Back when the internet first became a thing, my grandpa was one of the first people to jump on board. He started out on Compuserve and used to talk to people all over the world on there, mostly about fountain pens. He later used the internet to become the world’s largest fountain pen dealer as a side hustle, but that’s a different story. When our family was getting online back in 1995, there was a local ISP that used the domain name mtnhome.com for all of our emails. It was kind of a papa bear, mama bear, baby bear deal – Jim was gaston@, Jill was jgaston@, and I was djgaston@. The resort was email@example.com, that was the original email address for Gaston’s White River Resort. This is why djgaston is a thing, it just kind of stuck. I’m not that creative so I never came up with another username.
Later, in 1997, I was interested in websites and had been making some pretty cool pages on Angelfire, which was one of the original DIY web host places that you could use without having to know HTML. I picked up on basic HTML relatively quickly, which back then everything was basic. So I bought this domain name to be able to host my own website with as many files and as much traffic as I wanted.
As I got older, the djgaston.com thing kind of turned into people calling me DJ, but not that often. It wasn’t a nickname that a lot of people knew me by, but it grew on me. At one point I had “DJGASTON” across the windshield of my Jeep YJ, which was a horrible idea, but I was 16 and it seemed cool at the time.
When forums started becoming more common, I used djgaston as my username on all of them, just to keep things simple. There were so many different forums that it was hard to keep track of login info, so by having the same ID and password on all of the forums, it made it easy. Keep in mind this was back before your web browser would store your passwords for you – we had to write that info down and store it in a desk drawer in case we forgot what it was. And we would have to walk barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, etc. Times were harder back then.
On Dodge truck forums, djgaston became synonymous with one of the best looking Dodge Rams of all time, my old 2nd gen 1500. This was when djgaston really became a thing, something recognizable to many. There were other guys who had names like Dodge Death Machine, Super Ram, V10Sport, and more – I wish I had come up with something cool like that, but at this point I’m so invested in the djgaston moniker that I basically have to ride it out whether I want to or not.
Fast forward to 2012, I marry a chick whose first name starts with J, so it’s kind of ironic that she represents that letter and I represent the D (because that’s what I give her 24/7, if you know what I’m sayin’). Then our first born goes by DJ because he has my name, so there actually is a DJ Gaston after all of these years. And our 2nd born has the same initials so technically he can be a DJ Gaston as well. I guess they’ll have to fight over who gets the domain name one day.
In a way, what started out as a 12 year old kid not knowing what username to pick for my email address, became a name synonymous with Dodge trucks, and later came to represent an entire household. While my username-creating skills were not good, maybe in the back of my mind I knew it would end up like this one day. Nah, it’s just a series of coincidences that ended up being kind of cool to me. I don’t expect anyone else to think it’s cool, or to even be reading this far, but I just wanted to document the evolution of the word before I get too old to remember it all.