to produce and the majority of the members thought it was just a fund raiser. Its cost would have been $30.00 each and the lodge had never produced anything that cost anywhere near that much. It has 6 colors and a 2 layer yellow felt background. It measures 3 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches.

The 483 chenille was manufactured by the Standard Pennant Company of Big Run, PA, which has been making chenille emblems since 1919 and is well known in collecting circles for many Scout items. It features the standard Chanco Lodge totems (deer and Indian brave):

The reverse of the chenille has a Standard Pennant Company label (SPC Type 11) with a handwritten number which would seem to indicate that more than one exists.

However, the Standard Pennant Company web site explains the notation:
While technology has enabled us to automate part of our production, many of our chenille items are still "handmade" by experienced personnel that consistently reproduce every required detail. All operators identify their own letters with pride. (Check for the operator number on the back.)

While not considered an "official" Lodge issue the 483YC1 is definitely a beautiful patch with a fascinating heritage and I expect I am not the only Virginia OA collector who wishes that it had been produced and sold by Chanco Lodge. One has to wonder how many Lodges in 2005 would pass up the opportunity to sell a patch because they didn't want to issue it only to raise money.

Sep 9, 2005

The last patches of Chanco Lodge 483

DeWitt Holland, former member of Chanco Lodge, recently provided me with fascinating information about several Chanco Lodge activity patches. Mr. Holland designed all of Chanco's activity patches from 1990 until it merged with Kecoughtan Lodge 463 to form Wahunsenakah Lodge 333 on January 1, 1996. Below are his comments about the final patches issued by Chanco Lodge. They provide unique insight into the deep devotion of the Chanco Arrowmen for their Lodge and its traditions, and their emotions as the merger neared.

The Dream of Heaven patch
The Spring 1994 patch was designed when the Lodge first found out about a possible merger with Kecoughtan Lodge 463 so we were contemplating what would happen when Chanco Lodge died. It is called the "Dream of Heaven" patch and its meaning is as follows. The patch depicts the Indian Chanco sleeping under the stars with the deer looking on beside a smoldering fire. He is dreaming of what the Algonquin Indians believed it would be like when they died. They believed they would go to a place where food would be plentiful and they would enjoy singing and dancing and they would be very happy. It is arguably the best looking multi colored fully embroidered Chanco Lodge patch ever made.

The Angry Indians patch
The Fall 1994 patch was designed when the lodge first found out about a definite merger with Kecoughtan Lodge 463 so we were quite angry campers. It's meaning is as follows. The patch depicts the gathering of Indians on a warpath around a raging fire.

Final Chanco activity patches

Three different patches of Chanco Lodge 483 were issued the final year of its existence, 1995. They were issued for the Spring Induction, Fall Induction and Christmas Banquet. Complete sets were limited to attendees only. The top one was the Christmas Banquet patch. The bottom left is the Spring Induction patch, the bottom right is the Fall Induction patch. This patch set tells the historical story of how Chanco the young Indian boy saved the Jamestown colonists from being massacred in 1622.

I personally designed these patches back in 1995. A printed explanation of each patches meaning was given out to purchasers back in 1995. It is not very often you can tell the history and the origin of the lodges totem through a set of patches. These were very meaningful to each member who was able to get a set.

Aug 29, 2005

The story behind Kecoughtan's last flap patch

The last Lodge flap issued by Kecoughtan Lodge has an interesting and colorful history. Recently I was able to converse via email with the designer of this patch and learn details about its heritage that add to its unique nature in the gallery of Kecoughtan Lodge's emblems.

Paul Kerstendiecks was an adult volunteer who previously designed three activity patches for the Lodge, the 1994 Winter Fellowship (see original design artwork here), the 1994 Spring Ordeal, and the 1994 Christmas Banquet. He was approached by Trading Post Advisor Dr. Ron Godby to design an anniversary patch for the Lodge to celebrate its 45 years of service.

Dr. Godby's singular design stipulation was that the patch not include the 3 ships that were prominently featured on the standard Lodge flap. These ships had come to be derisively referred to as "the slave ships" by some members of the Lodge who resented the change that was mandated by the Council Executive in August of 1988 from the original flap design that included confederate flags.

