Friday, May 25, 2007

tybee204, A Woman of Substance

Other than requesting permission for publication of selected excerpts from Websleuths for the The Scoreboard - Part 6 entry, I did not know tybee204. Oftentimes we get a glimpse into a person’s character through their actions, thoughts and responses to a variety of situations. Such was the case with tybee204, or Joyce Harrison to those who knew her in real life.

While drafting the above entry I observed a situation that stuck with me because it illustrates a distinct contrast between two online personalities. More importantly it demonstrates how events can influence our perception of someone who would otherwise be a virtual stranger.

On July 4, 2005, a poster I will refer to as “mmg” visited where she participated in a cordial one-hour discussion with the few misfits who were in attendance that day.

She talked about the Natalee Holloway investigation pointing out that, "the police in Aruba had already done more in one month than the police here in the states would have done." She spoke from her own experience because her daughter and grandchild had been missing for fifteen months. She claimed that in all that time local law enforcement had done far less than what had been accomplished in Aruba. She also stated that other parents of missing children have expressed the same sentiments. As in all missing person cases, national media attention is crucial in raising public awareness and that was her goal.

To their credit, the misfits she interacted with were sympathetic to her dilemma. One poster sent an email to an agency she thought may help. Later that evening, when the absent blogmistress returned, there was no mention of mmg's visit.

“Hey, I'm bach. I have a lot of ketching up to do, but thanks to everyone for keeping us in the loop on both strories [sic]. I have Fox on now, but I heard they discovered human remains (possibly Dylan's) in Montana. How the helf did they find those, and why was he keeping Shasta alive? This Duncan guy has me completely mystified.” -Posted by loretta (Serrano) at July 4, 2005 10:30 PM

Nor did Pastor Serrano acknowledge mmg's sojourn the following morning when the enthusiastic evangelist called on the misfitting congregation to hold a prayer service for Natalee Holloway.

“Personally, I am going to get on my knees a couple of times a day and pray for Natalee to be found or some kind of break. It worked before. It will work again. I don't think we have 4 months, and God knows It.“ -Posted by loretta (Serrano) at July 5, 2005 10:57 AM

“We all watched and wrung our hands and speculated about what could happen, and then one day - the baby is discovered, and the next day Laci is discovered. After a terrible storm over the weekend. Discovered on the first day of Holy Week. So, sit tight. We prayed our heads off. Well, at least I did. That's what you need to do. Turn this over to the highest authority. For those of you who do not pray, do it anyway. You have nothing to lose.” -Posted by loretta (Serrano) at July 5, 2005 11:09 AM

“This is another spiritual battle. I think the Twittys and their friends, their network, and the people all over the country who are praying for this to be resolved are going to defeat the pond scum turds like JVDS and his father. BELIEVE. This will be another magnificent spiritual victory. Y'all can think I'm full of beans, but I choose to believe this.” -Posted by loretta (Serrano) at July 5, 2005 11:20 AM

“We will never know all the ripple effects of Natalee's disappearance, but you can believe there are countless. One day, in Heaven, I'll get to see the entire story.” -Posted by loretta (Serrano) at July 5, 2005 11:30 AM

The disciples gathered like moths to a flame.

“Misfits, This is going to be a very powerful day with all the Misfits collectively praying and hoping. Loretta you are leading the CHARGE.” -Posted by AzBarb at July 5, 2005 02:13 PM

“BELIEVING and PRAYING here. Loretta, thanks for getting us rallied.” -Posted by sassyfrass at July 5, 2005 02:15 PM

“Loretta, you always keep me on track and restore my faith. I will continue to pray for Natalee and her family. Let's hope AzBarb is right - with all of us praying or concentrating on her, something will happen soon.” -Posted by justin at July 5, 2005 02:21 PM

“May I post the prayer that has been going around in my head all day?” -Posted by vero at July 5, 2005 05:45 PM

“Vero, feel free to post your prayer. I have kiddus interruptus right now and since the sun came out, we are going to go to the pool. I have an entry on the back burner for later. It's time to revisit the Narcissist's Handbook of Romance based on what I learned in Houston.” -Posted by loretta (Serrano) at July 5, 2005 06:22 PM

