The official opening of andre-norton.org took place at about 6 pm on
26th July 1998 in Ms. Norton's study-room, Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
USA. It was witnessed by dr. Rose Wolf and Mrs. Caroline L. Fike.
(click to enlarge - each file ~100 kb)
(top row, left to right) (1) Maciej Zaleski explaining Ms. Norton how to open the site;
(2) Almost opened ... ; (3) T minus zero and a very happy owner in the background.
(bottom row) Browsing through the site ... Ms. Norton, Maciej Zaleski and dr. Rose Wolf.
Yes, I do admit that the below scene is perhaps painted in somewhat more vivid colours than those commonly used by mother nature - but at the some time I solemnly swear that by no means should the below piece of writing be called fiction.
It wasn't a day unlike any other summer day in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Hot and humid, with the streets and parking lots devoid of any signs of life, as the people preferred to stay well within the walls of air-conditioned houses or equally cool interiors of their cars. Only some insane tourists, like this here humble author, dared to go on a walk. One thing should be said in favour of the locals - when you find yourself grunting, gasping and sweating due to the excess of heat, while laboriously wading through the thick, soupy air, you are likely to quickly adopt their style of life.
It was noon and only a single, inconspicuous file patiently waited in the entrails of a small, graphite-grey laptop, surrounded by the cool air of the High Hallack library. All the work on the site had been finished the previous day and almost every bit of it sister blocks of data were uploaded to their proper place. Yet, it seemed that its time had not yet come. Separated from the fiery air by a well-isolated wall, it shivered once but remained in place, as it dared not disappoint its maker.
At the very same time, some ten metres and two walls away, in a rather vast American-style detached house that belonged to one of the most famous SF-F writers, a young visitor from the distant European country of Poland was trying to pluck up enough courage to ask the Lady yet another favour. The arms of the clock that hung on one of the walls slowly continued on their tedious, never-ending journey, reminding him of the passing time, but somehow he just couldn't do that.
Was it not for the timely intervention of Mrs. Caroline Fike, the site's future might not, after all, have looked that bright. It was almost six o'clock and, having eaten a tasty dinner prepared in the "good ol' southern style" by Virginia-state-born Caroline, the house's inhabitants were about to return to their everyday, or should it be said "everyevening", duties. The placid silence, so typical of the post-consumptive period, was finally broken by Caroline, who asked whether the work on the site had been finished.
In the library, the file stirred. It subconsciously knew that finally something was going to happen. Slowly, it began to share its owner's excitement. The library's entrance door opened widely and the still warm but already more bearable air mingled with the icy coldness of the building's interior. The file felt a bit queasy when its home computer was quickly snapped from the desk it rested upon and carried in the direction of the nearby house ...