Paul recalls:
"It was to be an anniversary flap, and to incorporate something neutral as the "slave ships" were not liked by everyone in the Council/Lodge. Dr. Godby was trying to be sensitive to the entire Lodge with this concept. I had much artistic liberty to take it from there, his guidance was no ships though."

As you can see from the original design document, Paul included painstaking details that even included thread direction instructions to create the "starburst" effect in the green background and ensuring the spherical appearance of the acorns. Dr. Godby sent Paul a thank you letter with three of the flaps in March of 1996, writing "I've heard many comments that it was the prettiest flap ever issued and most appropriate for the final issue."

Remarkably, though, the patch was never designed as a "death flap." New York collector Bill Mulrenin defined this term in a post to the TSPA Patch Vine web site in 1996:
"A 'death' flap or patch is the final issue of a merging lodge specifically issued to commemorate the ending (death) of the lodge. They normally have the 'birth' and 'death' dates of the lodge on them. A tombstone as it were."

Paul explains that he didn't know of the upcoming merger, though more senior members of the Lodge probably did and says:
"I didn't intend the symbology. I wish I could say I had the knowledge and foresight, but I was simply expanding on the acorns, and making the patch balance out. When you look at it you can see focal points, and balance, follow-through ... artsy stuff."

With it's forest green background and simple design of oak leaves and acorns, the last flap patch of Kecoughtan Lodge stands in stark contrast to its predecessors, and serves as a fitting tribute to the Lodge's 45 years of cheerful service to the Virginia Peninsula. It's average value of 42.46 in the oaimages.com price guide makes the S38 final flap issue from Kecoughtan Lodge an affordable and essential part of a Kecoughtan Lodge emblems collection.

Aug 23, 2005

8 more Kecoughtan Kryer editions now online

Thanks to a generous loan by George Bains, I have scanned and created PDF documents from 8 editions of the Kecoughtan Kryer newsletter ranging from October of 1989 to October of 1995. This brings the total number available so far on the Kryer page to 11, with the earliest edition dating back to 1970.

The newsletters provide a fascinating insight into the state of Kecoughtan 463 at the time, and serve as important historical documents of the many goals and achievements of the Lodge and its members. I hope you will take some time to read them, and if you have editions which are not yet online, please share them with me so that I can add them to this archive.

Aug 16, 2005

'Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge' from Dec. 1990 Scouting Collector's Quarterly


The original inspiration for the Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History web site was an article I read in the December 1990 issue of Scouting Collector's Quarterly, the regular publication of the National Scouting Collector's Society. Authored by Ron and Jeff Godby, the article is entitled "Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge 463." It represented the first time that anyone had attempted to catalog every type of emblem and collectible ever issued by the Lodge.

Several years later when I learned that Kecoughtan Lodge was to merge with Chanco Lodge I decided to create an internet reference of Kecoughtan emblems to preserve this unique bit of history. I asked for and received permission from Dr. Godby to use his checklists, and he generously sent me additional information and helped me obtain several rare Kecoughtan items for my own collection.

I've scanned and created a PDF document of this article, whose research represents the core around which all existing Kecoughtan emblem catalogs are based:

Insignia and Memorabilia of Kecoughtan Lodge 463 (7 MB)

Aug 13, 2005

Kecoughtan 40th Anniversary History Booklet

Back in January of this year I received an email from Alex Wiatt who had come across the Kecoughtan Emblems and History site and offered to help contribute information and images. He kindly loaned me a copy of the History Booklet which was compiled and published for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Lodge in 1991. Alex was Editor of the booklet and Chairman of the 40th Anniversary Committee.

This booklet is a fascinating and thorough document, tracing the inception and development of the Lodge, including the story behind the Lodge's flap patch change from the original with confederate flags to the "3 ship design" that began with the S13 issue.

