A Brief History of the Acorn Café


Someone once said if there’s a need, someone will step forward and fill it. That’s just what Natasha Kashefipour did when she introduced what we now know as The Acorn Café on InsideTheWeb on February 8, 1998. It quickly developed into the major hotspot for all Ranger-related discussion, and aided in forming the Rangerphile community that we now so greatly enjoy.

We’ve had great times at the Café, and sad times as well. And yes, some knock-down drag-outs. Historical battles like Ranger War I and The St. Valentines Day Massacre served to strengthen the community in the end by aiding the combatants to listen to the other side. We still have our differences today, but we’ve learned to live with them—most of the time.

Here’s two looks at the old Café—one from 1999 and the other from 2001, just before the Great Migration. Ironically, it happened just when we were celebrating the Café’s third anniversary last February. InsideTheWeb announced that it was shutting down all of its boards due to inability to keep them going anymore.

Now, a little bit of back story on this from my perspective—Natasha Kashefipour, our Grand High Page Maintainer Lady, had been forced to leave the board she’d created due to some personal mistakes she’d made. Tasha and I had become good friends in the months preceding her departure, and she’d often ask me to sub for her when she went on hiatus. I was in charge when she left us for good, and the ball was in my court.

When Tasha left, we had to relocate the boards to other ITW pages. Julie let us relocate the Café to the old R.O.A.R. board’s page—until I accidentally nuked it while adjusting the options on the maintainer’s page. I managed to keep the Story Board going, and Julie handled the Off-Topic Board as usual. Through group e-mails, I let the Rangerphiles know that the Café would return in some form, and then and there I began to search for a new permanent home for the Café with the clock ticking down.

Enter Stephen Clouse. Stephen had posted sporadically on the Café, but when this issue came up he stepped up to the plate. At his current job, Stephen has access to a server, which is the current host of the Café, Story Board and Off-Topic Board—so remember to thank him when anniversary time rolls around. He and I spent about a week searching the net for software that would allow us to re-create the boards as closely as possible. I stumbled upon CineSwiper’s site one night, and knew I’d found what we were after.

Fortunately again for us, Stephen is an accomplished programmer, who tweaked the software to supply our needs. At this point, Julie joined in and we tested the new boards for a couple of days until everything worked. In the longest eight days this community has had to endure, we managed to go from near-oblivion to a brand-new permanent home on February 28, 2001.

In the year that’s passed since then, the Café’s continued to grow and gain more members—particularly more younger and international Rangerphiles. We currently have (or at least have had contact from) Rangerphiles in many countries including most of the states in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Latvia, The Czech Republic, Azerbaijan Republic, Australia, Tasmania, and Japan.