Grainy Memories – Around the World Day 33

It was my last full day until I make another jump west to continue on my quest to travel all the way around the world, and I started to say my final goodbyes, and pack up my bags to get ready to board another flight. Before I got all of this ready, I spent a day with my parents, teaching my dad how to transfer some old VCR videos to DVD so he could preserve them and share them with the rest of my siblings. I was a little nervous about the process because it involved some equipment that I had not played around with for years, namely a really old computer, and a VCR. It was all set up in the dining room of his house which has turned into an old editing studio, much like the one I used when I earned my first degree.

The program we were using wasn’t user friendly, but after a little screwing around with the device, we were able to figure out how to easily transfer the images from the video tape to a DVD. It just required us to play the video tape while the computer recorded it directly to the DVD. We were only able to get through one of the video tapes, and my dad might need to record it again because there was a glitch in the recording that caused the disc to skip, but I think he understand the process and should be able to go through the process of recording all of these old tapes to a modern format. I know that in this digital age that DVD is a technology that is slowly disappearing, but the footage he is saving is important and personal, so I think it is the best medium to use for this task. It will just mean that future generations will have to pull out a DVD player if they wish to watch the movies that were created.

What could be so important that my dad wanted to preserve them for future generations to see. While I was growing up, my parents owned a super 8 camera, and they would pull it out for all of the important moments in our lives and those happy moments that come along while a family is growing. My dad used to have these moments developed and would pull out the old movie projector every once in a while to show us these movies on time reels that we would rotate through as we went through those old memories. The only sound that accompanied it was the clicking of the reel flipping through the projector and the laughs of us as we commented on those moments, the bad haircuts, poor clothing choices, and items that could still be found somewhere in the house. It was what we did for entertainment before the explosion of VCRs in people’s houses.

I had forgotten how fun these films could be. My dad understood their worth, and had all of the old movies transferred to the video cassettes many years ago when my siblings and I had moved out of the house. The video cassettes sat in a dark room hardly ever watched for many years until my dad got it into his head to transfer the footage to a different medium. Yesterday was the first time that I had gotten to see the footage in over a decade. There is something to those quiet, grainy images that hold more power than any show on television during the summer months. We were not able to get to far into the history of the family. By the time the first video finished, my sister had just learned to walk, and my other two brothers, and I weren’t even thought of yet. But it was interesting to those shadows of the past and be able to connect with the people they have become today. I could see the conversations that happened between the subject of the picture and the person who was taking the picture and could only guess what they were talking about. I had to fill in the missing pieces but it created enough of a story that I was drawn into the various characters whose lives played out on the screen in front of me. It was a great find, and a perfect way to say goodbye to the people I love before moving on. These are the memories that I always have had about growing up with them, and even though I had already given my official goodbyes, it allowed me one more time with them before I left.

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