The following article was written by Pat McKanic of The New York Times Regional Newspaper - The Sarasota Herald, which was distributed throughout their regional newspapers, including the Gainesville Sun, FL; the Morning Star, Wilmington, DE; the Santa Barbara News, CA; the Palaka Daily News, FL; and the Lexington Dispatch, NC!
Seek and Ye Shall Find
SEEKING MARINE BUDDY
SSG CL "Kit Carson," USA (RET) would like help finding anyone who remembers a young Marine, killed in action at Phy By province, VN on June 19, 1966. His name was Richard Allen Bradley from Manchester, TN. I have suffered from PTSD for years over this fellow and I need some info about him that his family is unable to provide. He haunts my mind and heart everyday and has for thirty years. My address is 717 Rosencrans St., Chaparral, NM 88021, phone number 505/824-1495. I need to find someone who was with him before he died, his squad leader, platoon nco, or leader, first seargent or company commander, please contact me. E-mail address: CCarson530@aol.com. Contact by any and all methods. Ad no. 463.
By Patricia Ann McKanic
We all have someone we'd like to find. That's the reason Linda Hammer started "The Seeker," an Internet bulletin board dedicated to helping people find other people, whether they're former classmates, old Army buddies or the children of the family that used to live across the street.
Hammer, a former process server and private investigator who lives in Venice, initially developed "The Seeker" as a full-color magazine with the intention of inserting it in Sunday newspapers.
Each issue would be dedicated to a state, listing demographics, famous natives and historical and vacation sites. There would also be a "Seeker" section, which would include the names of people that the State's treasury department has money for but couldn't find.
Hammer said she spent about $50,000 to develop several sample copies of the magazine and the Web page. Publishing executives and potential advertisers in new York and elsewhere liked the magazine's concept, she said, but advertised her to test it on the Internet.
Hammer launched the Internet site in February, (1996), limiting it to listing individuals looking for other individuals.
Seekers can also check in the Web site to see if they're being sought. The notices will be posted indefinitely.
Users don't pay a fee. Hammer's income, if there is ever any, she says, will come from advertisers. So far, she has one, American Airlines (they were not a paying advertiser).
She's targeting advertisers who have the most to gain by planting themselves at a Web site that reunites people - long distance phone carriers, airlines, travel agencies, and car rental companies.
Hammer won't accept requests from people looking for love in all the wrong cyberplaces. A disclaimer on her Web page also says that her company, Hammer Publications, Inc., won't accept messages that "are abusive, offensive, or in any way unacceptable."
Most people abide by that, she said.
"The worst I've had to deal with is bad grammar."
Once after explaining in a social situation what she does, Hammer said a man asked her to help him find his ex-girlfriend so he could kill her.
"He was serious", she said. "I said, I don't think so."
Seekers are asked to include their names, phone numbers and addresses with their requests. Hammer screens the new requests but can't check the legitimacy of the information.
Hammer usually doesn't help people with their searches, although she spent years as a private investigator and knows how. (Actually, I do!)
There are special cases, though, like when she helped a woman find her father after a nearly 40-year separation. "Some", Hammer said, "will break your heart".
Looking for Birthmom (sic)...I was born 12/14/62 in Schenectady, NY, from what I know you were only 19 at the time. That's all I know...maybe you could answer the big question for me. I don't want anymore (sic) than that. I just want to be able to go on from there. E-mail address: Sue12309@aol.com. Ad number 419
Others just want to say thanks to someone.
I am looking for classmates from Lyman High, Florida. Anyone remembers Mrs. Hughes English class. I would like to thank her for being a positive force in my life. Her class led me to college when others were telling me I didn't have it. Boy were they wrong! God bless you Mrs. Hughes whereever (sic) you are. Any info, e-mail Dave Boone, E-mail address TheMuse131@aol.com.
Hammer said she's amazed at how well the service has been received - more than 25,000 responses in less than 2 months. She advertises on Internet bulletin boards of colleges and universities and e-mails letters to people that have posted notices for high school, military and other reunions.
Metropolitan Life, one of a number of insurers Hammer solicited recently agreed to have her post their list of beneficiaries and missing policy holders. Others find out by the service by word-of-mouth or by cruising the Internet.
"The response has been far better than I ever thought it would be", the 42-year old Hammer said.
We all have someone we'd like to find.
Including this reporter...
Jackie Miller, are you out there? You were my best friend from Davison Elementary School in Detroit. you and your mom, Naomi, moved to Detroit in the early '60's, leaving your dad behind in Connecticut. You lived upstairs over your cousins, one of whom was Donna Read (pronounced Red.) We used to take turns lip syncing Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet" into batons that doubled as microphones. Last I heard, your mom, who worked in a grocery store at Belmont shopping center, had died and you'd gone back to live with your dad in Connecticut. I've always wondered what happened to you and I wonder what you're doing now. Contact Pat McKanic by E-mail address at email@example.com phone 941/957-5198.
Find out if someone is looking for you before placing a message for them!
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The Seeker is currently Seeking sponsors and advertisers for our site. For information, please see our On-Line Media Kit or contact Linda Hammer at Hammer Publications, Inc.: 941-483-1037 or e-mail us at Sponsor@the-seeker.com.