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Thursday, January 28, 2010

#97 Family Videos

Continuing with the 100 life-enriching little nuances series…

On Christmas Day in 1996, my family on my dad’s side opened gifts at my grandmother’s house.

Grandma had one of those huge camcorders that looked like something a news crew might use (pretty much like the one pictured) while covering a breaking story. I used it to record our gift exchange.

The minute the final gift was opened, my dad waded up some gift wrapping paper and fired it at his wife. She returned fire, and it was on. My brother, Mark, didn’t need any more incentive than that and he joined the fight.

"Grandma, I got a Nintendo!" my niece said, not caring that her family was throwing wadded up gift wrapping paper at each other.

Dad fired at one of my sisters. She objected, playfully, but to no avail. Then it became every man for himself. At one point, my brother launched one at me and it hit the camera.

“Hey!” I said, not having a dog in the hunt.

Dad re-focused his attention on his wife, even calling out to my brother for reinforcement.

“Get her Mark!” Dad said. “I’ll get her from this side and you get her from that side.”

My grandma, watched from a chair across the room with a smile on her face. She was the queen of horseplay, so she must have felt like the baton had been passed on to next few generations.

I checked with my family yesterday and they are fine with me sharing a clip from the video:

I watched the video again yesterday several times and it brought a huge smile to my face. I can’t imagine not having access to it, or any other videos I recorded over the years. It is so much better than my memory. The videos captures hair styles, clothing, laughter, mannerisms – the things I may have forgotten.

Obviously, technology has changed since 1996. I have never bought a camcorder myself, but I have had several digital cameras that record video and I’ve recorded dozens if not hundreds of family functions over the years.

Yesterday, I saw a flip digital camcorder for $46.00. I didn’t buy it because I don’t know enough about digital camcorders yet to know if that particular one would have been any better than the video I can shoot with my digital camera, but once I’m convinced, I will buy one.

And years from now, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I’ll be able to click the play button on those videos and they will transport me back to another era.


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