I joined in March 2001. Left the hobby around 2005 and just came back to the hobby and the forum about a year ago. When I left, I was postwar and new O gauge, and was reincarnated in tinplate.
The early days were fun, especially for me because I was in a tough place and alone. I made a few friends through this forum. Back then there were more silly threads: the Hobo Jungle, Howenwald, etc., like Craignor mentioned.