I've scanned the booklet and created a PDF document for those who would like to enjoy it. Be aware that it's currently 34 MB in size, so if you don't have a broadband internet connection you may want to wait for an optimized version I hope to post shortly. You can find the booklet here:

A Story of 40 Years of Brotherhood - Kecoughtan Lodge #463

Aug 9, 2005

Errors in the Kecoughtan S8 flap

My friend Tim Ewing sent me a picture of a Kecoughtan S8 flap recently auctioned on eBay that I noticed, but paid little attention to it because it was an error issue. The embroidery was not complete, with noticeable details missing, primarily the red in the confederate flags and the arrow in the center front of the tree. While some patch collectors seek out these rarities, they are of little interest to me.

The S8 flap was issued to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Lodge in 1986, and featured the first departure from the "classic" design of the original flap design with a large acorn in the center flanked by two confederate flags. The large acorn was replaced with an oak tree whose green canopy fills the upper part of the flap, with the lodge name embroidered in gray within it. According to documents provided to me by the late Dr. Ron Godby in 1996 the Lodge ordered a quantity of 400 of the S8 flaps.

Tim's notes with the picture, however, caught my eye, because they provided background for the patch that I wasn't aware of:
"For the record, the loom of S8 had many misprints in it. I do remember these being sold, but some were sent back too. Misprints that had missing flags, acorns, lettering, arrow."

I went back and examined the picture of the S8 issue on my own Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History web site, scanned from a patch in my own collection. I had often thought the patch looked unique since the flags were missing stars, but never considered that it was an error, since all of the other design components are complete. After reading Tim's email I pointed my browser to John Pannell's essential site for any OA collector, OAimages.com. Checking the Kecoughtan S8 issue there my suspicions were confirmed: the patch in my own collection and pictured on the Kecoughtan site is an error patch.

Looks like I need a "complete" S8 to add to my collection! It should look like this (image courtesy OAimages.com):

Jul 30, 2005

Kecoughtan Elangomat Sashes

I had the opportunity to add a unique piece of Kecoughtan Lodge memorabilia to my collection in September of 2001 when Kevin Johnson, former 463 arrowman and Vigil Honor member, agreed to sell me a Kecoughtan Elangomat sash to help raise funds to buy equipment for a high adventure Venture Crew.

For those unfamiliar with the term, an Elangomat is a dedicated brother who retakes the Ordeal as the inspiration and guide to the candidates.

I asked Kevin for the background of the sashes to include on my web site, and here's his response:
I took over as Elangomat chairman in 1993 from the legend in Kecoughtan Lodge, Bailey Tudder. We had the red sashes authorized by the lodge under the guidance of Bailey Tudder right before he died in 1995.

I had only 22 sashes made up and they were the only ones ever authorized by Kecoughtan Lodge in its history. 7 sashes were Vigil sashes (1 was put in archives along with a brotherhood and ordeal) and I have a Vigil one that was for me. I was in the last group of Kecoughtan Vigils.

The other 5 Vigil sashes were awarded to outstanding youth Vigil elangomats. 7 brotherhood sashes were made and 3 were given to outstanding brotherhood elangomats. I have the balance of brotherhood. There were 8 ordeal sashes. One was destroyed and 1 was given to a youth elangomat. I have the balance. All sashes were designed and paid for by me with the authorization of Kecoughtan Lodge and became the property of me when we merged with Chanco to form Wahunsenakah #333. Also the sashes are numbered.
The inscription on the reverse of the sash I have appears to say "O.E.S #7" which I presume indicates "Ordeal Elangomat Sash Number 7" and "Kecoughtan #463" referring to the official Lodge name and number.

I hope to someday be able to photograph all of the sashes as well as the other contents of the box containing the Lodge archives which are stored by Colonial Virginia Council at their offices in Newport News.

Jul 26, 2005

New page devoted to red and white strips

Long before the colorful Council Shoulder Patches (CSP's) were authorized for wear by Scouts in the mid-70's, red and white strips (RWS) with the community and state name were worn on the left shoulder of the Scout uniform. Originally they had red lettering on a khaki background, but sometime in the mid-50's changed to red twill with white embroidered letters. Scout councils that served many communities often had to stock a dozen or more unique strips for the different towns, villages, and cities their Scouts lived.

