P-Skinny - "I might be wrong but I think Charlie Dobbins inspired/fueled the flame for this without even knowing it ... by sharing his knowhow with Benny"
You're absolutely right about how this place got started. I often forget that there are many newbies who don't know this. In a nutshell, here's how it happened......
Dad was in Mississippi giving instruction to someone, and I don't recall who it was, perhaps USDA? Anyway, he ran across this fella named Benny who wanted to learn how to trap beavers. He told dad he couldn't afford the instructions, but dad stayed a few extra days anyhow and taught Benny how to trap beavers. Dad gave Benny some traps to get him started too. The traps you see in the headers on these pages are some of the ones dad gave him. When dad was fixing to leave, Benny said he was sorry he couldn't pay for the instructions, but dad simply said, "Pass it on".
After dad passed away, I got a puter that was able to go on the internet. This was in very early 1998. I soon found a trapping site called Otter Creek and found they had a chat room. So, I started going in there most every evening to chat with the regulars. I believe I used the handle Bvr1, but didn't say who I was, because I didn't think it mattered, since no one knew me. After a month or two, Benny, who went by Yup, I believe, was on the chat and asked if I was related to Charles Dobbins. I said yes, I was and that I was his son.
Well, he said that he had a debt to repay. He then laid out this plan for a trapping website for me. He was very adept at doing website graphics and constructing websites. I was hesitant because I wasn't mentally prepared to take this on, since I was dumber than a sack of hammers when it came to computers. He said he'd lead me by the hand and teach me all I needed to know, which he did. He asked what I wanted in a website and we hashed it all out and he said he'd get working on it. He also said it would end up being the premier trapping website on the internet. I had my doubts about me having such a thing, but that didn't deter his efforts.
In a matter of a few days, he sent me a link to Trapperman.com and the first page was a forum, called Trapper Talk. That was a single forum and was not expandable, like forums are today.
When I saw the header come up, I was flabbergasted at how great it looked. Soon he had many of the basic Trapperman pages done, such as Words from the Past, Trapper Tips, the Convention Calendar, the Gallery and Links page.
Then on Otter Creek one night I announced that I had a new website and gave the link. Ever since then, its done nothing but grow.
That folks is how Trapperman.com got started. I'd say Benny "Passed it on" more than a thousand fold. I'm sure dad looks down on this place with pride, and I hope to keep it a place he'd be proud of.