The Traveller was originally established with these goals in mind:
Lee’s Traveller Mission Statement
Our primary goal is entertainment and to have fun. We do not desire to offend any person or group, but we will not let political correctness cause an unnecessary hardship.
We avoid religion and political issues and do not post e-mails that talk about such subjects unless they have a direct connection with a classmate. We do not forward bulk e-mails or jokes to the group.
The purpose of most articles will be to inform and inspire. We want articles that will make our classmates relate to the subject and force them to remember common things. A good article will include as many names, events, and items that other classmates remember and if possible some visual aid should be included. Some articles will be designed to show that we are not dead yet, and to let our classmates know that there is still a lot of living to do. We want a lot of humor in our lives, and the more we can add the better. The primary goal of most articles is to encourage feedback from other classmates with similar stories or to enhance or expand on the ideas presented. Of course, death notices, sick families, etc. will be the exceptions.
For memories of most music, entertainment, events, etc. we should try to use 1966 as the cutoff. If that is not possible, at least try to relate what we write to that time, such as going to a concert today for someone we listened to back in school, or something that happened in college or afterward, but with a classmate from school. Lee High School and Huntsville in general are our most common bonds for the entire group. Most of our readers are entertained by the things that happened from 1st grade to the time of their graduation.
I want to point out that the mission statement does not state that we will completely avoid issues, but will consider whether or not the issue is directly connected to a classmate in a manner that is newsworthy to others. Basically topics such as abortion, the war effort, specific religious beliefs, and immigration in and to themselves are not appropriate subjects as a whole. The concept of religion and patriotism will continue to be honored by this site.
Here are some of the technical details of the process behind Lee’s Traveller.
E-mail from the readers starts coming in as soon as the issue is published. Each week, normally on Friday or Saturday night, the new issue begins to take shape. I use stories submitted by the readers or the staff, include any e-mails received, and post any notices that have been sent to me. Inputs such as e-mails received after Friday sometimes may not be included that week; depending upon how much of the work has already been done on the issue. Sometimes inputs that only identify a mystery or contest item by “name only” with no supportive story or information may not be used. It does not entertain readers just to give the name of an item.
The official publication date of each week’s paper is Monday, but it normally comes out on Saturday night. It is like a magazine that may arrive a month early but has an official publication date printed on it. It takes between three and four hours each week for me to collect the e-mails, to edit photos and save them in the right format for the web, and to find mystery items and Lee-Bay items. If I have to write the main story, that takes another hour or so. I usually spend an hour each week answering e-mails as well.
For those that wish to have a weekly notification of when the new issue is available, a mailing list is created from the information submitted to the site. Due to the complicated process of maintaining this mailing list, the only way for anyone to have their name added to it is to submit their information from the site. People sending personal e-mails asking to be added will be directed to the appropriate area.
The number of hits the site receives is listed at the top of each issue. We average a little over 350 visits a week. That number is very conservative, since it is the addition of the number of hits each week, added to the total number of the week before. If someone goes back and looks at past issues, those hits are not reflected in the total. Currently we are approaching 115,000 first time hits, but actual real hits are much higher because of people going back and catching up on missed issues..
My current plan is to continue the weekly publication as long as there are those who will participate in the discussions and memories. As long as we have readers, Lee’s Traveller will still be around. Many of our contributors have stated that they have run out of stories or ideas for stories, but as long as we have readers I will continue to try to find something to write about. I often feel like Andy Rooney on TV, who each week always seems to come up with something to talk about.
We adopted the phrase “We are Fami-LEE” to reflect the nature of our true feelings for our fellow Classmates. One of our Classmates, Tommy Esslinger, Class of ’65, claims to have come up with the original use of that phrase and we are grateful to him for doing so.