Congratulations to Old Kunnel who turns 80 this month! Get to know this citizen in this month's Meet Our Citizens!
Kiwi: Hi there and thank you for taking the time to be interviewed. You have been in Active Worlds a very long time. Smiles! Where are you from Old Kunnel?
Old Kunnel: I was born in Alton, Illinois. But, was living in St. Louis, Missouri, I joined the Air Force in 1950. All my St. Louis friends were off to the Korean war so, I joined to get out of town. [grin]
Kiwi: When did you join Active Worlds?
Old Kunnel: I happened upon Active Worlds after I converted my Bulletin Board System to a web site. That was in 1997 and I was intrigued with avatars and talking with folks. I did not like the tourist suit so I became a citizen and soon picked up an avatar slightly resembling Jacques Cousteau - which I looked nothing like but, was as close as I could get.
Kiwi: What was Active Worlds like then?
Old Kunnel: You know, in someways better than now. I visited a world called 'America' there and was fascinated by the railroad that ran around it. It seemed you could ride for hours and see many fascinating sights. I determined to build me a railroad or two and did!
Kiwi: Can you tell us something about yourself?
Old Kunnel: I was happily employed by the Marine Corps at Headquarters, U.S.M.C., in Washington, DC, when I received a commission from the Kentucky Governor as a Kentucky Colonel. This occurred in October 1985. My Marine buddies immediately tagged me, the ol' Kunnel. This honorary commission was the result of my work with the Corps and the WorldWide Military Command and Control Systems. Needless to say, that work was unique and its reward was the same. [grin]
In deference to my work with the Marines, I established a Bulletin Board System (BBS) to help them learn computer network conferencing in my off-time. The Colonel's BBS ran from mid 1986 until December, 1996. It originally ran on the GT Power Network but, the advent of InterNet and the World Wide Web soon showed me that the day of the hobby networks was at an end. So, here we are endeavoring to provide folks with the same service on the Web.
Kiwi: I know you have a world in AW, can you tell us what we can find there?
Old Kunnel: Oh, my. After puttering about AW building here and there, I decided to set up my own world so that I could use my own objects instead of AW's which limited my scope. As an example, my railroad tracks were very laborious to lay down. I have rails now from 'Pelican' that, by golly, look like rails. [lol] Also, I used AW objects to build in AlwaysOK and got more realistic virtual buildings. One of my pride and joys is the Shopping Mall I built. Inside the front door on the right are teleports to my first builds and subsequent stumbles. But, hey, that is nostalgia. [grin] One can tour the pseudo-town of Hanover... just start your tour at the sentry statue.
Kiwi: Can tourists go there?
Old Kunnel: Yes, tourists are welcome. However, they have to pass courtesy inspection from Marcella. Marcella is my long-time bot and sometimes gets a bit chatty. [grin]
Kiwi: Do you still build a lot?
Old Kunnel: Building never ceases. I don't visit my world or AW as much but, I try to touch up those areas I do build in. I recently built a large office building in AlwaysOK and, one of these days, I will get around furnishing it. [grin] Yesterday, I put some nurses and doctors into Hanover Hospital... You have to see it to believe it.
Kiwi: Tell me the biggest changes you have seen since you came to AW?
Old Kunnel: The ability of tourist to create avatars for themselves. For example, my Jacques Cousteau avatar was not always available in other worlds. This was a bit frustrating for me as I wanted folks to know who the Old Kunnel was when he popped into a world. In other words, not just another tourist. [grin] Just before the avatar creation thing came along a former citizen, Tallan, modeled the Old Kunnel for me; and, I was in seventh virtual heaven.
Kiwi: What change would you like to see happen?
Old Kunnel: I really have nothing to offer here. My basic assumption: Virtual reality is a hypothesis.
Kiwi: Do you explore a lot?
Old Kunnel: Yes. I have always been one to look up things and to learn things.
Kiwi: What would be your favorite world to visit?
Old Kunnel: Well, since the preliminary building I did in SF Gate I am sure my favorite would is CableCar Girl's. BTW, it was she that showed me the early ropes of building. As mentioned previously, you can see that first build by a visit to the Shopping Mall in AlwaysOK.
Kiwi: One of the things I love the most is making friends from all over the world in AW. I have learnt a lot from others here. What keeps you coming back?
Old Kunnel: The very same thing. Making friends is the name of the game. BTW, I have two very good friends in New Zealand. Unfortunately, they are not into AW although I keep hinting. [grin] Oh, yes, I have many friends around the world which is the whole reason for my being.
Kiwi: You are wearing a PAV! (Personal Avatar) Was it especially created it for you?
Old Kunnel: Yes, as I noted above. Since 'kunnel' is southern U.S. drawl for 'Colonel', Tallan offered to put me in a Confederate gray uniform but, I am too Yankee for that. Hah-hah.
Kiwi: What advice would you give to new cits arriving in AW?
Old Kunnel: Get a lot of experience building then come on over to AlwaysOK and help the Old Kunnel fill up the space. And, if we fill up AlwaysOK in its present size we will increase the space even more. I won't be happy until AlwaysOK spreads out like SF Gate. [chuckle]
Kiwi: Would you like to add anything to this interview?
Old Kunnel: I like people in AW and everywhere. My standing invitation is to go to my world and visit me. If not, go to my web site and visit me. If you like aviation, flying, aeronautics, aerodynamics, chat, conversation, chatter, gab, prattle, family, relatives, friendship, fellowship, companionship, comradeship, brotherhood, fraternity, God, honor, honesty, principle, decency, sincerity, truth, music, humankind, humanity, society, military, army, navy, marines, veterans, opinion, sentiment, judgment, conviction, idea, thinking, conjecture, speculation, theory, fact, fiction, narrative, dogs, pets, and other omnivores subject you will be in the same 'ball park' as the OK!
Kiwi: It has been a real honour. Smiles! Thank you for letting us get to know you better.
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