With the generous help of Larry Johnson of Colonial Virginia Council I have created a new page devoted to the RWS patches representing the communities that were served by Peninsula Council. This page is by no means complete since I expect we will discover more patches exist than we are aware of now. Have a look and tell me if you know of others that should be listed or if you can share pictures of RWS patches you have in your collection that came from the area served by Peninsula Council.

Jul 23, 2005

More clues about the 463 S4.5, aka QS1

In 1976, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, Kecoughtan Lodge issued a special version of their Lodge flap with a white background and black border. This was the first significant change in the flap design since the original S1 was issued in 1953. S2 only added a rolled edge, and S3 (popularly called the "stubby" among 463 collectors) was just a longer version of the same classic design (you can review all Kecoughtan flaps on this page).

Twenty three years of the same design is a long time, but as I recall from my days as a Kecoughtan officer in the early 70's few adults were eager to approve changes. Patch collecting was viewed by many professionals as distracting to the real purpose of the OA, and several of the Lodges in the old Area III-C had only recently changed "one per life" restrictions on their lodge flap patches.

To this day some mystery surrounds one version of the white background Kecoughtan flap, first listed in the Blue Book Order of the Arrow Standard Insignia Guide as "QS1." The "Q" designation is supposed to indicate a patch that was rejected by the Lodge (presumably for concerns about quality or incorrect design) and returned to the manufacturer, but somehow released to collectors. "Q" issues are not considered fakes, but neither are they considered "official" issues of the Lodge.

The "QS1" version has a white background and white "W's" but no border around the acorns or confederate flags. Two other varieties of the white background flap exist: S4 has white "W's" with black stitching around the acorns and flags, and S5 has black W's with black stitching around the acorn and flags. In later versions of the Blue Book the "QS1" flap has been designed S4.5, which acknowledges the patch as an official issue of the Lodge, but it is still unclear in what order these three patches were released, and the story behind the changes remains elusive.

I don't recall the precise restriction on the anniversary flaps. I was in my freshman year of college but had retained my Lodge and Council membership through the College Scouter Reserve program, and I seem to remember that I was able to buy two of them.

Information provided to me by Dr. Ron Godby in March of 1996 shows a quantity of 220 ordered for the S4, 220 for the S5, with the "QS1" quantity unknown.

Within the past week I received email from two former Kecoughtan arrowmen who were active in the lodge when it celebrated it's anniversary in 1976 who commented on the history of this patch. Former Chief Morris Friedman says:

"I would agree with Sam Fairchild that this actually was an authorized issue. As I recall, one loom run was made and the flaps were sold, and then it was decided that they would look better with black outlining of the white W's, and then finally the W's were switched to black. All three issues were sold to lodge members as 25th Anniversary flaps."
I will continue to research the history behind this unique flap, which is considered by many to be the most sought after issue of Kecoughtan Lodge. In June, 2005 a 463 QS1/S4.5 sold on ebay for 270.00, and pricing information at The Internet Guide to OA Insignia shows this patch valued at nearly double the S4 and S5 issues.

Jul 12, 2005

Kecoughtan flap restrictions circa 1962

I just received a bound volume of early issues of The Trader, the first printed newsletter for our patch collecting hobby that began publishing in 1957. This new volume was created by Joe Maloy, who generously took the time to turn his collection of back issues into a printed, spiral bound copy and provide it to interested folks like me for just the cost of printing (with payment in the form of a Lodge flap of equivalent value.)

The Trader was edited by Mike Diamond and E. Forest Reynolds, and each carefully typewritten page and story displays a devotion to our hobby that's fascinating to read. This peek into the past reminds us how early traders thirsted for news and information the same way we do now, but depended upon the monthly delivery of The Trader by their postman to fill in the gaps between events like Area Pow Wows, Conclaves, and national Jamborees.

I've only begun to digest the content in the bound volume that includes 66 issues from 1957 through 1965, but found this report in the June, 1962 edition I thought would be of interest to other Kecoughtan Lodge collectors:

KECOUGHTAN LODGE #463 will hold its Spring Ordeal June 15-17 at Camp Ohee. There are 58 candidates for Ordeal, 87 for Brotherhood, and 3 for Vigil.

