Ok guys so this is going to be rough but try to stick through it with me and some to an understanding... (Puzuma give me some latitude for godsake lol)
I am writing this message as a last resort for what is a community in dire straights. I have been an (INACT) for many years on this forum which I understand doesn't help this community stay more intact but as with all things in life my priorities have shifted from paintball to my career in the United States Army. So lets get down to the story and the reason I brought you in here because my lack of patronage will come to light soon enough. I joined this community back in December of 2004 when frankly paintball was once again hitting a boom and a small recession all at the same time. I was just 15 years old and I was fairly new to the whole "community" of paintball but I had been playing since 1999 "which now is about 15 years of playing paintball as of now"
During this time "at least in my state of Missouri" there was a transition occurring in the woodsball community where the lines between speedball and woodsball where blurring when both communities came to understand that their fields where closing left and right and that the only thing that was going to save these fields was the combined patronage of both the speedballers and the woodsballers. We would abandon our titles and once again become paintballers without a division coming between us just because of how we liked to play.
This methodology was preached to us young players by some rather important woodsball celebrities. I knew these grey wolfs who had been slinging paint since the early 80's and I was fortunate enough to call them my friends and acquaintances. Having the true honor to meet some of the actual forefathers of paintball "Guys playing way back to the 60's I believe" face to face "Blind luck I lived around these guys" I dreamt of a world where eventually I would become one of those guys who pretty much just lived for the weekend so they could grab their masks, gear and head out to the field.
Eventually our combined effort was not enough to keep our fields up and running. I lost my paintball field "Paint Games Plus" in Holden, Mo eventually.
I say all of that to day this. This forum is great and was amazing at one time. The thought of logging on here one day and seeing that the server is down forever would truly be a horrible loss. I tell you what I hate Puzuma but every time I come back to this forum after months and years away he is here ever faithfully "probably ban hammering away at the innocent - not that there is any grudge I hold against him in the slightest lol" serving this forum and remaining as a vigil to those who came before. The one face that has never faded with time. If I did not know any better I would say that I would miss him and knowing that he had a place here. So please guys we know that this forum cannot last forever and eventually the inevitable will happen. We have lost so many already to the tide of time. I suggest that an alternate group be made on a social network site in the event that we finally lose the page. It will happen eventually and yes I know that many of us frequent the same forums on other websites but the point remains. It seems that every deployment I come to think about the people I know and who I miss and often I eventually get to Tenacious, Puzuma (<---WAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST...but listed still the same) and so many others. Maybe I am just over reacting but I would hate to loose you guys forever.
An additional bro-lovy feely sort of letter I wrote to the owner of a field that had gone under. So you can kinda sorta understand the mood I am in right now.
I truly hope that mail finds you well and in good spirits. My name is Darin **********. I doubt that you will remember me after all of this time but I was a very young boy who religiously attended the "Battle of The Bulge" at the Holden PGP location. I am very sure that I was probably a very annoying patron of your event but you never once showed irritation and you always treated me with respect. I am not sure if you remember but my mother once catered the event with my grandfather, I remember the nacho dip was a good hit with the guys. Eventually things went south with my family as my mother was diagnosed with cancer once again and without medical insurance we fell on some pretty hard times. Obviously with finances the way they were I was unable to play because we were heavily in medical debt. Paintball was still very much a part of my life even though I had gone for years without being able to afford to play during this time. I was still however able to get a subscription to Action Pursuit Games magazine "Which I remember being so excited seeing you and the guys from the field at OKDAY" I would write APG magazine as often as I could and ended up getting small portions of what I had written actually published on some occasions. Even though I could not play I researched every marker and the history of paintball, I never let that passion die. Eventually we had moved away as we could not afford our house any longer and a year or so later I graduated from high school and to raise myself up from my circumstances I enlisted in the United States Army "My father was a jarhead so he got a good chuckle out of that" I spent a very long time away from home while attending my training and soon I had gotten married, had a daughter and deployed to Iraq for the first time. While deployed people asked me what my big plans were for my mid tour leave and I had decided that "other than seeing my family of course" there was really only one thing I wanted to do…I wanted to go finally throw paint once again at the field that I had remembered as a young boy. Yes I should have checked after all that time but in my mind that field had always been there, it had always been a part of my summers and my weekends. I didn't even consider the possibility that things had changed. There were remnants of the place still when I arrived. I knew something was wrong before I even pulled off the highway. I didn't understand and I was totally thrown off track. I walked the field looking for recent signs of play. I walked the ponds and the pastures and I found nothing. It struck me pretty hard which I know may sound frankly sad or pathetic but it was the only thing that I had at the time. It was something that was taken away from me as a child and I just wanted to experience it again and it was gone. I tried contacting old friends but they had moved away and were unsure what had happened, some had stopped playing paintball entirely. I returned home not sure what to think about what had happened. I have heard so many things from employees who used to work that location, from old patrons and I have waited a long while without really knowing. I am now in Afghanistan and reading through some old posts online and stirred up this memory and I came to wonder what had ever happened to the field and the staff who used to work their. I had such fond memories of that place and I imagine that financial pressure in something as volatile as paintball eventually became too much but if I can be entirely forthcoming I do remember way back when I was still playing at the field regularly that there was an issue. If you don't mind me asking and I don't mean to stir anything up…what brought about the end of the field? What was the fighting that I had seem about? If you don't feel comfortable replying I understand entirely that it truly is none of my business and I will let my heart rest on the subject and I will not bother you with it again. I really just wish to know what had happened I think that it would answer a question that has been in the back of my mind for a very long time. In closing I have to say that you may not know me Bill and I have only had very small interactions with you at the shop but you really did seem to be an awesome guy. You turned me into a true fan of the sport and a player for life, I can only imagine that it must be very difficult working in the very hobby in which you try to enjoy. I am sure that at times it can be very difficult and make it down right impossible to enjoy the sport but I can tell you that people notice, the kids noticed and I surely noticed. You may be an owner of a paintball field, you may be a just a paintballer but to my group of friends back home your one of the Originals you started us on this path of paintball. At the end of the day it might seem fairly childish that this attachment to the game and to the field has come from a brief few interactions and a few summers of play "and some great fights against the allies" but I cannot express to you just how much I looked forward to that game every year. I wish you the very best in everything that you pursue, I wish you nothing but prosperity and lastly just maybe a deeper enjoyment of your time on the field and in the office knowing that those people who are patrons really enjoy the quality of service and the experience you provide.
This post has been edited by PinDrop: 07 October 2013 - 11:56 AM