“Master of the Light, shed some of your glory on the island of Aruba. The darkness is gathering there. Let this lost soul return to her mother, lest her mother be also lost. Spread out your arms over us all, and especially enfold Beth, as she needs you very much. Please help the searchers find Natalee, for their spirits begin to be discouraged. I ask this in the name of Mary, mother of us all. Amen.” -Posted by vero at July 5, 2005 06:36 PM


Praying on behalf of Natalee Holloway was a nice endorsement, but it left me wondering why mmg was overlooked in the spiritual petitions considering the woman had visited less than twenty-four hours before.

Having a child vanish into thin air must be the most painful experience a mother can endure. Compound that suffering with the loss of a grandchild at the same time and the effect must be excruciating agony. I became curious about mmg's plight and googled her nic. I learned she was a member of the Websleuths forum where a thread outlining her tragic circumstances exists.

09-13-2005, 11:42 PM
Somedays your the windshield.........

Kathy please view the spotlight forum.


Tybee had put together the most remarkable thread I have ever seen. It contained background information about the case along with profiles of the victims. Tybee listed the addresses, and websites of every conceivable national media outlet encouraging posters to write on behalf of mmg. She included a sample letter of what she sent to the mass media.

It was a gesture that had a profound affect on me. I remember thinking that tybee had to be one of those rare individuals who are worth their weight in gold. I envisioned a take-charge person with a heart bigger than the universe who stepped up to the plate in reaching out to a fellow human being.

Presently there are wonderful memorial threads at the Websleuths forum in honor of the late moderator. They contain comments that validate my initial impression of a woman who seemingly possessed all the admirable qualities that distinguish leaders from the ordinary. There is no doubt in my mind that the world lost a remarkable person on 5/17/07. Society has been deprived of a kind and gracious individual, a woman of substance, whose presence on earth will be sorely missed.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to Joyce Harrison’s family, friends, and the Websleuth community. May those whose lives were enriched by tybee’s spirit find comfort in the cherished memories she left behind.


Note: The graphic quotation is from the Websleuths thread:

3 Mt. Hood Climbers Missing, ~ tybee204 on 12/21/06.

Thread: What are your special memories of 2006?

“Witnessing the births of my two grandsons, finally getting hitched after shacking up for 28 years, being blessed with good friends and a wonderful family. Miss Emma calling me every morning to say

"I love you Granny"

~ tybee204


This entry has been modified due to criticism.
My response to that condemnation is as follows:

The original version was written exactly the way things unfolded as I researched another entry. Tybee's passing was a reminder of that experience, which I have the right to share from my perspective. However, in doing so, it appears I have inadvertently offended some people. I make my share of mistakes and therefore do not consider myself above reproach.

I doubt there's anyone who values a person's right to privacy more than I do. However, when an individual seeks public attention for any reason, that person's privacy is forfeited. Likewise, personal information that an individual chooses to reveal on a public venue is no longer private. Having said that, I am not a reporter and have the ability to set certain personal boundaries. I had been told that mmg did not want to be involved in any conflict with a certain blogmistress, but I had no idea she would harbor deep resentment at having her name mentioned in the same story. Perhaps that salient point was never made clear enough or simply didn't register with me.

It was never my intention to use mmg to slam anyone. The purpose of the entry was to highlight the difference between two people's reaction to a situation. I felt Tybee should be acknowledged for her unselfish contribution in helping a member of Websleuths. Particularly in light of the fact that Loretta ridiculed her capabilities as a moderator, which I previously wrote about.

I don't have to know Tybee to admire what she did. I don't have to know mmg to sympathize with her ordeal or say a prayer for her. I have no control over how events happened, and I would never intentionally offend a woman who lives each day wondering where her loved ones are. To that end, I offer my sincere apology to mmg.

To Elizabeth: While I initially thought your criticism was harsh, I appreciate the fact that you articulated how some people may take offense by interpretation. I welcome the criticism because it helped me look at the entry in a different light. These things happened as stated, I can't change that. But there's a story to be told and I hope the revised copy reflects more sensitivity.