Return to Quincy: Past, present residents connected by ‘Red Thread’
It all started by accident.
Former Quincy resident and Quincy High alumna Deb Hopkins was trying to gather all her Quincy-related Facebook friends on one email list: Quincy Peeps. What she didn’t know was that she’d created a Facebook group. Boy, did she!
As of this writing, there are 888 (now 1014) members, Tommy Hentschel being the newest addition. From time to time, I wondered whatever happened to …, as I do with other alums.
When I talked with Hopkins, she said it all generated from how much she loves Quincy. Hopkins, who currently lives in San Francisco, comes up throughout the year to stay at their cabin near Keddie.
The response from former, and current, Quincy residents has surprised Hopkins. On the Facebook page, the conversation is about memories of growing up in Quincy.
Hopkins said the universal themes on Facebook are the good times and supporting Quincy.
She is passionate about Quincy and what it meant to her to grow up here. “We grew up here and this place is in our blood. I am so astonished how many good people are from here. This place raised a lot of good children who love it. We love it and want to help.”
Hopkins explained that she thought former residents could see Quincy as visitors might see it and offer suggestions and support.
Hopkins has coined a term for the idea: “peep-onomics.” She suggests Quincy Peeps members buy something, anything from Quincy merchants; she hopes merchants will develop a Web presence to facilitate that effort.
Hopkins hopes that people will contribute to the effort according to their means: Buy something from Quincy; if you can’t buy something, tell someone about Quincy and what a great place it is to visit; if you have an idea, act on it.
She’s less about organizing a massive Peeps Project and more about action as individuals. If donating to repaint the Town Hall Theatre is your thing, go for it. Maybe you only want an official Quincy Peeps T-shirt, that’s OK with her too.
A members-only page, Quincy Peeps is only accessible to current and former Quincy residents. After logging into Facebook, type Quincy Peeps in the search box.
People are trading stories there about growing up and plans for the Peeps’ Return to Quincy, a list of Peeps’ activities during the fair.
“Red Threads” will be the identifier for fair week in Quincy. Taken from QHS red and the tech term for online conversation, thread, Hopkins hopes current and former Quincy residents will visit participating stores and get their Red Thread wristband for the weekend. Red threads are available at: Carey Candy Co., Village Antiques, Emily’s Garden, Cafe Le Coq, Plumas Arts Gallery, Courthouse Cafe, Quincy Hot Spot and Epilog Books.
Hopkins wants returning Peeps to an informal, grassroots reunion of old and new friends from Quincy. All activities are loosely organized and meant to engage as many people as possible in and around town and at the fair. (See below for a list of activities.)
Her biggest idea is for Return to Quincy is the fair parade. She hopes for an impromptu mob to fall in at the end of the parade to walk up Main Street, collecting people as they go.
Return to Quincy activities
Friday, Aug. 12
4 p.m. Friday Night on Main Street
Meet at Pangaea, visit stores and restaurants on Main Street.
9 p.m. – midnight
Meet at Old Town at the fairgrounds
Saturday, Aug. 13
9 a.m. Grassroots reunion
March from start to finish (meet behind Safeway) or watch and the parade as the Quincy Peeps march past. Subgroups may be formed by classes, particular interests or other categories that support Quincy.
1 p.m. Gansner Park Gathering
Gather at Gansner Park. Bring your own food, and any items needed for any activity you are interested in: acoustic jam, picnic, Frisbee … double Dutch jump rope, maybe?
8 p.m. Saturday night at the...
The Drunk Brush, Grover Alley. Just gather and chat with Peeps!
8 – 11 p.m. Meet at the Fair
Enjoy an event there or just for the rides (Zipper anyone?) and cotton candy.
9 p.m. Drag Main
Time may vary, no drinking and driving!
Sunday, Aug. 14
10:30 a.m. Walking Groups
East Quincy, Quincy and a hike to the Q. When it gets closer, we will either make them parallel, or in series (sounds like physics, thanks to Mr. Aaserude) depending on whether some people want to do all three.
For more information, contact Deb Hopkins or others via the Quincy Peeps Facebook page.