How it all started!
A blazing ray of sunshine beat down on the concrete in front of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Just outside the doors walked a five-year-old boy from Arkansas that didn’t have the slightest clue what stood inside the large domed building. Neither could he have comprehended that in the next few minutes, his life would be forever altered.
It was the summer of 1993, and that five-year-old boy was me, Rob Reep, the now founder ofFossil HD. This was my first trip, of what would be many, to our nation’s capital. I had traveled there with my mother, Beverly, an eighth grade history teacher who at the time, was carrying 92 of her students and a few adults, to tour the capital city.
I stood outside in the fast moving, but long, summer line that gathers everyday in front of the museum. Finally, I reached the doors and maneuvered through the crowd, holding tight to the hands of my mother and father. I remember that it was like a funnel. Everyone crowded up to go through the doors, but once inside the entranceway, the people began to disperse.
The famous elephant is one that greets every visitor to the museum. It died at the age of 55 in Angola. At the time of its death it weighed an enormous eight tons and was so large that the hunter decided to donate its remains to the Smithsonian Institute.
An animal of that size and stature had an immediate impact me. My reaction was just silence, but after a few minutes I decided to move closer. I knew he wasn’t alive, but still, to a five year-old kid from Arkansas, it was a towering figure!
Although the elephant was the first life changer, the hall to the right of where I stood gazing at the former eight ton elephant held something that once again would leave me speechless.
The summer of 1993 was a special time for me. My mother who encouraged me to be an avid reader by purchasing books for me, gave me an oversized booked entitled My Big Book of Dinosaurs. A few weeks later she took me to Little Rock to watch Steven Spielberg’sJurassic Park for the very first time. All the way to D.C., my parents kept telling me that I was going to get to see dinosaur skeletons. Though I didn’t fully understand, I was excited.
As we made our way into the next room of the museum, I was holding tight to both of my parents’ hands. My dad let go, walked quickly, and began pointing ahead. This was it! This would be the defining moment in my life, though I didn’t know it at the time. I noticed the large dark brown bar like structures. It took me three to five seconds to realize what exactly I was looking at! Dinosaurs…a teradactyl…WOW! They were even larger than the elephant, larger than I expected. I’ll admit, I was a tad bit scared, but too intrigued to leave. I was hooked! The love of history would be my life from then on out!
My life from then on was fairly typical of any boy growing up in South Arkansas. I played sports, was an All-Conference catcher on the high school baseball team, and was a member and regular attender of a Baptist Church. After graduating with honors from Warren High School in 2006, I enrolled at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro as a New Media (web design) major. On the second day of classes, I went to my first design class that was a part of my major requirements. The supply list for the class included paint brushes, paint, canvas, and sculpting clay! What was I doing in an art class? I knew right then, this just wasn’t for me. After a trip to visit with my advisor, I switched my major to radio/tv. A year later, I finally gave in to my true interest and switched to history. I spent the next two years answering the question, “What are you going to do, teach?
I think I knew all along that I really wanted to major in an history-related field. My first choice in schools was George Washington University. My plans were to go there and get a degree in archaeology. I applied and was accepted, but just simply could not afford G.W. So, I ended up going to Arkansas State. Luckily, for me, it was a great place to be. I met several professors at A-State who made a huge impact on my writing and interests in the field of history and Spanish. Among those professors were Dr. Joseph Key, Dr. William Maynard, and Dr. Ernesto Lombeida. My experience at Arkansas State was amazing. I don’t think I could have gone anywhere else in the world and received an education better than the one I obtained at Arkansas State. My time in Jonesboro is a part of who I am today.
After my college graduation in 2009, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of coming home. I set up a small business, Raptorproductions, and worked on documentary films. To add to my income, I expanded and started Warren’s first and only online news website, salineriverchronicle.com. After being online for one year, the site touted over 160,000 visitors. With the website running smoothly, I decided it was time to branch out even more and time to get back to what I truly loved, history.
Welcome to the first edition of Fossil HD, an online-only, one-of-a-kind multimedia magazine on the internet that features intriguing articles, state of the art web design, top notch professional photography, and many exclusive and original high definition videos. In a way, this magazine is more of a television station mixed with a magazine. The site is the product of Raptorproductions of Warren, Arkansas. You will find that Fossil HDcovers a variety of subjects, including history, archaeology, science, and much more.
If you are reading this now, you already know how to access the magazine. It is my hope that you will share the link, fossilhd.com, with other fellow history enthusiasts.
Fossil HD is published online on the twentieth of each month. Readers will have an entire month to look over the site and read the articles that pique their interests, as well as enjoy the photography and graphics. The best news is that it is absolutely 100% FREE. That’s right. There is no subscription fee to read and access any of the content of Fossil HD.
The site works just like any other website. It features buttons that are clickable to navigate through the site, or you may flip through it just like a regular magazine by clicking the arrows at the bottom of each page. The site is optimized for use on the Apple iPad and iPad 2. However, it will work on any device that has internet capabilities: iPhones, Google TV, computers, and much more. You may be wondering, why we did not create an iPad app for this magazine since it is optimized for the iPad. The basic reason is that apps can not be viewed on computers, and I realize that not everyone has or may ever own an iPad. It is my goal that this magazine be viewable to all of the world!
So, how did I come up with the name Fossil HD?
In short, it sounds cool! Well, that and the fact that a fossil is an impression of something from the past that we study to learn about history. AtFossil HD the goal is, as the slogan states, to “Study Life’s Impressions.” The HD obviously implies that a majority of our content is in high definition, but that is not the real reason behind the HD. I own, what has come to be called, a Jackabee, a half beagle and half Jack Russell terrier. I named him de Soto, and the name really fits. He is an inquisitive explorer who takes risks, has a bit of bite in him, and has a sense of adventure. I brought de Soto home to live with me three years ago on May 23, two days after the May 21, 1542 anniversary of the death of one of my favorite characters in history, Hernando de Soto. So, you see, the HD actually stands for hound dog. Hound dogs are notorious for their sense of smell and hunting abilities. My de Soto loves to dig. So, hopefully, by now you have made the connection: de Soto, hound dog, hunter, digger, archaeology, history. At Fossil HD we are digging up the past.
Please take some time to look over the site and the magazine. As stated earlier, a new edition will be available on the twentieth of each month. So, you have at least one month to read through the first edition and to share it with others.
If you would like more information or have questions about Fossil HD, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.