|The Gutsy Gourmet website was launched in 1996 by Dr. Harold H. "Buzz" Baxter. He had retired and moved to Oregon and needed something to do with his time. He was becoming adept at his Macintosh computer and thought he might just start a personal website and feature family pictures and pass around his thoughts on cooking and sharing some family recipes.
There was a new "Dot Com" company just getting going that advertised free websites and help on how to create your own personal website. This company was called "GeoCities" and by 1997 had become the 5th most popular website on the internet. Buzz decided to give it a go and joined the Geocities community of "Napa Valley". This was a community of people interested in food and cooking. Right up Buzz's alley. He had been interested in cooking most of his life and even served as cook in the U. S. Coast Guard. Every one in "Napa Valley" seemed to have a recipe site. Blogs were non-existant and if you didn't have cooking in your blood, there was nothing to put on the website. "Talking the talk" was useless unless you could "walk the walk".
Buzz worked on his website "The Gutsy Gourmet" for about 6 months and was asked by Geocities if he would like to be a "community leader". This non-paying job consisted of helping others make their own websites. Sure, like he knew what he was doing, and to pass his lack of knowledge on to someone else. This was not the best way to learn HTML coding, but hey, it was new and he wasn't about to go to school at 65 years of age just to learn how to code a website. This method is called a "By the seat of your pants webmaster." I guess you could compare that to a "seat of your pants" jet pilot.
After about a year of being a community leader of "Napa Valley", Buzz was asked if he would like to be a "Chat Room Monitor". Now here was a job only a masochistic idiot would love. Here you got to meet the lonely, the perverted, the narcissistic, un-loved, radical, techie wannabes and macho men from every corner of the World. It seemed like open season for child molesters, political zealots, men looking for women, women looking for men, children looking for trouble, anarchists looking for a fight, and individuals just being someone that they were not. The job of the "Chat Room Monitor" was to keep the pot from boiling over so to speak. To control the language, keep children from leaving home to meet a 60 year old man who claimed to be 16. In those days before "free speech" and "loose morals", the Monitor could at least rid the "Chat Room" of the offender. Today, almost anything goes.
In 1999, Geocities grabbed the "Golden Ring" and sold out to Yahoo. An unbelieveable 3.5 Billion dollars later we became |
Yahoo changed most of its operating proceedure from that of Geocities. Within 6 months Buzz still had his website, but no longer part of the free Geocities community. Things change overtime, but Yahoo is still a good no-hassle organization that supports a friendly place for an individual to build and maintain their own website.
Buzz, over the past 14 years, has endeavored to maintain his website as a free site, with no hassles to be encumbered by passwords, fees, newsletters and unwanted e-mail intrusions. The main purpose to keep the site friendly to children and keep politics, religion and racial problems separate from the main theme of the site which is good food and recipes from around the world.
Buzz still codes all his pages himself and does 99 percent of the graphics. He is probably the only cooking website that will personally answer questions about food and recipes. He does not profess to know it all, but has been able to field most questions. Not bad for a guy who turns 80 in 9/2011.