The 463 neckerchief is going to change to 100% embroidery and each lodge member will be able to buy one of the new ones. The old ones can now be traded. They were solid embroidery except for a small piece of sky. The border on the flap and neckerchief patches will be changed to the new overcasting stitch.

The flap restriction has been changed to one patch per 7 hours service.

Gene Fowler, 463

Colonial Virginia Council 2005 Jamboree Shoulder Patches

Colonial Virginia Council has just issued a beautiful set of five distinctive shoulder patches for the 2005 National Scout Jamboree to be held July 25-August 3 in Caroline County, Virginia. The patches are themed with different watercraft, from a sailing clipper to an aircraft carrier to the famous Merrimac which battled with the Monitor off the coast where this council is located. Four of the patches are specific to the CVC troops destined for the Jamboree, while the fifth includes no troop number and reportedly is for Council members serving on the Jamboree staff.

Thanks to Larry Johnson for helping me add these patches to my collection and make pictures of them available on this web site!

Jul 11, 2005

Kecoughtan history items posted

This evening I scoured my hard disk for items that I saved to post to the Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History site when I had time to devote to this effort. Needless to say there were more than a few, so check back often as I begin to add them.

Tonight I focused on the History page, adding three images from the original Kecoughtan Bylaws which came up for auction on eBay in April of this year. Sam Fairchild won this auction (much to my relief) so they remain in the hands of a former Kecoughtan arrowman.

I also added a photo of Hugh C. Ewing, Jr. and William (Bill) Leighty at Camp Chickahominy. Both of these gentlemen served as Lay Advisors for the Lodge, Ewing from 1983-1987, and Leighty from 1976-1979. This photo was contributed by Tim Ewing who informs me this is the last photo of Bill Leighty taken at Camp Chickahominy before his passing.

Jul 9, 2005

Lodge 333 2005 Activity Patches

In late May my friend Larry Johnson from Wahunsenakah Lodge sent me scans of two new activity patches. I've finally added them to the Lodge 333 Activity Emblems page. The patches are solid embroidered, with cut edge, and are shaped like puzzle pieces.

They are part of a set that when placed together will form an arrow. You may remember that in 2000 Wahunsenakah Lodge issued a set of 5 activity patches that formed an arrowhead.

Wahunsenakah Lodge 2005 Winter Ordeal
Wahunsenakah Lodge 2005 Spring Ordeal

Thanks to Larry for helping keep the Lodge 333 Activity Emblems page accurate and complete!

Jul 2, 2005

Vote for your favorite Kecoughtan patches

Since it's July 4th weekend I had a little time to put together a poll for site visitors to vote for their favorite Kecoughtan Lodge flap patch and chenille patch.

The free service I used back in 1999 to create the original "favorite 463 flap" poll has long since disappeared from the internet, but it was easy to use SurveyMonkey.com to build a new poll that includes pictures of all of the patches. My first attempt created a web page about 1.5 MB for visitors to download due to the size of the images, and that is excessive for anyone still on dial-up connections.

Thankfully, a trip to VersionTracker led me to a free utility called ThumbsUp that quickly generated thumbnail images of the patch pictures, and I was able to get the size of the page down to a more reasonable 500K or so.

The poll is open until there are 100 respondents, since that's the maximum number allowed for free accounts. I'll post results from time to time so you can see what the consensus is. And if you complete the poll you will find out which Kecoughtan flap and chenille patches are my favorites!

Take the survey now (and tell your friends about it, too!)

Jun 29, 2005

Duck Calls Mentions kecoughtan.com

I arrived home from the College World Series yesterday to find a new edition of Duck Calls, the Wahunsenakah Lodge newsletter, waiting for me among the bills and other mail.

After reading about the recent SR-7A conclave I turned to an article that mentioned kecoughtan.com as a place to see pictures of new Colonial Virginia Council Scout camp. It took a moment to sink in that the article was referring to my web site!

