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Archive for August 23rd, 2008

Dubbing Memories

I’ve had these vhs tapes in my entertainment center from my 9th grade graduation, college graduation, my grandfather’s memorial service, summer camp reunion, and two tapes of footage from old reels from when my grandfather was a baby, my mom and her siblings as a baby, and my sister and me. 

I made a comment to the piano man a few weeks ago about it, about my worry of the tapes eventually disintegrating so they wouldn’t be passed along much further than my own children.

He arrived in town the other night, a day early to hear the band play last night and called to come say hello. When he arrived, he had a big box and said “I have a surprise for you.”

He opened it up and revealed a “dubber”. From vhs to dvd. He had it at home and brought it down, complete with dvds and cases. And then he proceeded to set it up and get the tapes rolling, the dvds recording. Taught me to do it so I could continue while he was playing down at the piano bar tonight.

It was one of the greatest gifts, aside from anything my children have given me, I’ve ever received. 

When I go home to Southern California, I wonder sometimes where what I once knew, has gone. The people who have changed, what happened to them? What happened to me? Nothing is the same and I realize that our memories always differ from what is currently there. The houses are bigger or smaller. The land is drier or greener. The people are nicer or ruder. The roads are more crowded or empty. Regardless, there is very little that is the same.

In watching the videos of my extended family, many have passed away, some have moved out of state as I have, others have disconnected from the family for one reason or another. My 9th grade and college graduations as well as the summer camp videos, I was able to pick out masses of people I am connected with still, some due to something called “Facebook”, others due to email and alumni networks, and some just because we made the effort over the years.

Watching the videos are so small compared to the memories they spark. And I don’t see the videos for the time that they lack, but for what they bring back.

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