May 13, 2017

guardian of the family memories

I'm not sure why I have devoted myself to recording countless hours of our family in video footage, but I am guessing that I have more memories recorded than the average parent.  I suppose I could blame my middle-child status, since I am good at blaming most of my shortcomings on being raised a middle child.  I must admit though that my parents were rock stars for their era at recording my siblings and I on what we referred to as a 'movie camera' back in the late 60's, 70's, and early 80's.  So maybe my habit of filming my offspring is just learned behavior. (I'd say that the hours of footage I record is the equivalent of my Dad's to recording our generation).

A year and a half ago I used footage that my folks recorded to create an awesome video that we played during their 50th anniversary celebration.  This summer Coach's siblings are gathering to celebrate his parents' 50th anniversary.  I offered to put together a video for them.  That's when I learned that his parents never took any video footage of their kids.  Ever.  My chest tightened up and I gasped for air.  I struggled to believe it.
This is a snippet of the video footage I used from my childhood when I made the anniversary movie for my folks.  Note the background music I chose was nothing short of awesome - not the least bit eerie.

Coach's oldest sister collected photos from all of us that she is going to insert in an album.  After I sent her my pictures, she emailed me another request.  Coach's other sister doesn't typically snap photos of her kids.  She doesn't record video either.  (Did you hear that?  It was my insides gasping and groaning a little at the thought).

Organizing oldest sister asked me to look thru my pictures and select any additional photos with the non-photo-focused sister's family in them.  Although it took time, I was happy to oblige.  I felt it was my duty as a devoted memory capture-er to spread the love.

Those clips from my childhood are so fun to watch even though there is no sound to accompany it.  My dad once opted to put the 8 mm film (not even sure that is what the original reels consisted of, but it sounds cool to say) on VHS tapes.  The man he hired for the project chose to set our home movies to outlandish background music.

When we watched the tapes, we ended up muting the sound - otherwise we were on the edge of our seats watching our wordless selves.  The music selected by Mr. VHS-man led the viewer to believe an ax murderer would jump out from behind the twinkling Christmas tree and bludgeon the sweet, pudgy, rosy-cheeked tots.  Obviously we knew the outcome was far from that of a horror movie, but still.  I can't help but wonder if Mr. VHS-man was dared by a lunatic friend to screw with us.

Years later Dad took the tapes to another guy (a guy minus an obsession with creepy music) and had them transferred to DVD's.  He had additional copies made.  Now my siblings and I all have a complete collection of our home movies and there is no nutty soundtrack to make us wonder who might be eliminated in the next scene.

No comments: