Sunday, 12 May 2013

Opportunities Lost

Recording Precious  Memories

I was going through my collection of video tapes the other day and I came across a treasure that becomes more precious with each passing year.  It's an amateur movie I had "commissioned"  of a casual "Family Reunion" of relatives and family back in July of 1996.  It was an impromptu reunion.  My sisters Nellie and Helen and my brother John from  Ontario, had come to visit me  and my brother Mike in Manitoba so we had invited cousins, aunts, and uncles from the surrounding area to join us for a dinner and get-together.

On a stroke of  inspiration, I had asked a friend, who owned a movie camera, to film the event.  He was not a professional photographer, nor did he have the best equipment on the market.  And we hardly had a decent setup for the event.  Our mobile home did not provide enough room for a huge gathering nor did it offer the conveniences for it, but it had a roofed-in deck twelve by twenty feet. There, we set up a couple of long tables and chairs that we had borrowed from the parish hall. Our guests squeezed in as best they could on that crowded deck around those tables piled high with festive food. George, our video man, set up his camera on a tripod in the carport at the far end of deck and set it rolling.  He did not have much choice of where to film from, but he did the best he could with the equipment he had and with the limited space and setup available to him.

We have about  four hours of video of that glorious afternoon.  There are only  a few of us left of that big group of thirty-five-plus that laughed and enjoyed that wonderful afternoon of family camaraderie.  Watching that tape now tears at our heartstrings to watch the antics of that carefree group on that most memorable day.  Little did we know that that silly amateurish movie would immortalize those very dear and unforgettable folks for very appreciative generations for years to come.  That tape was made in VHS. It has now been copied onto a CD.  Already many of those people are gone but their voices and their laughter will remain with us, and our descendants, forever!

Those get-togethers were so precious.  Many of them were at my place.  Why had we not thought of taping them all? Or at least, more of them!  What precious opportunities we missed!

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