What you are about to read is a very special guest post by William Raleigh, interim webmaster for http://www.timallenzone.org
Bill first came into my life when he commented on my previous post regarding Tim Allen. Since then I have been inspired by Bill’s dedication and heart-felt contributions to the Tim Allen cause. I think you will all agree that Bill is a pioneer, nay, an evangelist, and a man worthy of your respect, attention and admiration.
Over to you, Bill.
In 1997, the motion picture For Richer or Poorer was storming into theaters. The English Patient was winning Best Picture. And Tim Allen was winning the People’s Choice Award for Best Male Television Performer. Even more importantly maybe, Tim Allen was winning the hearts of millions.
But as much as it pains me to say it, this is not a post about Tim Allen. In fact it’s not even about my love of Tim Allen. I could go on and on about my connection to Tim. About the fact that, as an orphan child, I truly looked up to Tim and Jill as my “tv parents.” But I think, on some level, that’s something we all do with Tim Allen. There’s something so deeply unique, yet commonplace about the man, that we can’t help but subjectify the experience, the ecstasy, that only a performer of Tim’s caliber can induce. But as deeply as it hurts, I know that Tim Allen is not someone who we can take in our arms and never let go. He was meant to be shared with the world. I will always treasure the moments of solitude I’ve had, psychic connections you could say, with Mr. Allen. But I fear that expounding on the subject may only serve to mitigate your own experiences, dear reader. And if there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s soil your personal connection with Tim Allen.
So instead, this post is about my lifelong journey, my dharma, of spreading Tim’s Warmth with all who care to bask and revel in it.
Naturally, when Annik asked me to do a guest post on her blog, my first thought (as it usually is) was- How can I use this to help Tim Allen? Recently my friend, and Timallenzone.org co-founder, Andrew Kane, said to me: ”You’ve done enough for Tim Allen, Bill. Isn’t it time you got the spotlight for a little bit?”
And maybe it is. See, in 1997, a small group (two, to be exact) of avid fans got together with one goal– to utilize the World Wide Web in a way that had only been fantasized about before– as an entertainment mecca. An amalgamation of news, media, and fanboy love. Since then, a lot of people have taken timallenzone.org’s lead, and such websites have become common place. But at the time, everyone thought they were crazy.
Benjamin Smith and Andrew Kane pooled their resources, and launched a website on the now defunct Geocities (rip). The site was a tribute to the greatest entertainer of all time– and, as history has proven, one of the most timeless icons of the last few generations– Tim Allen.
I was still a relative child at the time. And, while I watched Home Improvement religiously, and while my heart swelled with love and pride for the Tool Man, I didn’t even know what it meant to be a true fan. Not until Ben and Andrew found me, and set me free.
In 2003, I was working at an apple orchard in Vermont. But even there, on those peaceful plains strewn with sun-ripe fruit, I found myself magnetically attracted to my computer. You see, by then, Home improvement was off the air. There were no megaplexes nearby, and thus no way for me to see the latest Tim Allen blockbuster. The internet was my only true connection to my hero, Tim Allen. I moderated a lot of messageboards, I spent a lot of time in chat rooms. And yes, unfortunately, I did a lot of cocaine powder. (Funnily, that addiction, and my subsequent recovery, only made me feel more connected to Tim. Tim’s been there. He’s fallen from great heights, and lifted himself back up again. As Tim did, so did I.) My cocaine-fueled scouring of Tim Allen internet sites eventually led me to Andrew and Ben’s magnificient, “Unofficial Tim Allen Fan Zone.”
Two years and several rehabs later, I became the interim webmaster for Tim Allen Zone.org. A dream come true, to say the least.
What we lack in content, we more than make up for in heart. We’ve received critical feedback about our spotty news feed (which I should probably update) as well as our lack of any functioning message board. But message board or not, there’s no denying that Timallenzone.org is a community. A real community.
And I guess what I’m asking you is to become a part of that community. We’re adding new stuff all the time. We recently added a Fan Art/Fan Fiction section, which I urge you to check out. There’s some great stuff there. Also, by teaming up with the folks at Beards Encouraged, we’ve managed to bring our little-website-that-could into the 21st century. We now feature original Youtube tributes, a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter Feed… even our own blog. But no matter how high-tech we get, no matter how high our page-counter soars, we’ll never forget who we are, where we came from, or why we’re here.
We’re here for one man who taught us all how to laugh and love. We’re here because of Tim Allen. Remember that. I know I will.