Do you have old family VHS tapes laying around? For more than ten years, I’ve been talking with my dad about what to do with the old family video tapes. He purchased a video recorder in the early 1980′s, and faithfully followed us and everyone else around for years. Though my Dad and I kept talking about how to convert this footage, we never came to any sort of decisions on how to make it happen.
Last year when my VCR finally died and I realized I had no intentions of buying a new one, I decided it was time to take action. I wanted to finish this job, before we completely lost these family relics. I called to inquire about having them professionally transferred into dvd’s, but $20 for 40 minutes of tape is the going rate. Because I have about 1000 minutes total, I started researching ways to do it on my own instead, and I am so glad I did. I ordered VHS to DVD 5.0, and for for a mere $50 I can create as many DVD’s as I want with my footage. I can edit the video, cut up the content and separate it out with similar type of content, add special effects, titles, and there are all sorts of other great features too.
Today I hooked it up, which took all of 5 minutes. I hit play on the vcr I borrowed for the occasion and next thing I know I am watching footage of my grandparents, my sister, my mom & dad and myself on Christmas Eve in 1982 when I was 9 years old. I sat, stunned and glued to my chair for hours, watching (and recording to dvd) as we all celebrated Christmas & New Year’s with friends, neighbors and family. It amazed me how THIRTY YEARS later (!), that video tape can bring back such powerful feelings, memories and more. These tapes are all treasures, each moment as bizarre, and yet familiar as the next.
After watching only a small portion of the footage, here are some of the highlights:
- Grandparents. Wow, do I miss them.
- Awesome 80′s styles and hair
- The reminder of just how crooked my front teeth were- I really did need braces for all those years.
- I noticed that my sister’s 13 year old voice sounds so similar to my nephew’s, and her smile & eyes are the same as his.
- Some of my 9 year old mannerisms were the same as my 9 year old daughter’s.
- Seeing how fun and funny my parents were as parents, now that I’m a parent.
- Watching my sister and I fight nearly identically to the way my two daughters bicker now. Something to think about, but it also gives me hope because I consider my sister to be one of my best friends.
- The Christmas Gifts – ATARI Pacman for me, Dark Tower game for my sister. Plus ear muffs, socks, puffy vests, leg warmers, and lots of candy in the stocking. Oh yes, and I thought I never had barbies as a kid. Turns out I did.
- Watching how hard we all laughed when we gave my grandparents Santa & Mrs. Clause underwear for christmas one year.
- I played the flute when I was 9. And my sister played the dulcimer (one that she made, no less) when she was 13. I had forgotten.
- A fresh realization that Karma is a *itch, and the bad attitude I had as a teenager will surely come back to bite me in the rear.
- Watching the party celebrating my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary
- All the many revelations about our family dynamics. Hindsight really does bring so much clarity.
- Seeing myself as a ballgirl for Steffi Graf in a regional tennis tournament
You could tell that when I got into my teenage years, I was highly irritated with the video camera always being in my face, but now I am so grateful that my dad persisted in trying to record our every moment. I had no way to know back then how much I would appreciate watching these long forgotten moments so many years later! It’s wild to watch this footage, knowing how the story ended and what we’re doing with our lives. Our 1980′s selves would have never guessed where we all wound up.
SJPmama is the schemer, founder, and the editor at San Juan Parent. She created San Juan Parent because she wanted to find fun activities for families that would tire her kids out and make them go to bed at a decent hour. She has been banging away on computers for longer than she can remember and freelances at various tech jobs. She considers herself extremely lucky to have such awesome friends and family who are willing to let SJP feature their stories on the interwebs.
SJPmama is the schemer, founder, and the editor at San Juan Parent. She created San Juan Parent because she wanted to find fun activities for families in the San Juan Mountain Region that would tire her kids out and make them go to bed at a decent hour. She has been banging away on computers for longer than she can remember and freelances at various tech jobs. She considers herself extremely lucky to have such awesome friends and family who are willing to let SJP feature their stories on the interwebs.