You should have been on FR in December of 1999. Fun times...
1999 I was in Israel and never heard of FR.
The first time I joined was in 2003-4? Somewhere around there. Got banned (got the zot, I was drunk and posted some crazy stuff, it was more fun than nasty). Signed up again different tag about six month later. Forgot my password at a time when FR would log you out randomly for no reason. Signed up with a new tag a little while later, went overseas, didn’t use it much and forgot my password. Signed up again (and so on) I think I’ve had more than a half dozen different names.
I remember when on any given thread, everytime you hit refresh there would be another hundred posts. Threads would commonly go to 500 or even 1000 posts. These days 50 is a good thread. But, now the posts are much more intelligent and to the point. It is a more select membership of really good people.
But yeah, in the early 2000s, FR was the wild-wild-west. Blogging and posting were brand new and everyone wanted to do it.
It was crazy. But, my God, it was fun. Some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read came from posters on Free Republic.
Not to mention the insightful, intelligent, ground breaking, thought provoking, news making, stuff as well.
FR is the very best I the world at what it does. I love it.