A blast to the past thanks to a Geocities screen shot


original url http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Woods/2663/

last modified 2005-02-26 17:51:45

We have been following oneterabyteofkilobyteage for several years–amazing old content.. It’s less nostalgia and more a document of the life and times of Geocities sites that once were (kids these days probably would never understand how weird and wonderful Geocities was when it existed) ..

Nonetheless, this one struck us.. A screen shot of a old site for a kid named Justin, or J.T., who apparently died.. It’s difficult to know what the story of this human being was by a simple screen shot..

So we dug a little deeper ..

His name was Justin Tandan Schumacher, and he died when he was 16.

He was born on February 25, 1980 and died on July 25, 1996 when a drunk driver struck him..

A visit to the site on the Wayback Machine appears to show that Justin’s parent created the Geocities site at that time..

On the page, someone writes the details of the crash and also includes photographs of the car that was involved.. from the text:

Have you ever thought, in your wildest dreams, that while on your way to pick up a pizza, you could end up in a mess like this? This is what happened to my two boys and two of their friends.

After a long day of working on Justin’s pick up these 4 boys, ages 16 & 14, decided that they were hungry. It was only 9:30 at night, so they called and ordered a pizza and were on their way to pick it up. It’s only 5 or so miles from where they were. What can happen in that short of time, on a week night, that early? Well, plenty, when you encounter some person, who has decided to take a handful of pills and DRINK and DRIVE!!!

You see this man was on a back road, going east and had come to a T in the road, where there was a stop sign. Apparently, because of the .32 Blood Alcohol Level in his system and the unconfirmed report of narcotics, it prevented him from seeing the stop sign. The boys’, heading south, couldn’t see him, because of a corn field.

In a matter of seconds, they were hit broadside and pushed into a tree. My oldest son, Justin was dead. Killed on impact. Jim, my 14 year old, was taken to the nearest hospital, along with the other 2 boys and the Drunk Driver. Jim was stabilized enough to be transported via helicopter to the nearest trauma center. Jim coded, quit breathing, on the way there and they had to bag him, breath for him until they could put him on a respirator. He also had a broken cheek bone, broken 1st rib, broken collar bone, broken jaw and soft tissue damage to his neck, along with lung and brain contusions. The 16 year old in the back driver’s seat broke his neck and the driver of the car, also 16, (Josh) suffered extreme trauma to his head, that eventually lead to him going into a comma for approx. 2 months. He now has TBI (traumatic brain injury), and is partially parilized on his right side.

Upon investigation, it was found that the Drunk Driver, a Drug and Alcohol Councilor, from California had a cooler of ice in the front seat. They also found an open bottle of vodka, 100’s of prescription narcotics, a television set and a shot gun in the trunk of his car.

Of course, as is standards, Blood Alcohol tests were run on the boys’ as well. None of them had, had anything in their systems.

After spending 3 days in the hospital, the Drunk Driver was turned over to the Authorities and held in the County Jail under $100,000.00 bond. After, approximately, 1 week he posted $11,000.00 cash bond and was released, with the stipulations that he had to check in at the jail 3 days a week and have random drug and alcohol testing done. He was let out of jail on a Wednesday. He reported to the Authorities on Thursday and on Friday, when he didn’t report, they found him dead, in his motel room, of a drug and alcohol overdose.

It goes without saying that oneterabyteofkilobyteage is often fun and humorous, showcasing old website with terrible moving GIFs and awful graphics.. but sometimes the deeper you go on some of these sites, the more you realize the quality and reality of the early web. There were no fancy selfies .. So many people originally saw the internet as their little place to share intimate details in writing… use Xanga or other sites to create a diary for friends, but mostly strangers, to read.. To connect in some form, to use this new weird technology to find a voice and a place.

Now it has been taken over by socials… by the anti-socials.. and by corporations.

But when you visit old Geocities sites as featured by oneterabyteofkilobyteage, especially this one, you get a glance into a time and place of a family.. a parent agonizing over the loss of her child.. and you realize that despite what everyone says, things on the internet actually DO disappear over time. That is tragic for voices that needed to be heard loud and clear..

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