Thanks to Newsletter Advisor Tim Ewing for the nice referral in Duck Calls. If this is your first visit to kecoughtan.com I hope you will take some time to look around and learn about the rich history and tradition that precedes Wahunsenakah Lodge.

And if you happen to have items that are missing from my site I will be very grateful if you can find a moment to share pictures of them with me so that I can continue to make this site more accurate and complete.

Jun 24, 2005

Kecoughtan Lodge Vigil Honor Recipients

Back in January of this year Herb Smith provided me with a complete list of Kecoughtan Lodge Vigil Honor Recipients to include on this site. The list includes not only the names of all Kecoughtan Arrowmen who were elected to the Vigil Honor, but also the dates of their election and induction and their Vigil Indian name and translation.

From the Lodge's inception in 1951 until it's merger in 1996 Kecoughtan Lodge awarded 220 Arrowmen with the Vigil Honor. I finally found time to generate a web page in Excel to put this vital part of the Lodge's history online. You'll find it linked from the Lodge History page.

Jun 22, 2005

Colonial Virginia Council "FOS" issues

Last year Colonial Virginia Council joined many other Boy Scout Councils in issuing a special edition of their council shoulder patch specifically reserved for individuals who make donations to their Friends of Scouting (FOS) program. Following the lead of other councils, Colonial Virginia also chose the theme of committing to a series of 12 patches, issued one per year, with each including a point of the Boy Scout Law.

The donation required for a Colonial Virginia FOS patch is 25.00, which means that a complete series of 12 will represent a collective donation of 300.00 to the Council. The 25.00 price seems fairly standard compared to other councils, though some charge significantly more (Patriots' Path Council, for example, asks a minimum donation of at least 248.00 for their annual FOS shoulder patch, almost 3,000 for the set of 12 once complete).

Colonial Virginia Council "Trustworthy" FOS issue (2004)
Similar to the S6 standard Council issue, border is gold rather than yellow, "Trustworthy" lettered in blue. Limited edition of 500.

Colonial Virginia Council "Loyal" FOS issue (2005)
Features "Historic St. Luke's Church, Circa 1632." Limited edition of 500.

Thanks to Larry Johnson and Tim Ewing for pictures of these patches.

Wahunsenakah 2005 Conclave, Jamboree flaps

Wahunsenakah Lodge 333 has issued two flaps this year, with identical design except for white lettering at the bottom center indicating either "Conclave 2005" or "National Jamboree 2005." The design features three predominantly orange flying ducks over blue water with a red sky and setting sun. A red "ghost" FDL is embroidered on the right side, and red lettering "333" with red arrow through the middle is centered above the white text in the lower middle. The flaps both have a white rolled edge.

Lodge 333 2005 SR-7A Conclave Flap
Lodge 333 2005 National Jamboree flap

Thanks to Larry Johnson and Tim Ewing for the pictures of these issues.

Crude fake of 463X15 purchased from eBay

In February I saw a Kecoughtan patch on eBay that I have never seen before, nor have seen since. The patch is very crude reproduction of the Kecoughtan X15 oval patch that was issued in 1991 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lodge. The item was listed by ebay seller "rdgchf" and the description included a picture and simply said "Fake. This is the only one I have. No other information available. FREE SHIPPING." The patch cost me a total of $5.50. I asked the seller via email if there were any more and his reply was "The individual that I got it from told me there were only two of it made. No further information available."

According to eBay, "rdgchf" is no longer a registered user, though he was listing and selling fake patches as recently as mid-May.

I've added this patch to the list of fakes on the Unauthorized Issues page of the web site.

Jun 21, 2005

Site news moves to Blogger

The Kecoughtan Emblems and History site news has been transferred to this weblog, powered by Blogger. When I first began posting site news in 1999 options like Blogger weren't available, so every update was manually coded to a static web page. Six years later blogs make posting regular messages a task that takes just minutes, and the automatic generation of archives and XML feeds are bonuses.

With the new convenience of the Blogger-based site news I'm hoping to post news about changes and additions to the site far more regularly!

All of the old news is still online and linked in the sidebar of the Blogger generated news page, so you can relive the progress of the site in it's original hand-coded style!