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August 1999 - Vol 1, No. 3


History of the ISRA

By Sally (Patch) Lawrence

[Editorial comments from Mark Jelic - ISRA#0013]
Once upon a time... oh, wait, this isn't a fairy tale. This is the true story of how the ISRA became the International Star Riders Association.

ISRA began with Michael Benjamin's site on Geocities and a guest book. Michael is ISRA's official member number 1, with a membership date of April 15, 1998. Back in the dark ages of the Yamaha Star line, Michael's site was about the most informative site on the 'Net for the V-Star/DragStar 650. (The V-Star 1100 did not exist back then.) Anyone who signed his guestbook got an email invitation to join an informal mailing list. [You wont believe this, but I kept a copy of the very first original email!]

By this time, Mark Jelic (member since April 16, 1998) had stumbled across the Shadow Riders forum on Delphi [A big thanks to Bill, moderator of that Forum too] and thought it would be a better venue for our discussions, rather than broadcasting emails to a rapidly expanding membership base. Actually, Mark confesses to being "cheesed off" at having to constantly update his email address book!

As an aside, Mark was originally member number 8, but volunteered to take number 13 when that person dropped off the list in September, 1998. Wonder just what it was about the normally unlucky 13 that appealed to Mark? [Two reasons: It's my birth day and secondly I can get a tattoo with the old 13 in a black diamond thing. One day ;-)]

Of the original email list there are some names around that you will probably recognize Alex (#4), Pam (#6), Elliott (#7), Ralph/FastEddy (#9), Dave/NetX (#10), Mark & 'Stella' (#13), Brad/DangerMouse (#17), Jim Garrett (#34), Mike Stansbury (#35), Mike Lundgren (#37), John T (#44), Spiros (#45), Jim Conner (#46), and Kraig (#47). You may not recognize all of these early members, but the ones I've listed are still active and several have gone on to join the ISRA Council. [I have the original Excel spreadsheet that has the very first 43 members on it too! Starting to wonder?]

Mark made the first move toward properly organizing ISRA when he started the ISRA Forum on Delphi on the 24th of April, 1998. [I have this original email I sent out to everyone announcing it! Yes, I'm a freak! (grin)] But right from the start, ISRA was based on a democratic process, and it wasn't for a few more weeks before we started using the Delphi Forum proper. We also need a logo and submissions came in from various people, with the winner being voted as Alex's great design, shown below.

But you may notice from Mark's email to go to Delphi, that he was already calling their organization the "ISRA." How did that come about? Here is another quote from an email mark has saved. (He's worse than me!) It's from Elliott Segelbaum, our current webmaster:

'Internet Stars sounds like as good a name as any. I was also thinking of "Star Riders," or maybe something official sounding like "The Internet Star Riders Association (ISRA)." Are ther any graphic designers in the house? We'll need a logo that looks good on a patch for when we're out riding. *grin*' - 23/April/98

You guessed it; Another vote was taken, and the name ISRA was adopted.

I was issued member number 38 on May 5, 1998. The interest was growing rapidly. Member number 52 was the last one to be issued under the informal mailing list process. The last mailing list was updated on May 15, 1998.

The membership grew as people all over the world found out that ISRA was the place to go if you wanted to know about the new V-Star or DragStar 650's. ISRA also attracted members who owned Royal Stars, even though they had been available for a few years. When Yamaha announced the introduction of the V-Star 1100, the Road Star and the Venture this year, membership mushroomed again.

On the 6th of January 1999, Mark decided that being the forum moderator on his own was too difficult, and created the "ISRA Council" that originally had six members but has grown to 11 currently. The names of the current office holders can be found elsewhere on this site.

Up until August of 1999, "ISRA" stood for the "Internet Star Riders Association." Today, the 5th of August 1999, with a membership base nearing 1000, we are making the transition from a virtual organization to being a truly International association with a real presence as well as a virtual one. This is borne out by events such as the NCSOGs Kinston Star-B-Que, as well as other rides and events being planned.

Today we announce that our name will be changing to the "International Star Riders Association." We also launch this web site that you are reading this StarCruiser article from, itself in the third issue. We have our own domain name "star-riders.org" which was born from the email sent by Elliott way back in April, 1998. And to commemorate this event, we have created a new logo that represents our organization, shown below. Expect to see new patches and t-shirts based on this logo very soon.

During the early part of 2000 the I.S.R.A. Council of the day considered creating another aspect of the Star Theme for its association. They had created the "Constellations" which are defined as local groups of I.S.R.A. members who wanted to create their own group of local riders.

The idea of creating a Galaxy was raised with the definition that it would be for the purpose of constellations within a geographical area, like a country, to join or not to join together to help coordinate events on a national level between constellations of that country and to help promote the I.S.R.A. and the formation of other constellations within that country.

The Galaxy formation in any country would be a child of the parent association the International Star Riders Association Inc. A subsidiary of the I.S.R.A. and at all times would be under the direct supervision of I.S.R.A. Council adhering to the I.S.R.A. Constitution, Bylaws and Guidelines/Policies. A board of directors would be appointed by I.S.R.A. Council for the purpose of leadership and the remainder of this board would consist of any I.S.R.A. Constellation President of that country who wished to be involved.

A logo design was submitted to Council that would represent the newly formed Northern Stars Galaxy of the I.S.R.A..

On acceptance by Council this logo was adopted and became the property of the International Star Riders Association Inc to be used to graphically represent this newly formed addition to the I.S.R.A., the Northern Stars Galaxy of the I.S.R.A.

Look for more exciting changes in ISRA's future. Be there and be a part of it!

Be sure to order your ISRA Merchandise to help the ISRA make the transition from a virtual association to a real life organization.