Posts Tagged With: dancing

Really – reel to reel

Bill and Paula Duff with Bill and June Malloff in Nassau.

The box was larger than a bread basket, but smaller than a television (the old ones!),  and it was very well bound with packing tape.

The label screamed at me. “Bill and Paula Duff”.  Egad.  This was a real treasure trove!  Here, in this box, were Mom and Dad’s memories.

When Jamie and I were investigating the things Mom stored in the pantry of their condo, we discovered two boxes of reel-to-reel film.  Of course, Mom had also preserved the projector, splicer, and old camera and these sat well organized right beside the movies.  We took the old movies out to examine what was there.  “New Lowell, Duffs, and Malloff Clan”, read the labels from one box of movies.  This was the series that was to be developed first.

Costco prints old reel-to-reel to DVD at a very good price and so… off they went.. and yesterday …. here they were.

Finally, the box was freed from tape and I carefully open the flap.  There it was – ONE DVD.  On the outside were images (59 in total) of every “scene” that was contained on the DVD.  There was also a label warning that some of the film had been over-exposed, some under-exposed, and some with dust, hair… and whatnot.  How would the movies look afterall?  I didn’t really care – I just knew I was holding fast to history.  And it was to be a history that revealed a world through the eyes of Mom and Dad.  What had they seen?   What had they deemed to be important enough to film?  Who were their friends?  How had they lived?  All these questions would be answered – presently.

I slid the DVD into the player, with the help of my 9 year old I might add, and suddenly there they were – Mom and Dad in 59 scenes.  “Which scene would you like to choose?”,  opted the play menu.  I chose “Play from the beginning”.

Fantastic. Costco had added music – their music – the music of the 40s and 50s.

Fantastic.  Mom and Dad were dancing.  It was a party.  Mom and Dad were serving turkey dinner to guests.  Mom was showing off her beautiful new gown to the camera.  Dad was shoveling snow.  Don Duff was mowing his lawn.  Lou Duff was pushing her daughter Nancy on the swing.  The animals in the zoo were racing around.  The flamingos in Nassau were nibbling at their lunch.  The lighthouses in PEI appeared far below from the plane where Dad had obviously flown over.  The Hepplestons and Duffs were together – eating – laughing.  There was a lot of laughter.  It seemed everyone was laughing.  I think I saw Grandma and Grandpa Malloff – but I couldn’t be sure as I had never met them.  And there was the house that Dad built for Mom and Dad in New Lowell.


It was rich.

I was watching history that no one else at that moment had access to.

I must figure out how to copy this history to embed it into this blog.

I must figure out how to copy the DVD to offer these special images to my cousins.

It is funny how video can transcend time.  I am so blessed to have known my parents as adults.  I am so curious now to know about my parents as a young couple.  I am so blessed to have just a little insight into the young Bill and Paula through reel-to-reel.

Categories: Duff History, Family and Friends, Life After Dad, New Lowell | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Red Lobster: A “Vital” Dining Experience

I danced with Martin yesterday to Anne Murray’s Snowbird… played on my nephew’s iphone… in Red Lobster.

The waitress said, this is one of the nicest celebrations I’ve ever seen… with a tear in her eye.

David, our host, towered above the eclectic crew of 14 who had gathered in the restaurant’s back room to honour life.  Nay a tear was shed there – it just could not happen.  There was too much to be thankful for.

We were all eating food that we knew Mom and Dad – Bill and Paula – Nanna and Poppa – Grandma and Grandpa liked.  It was as though eat mouthful tasted better than anything I had ever tasted in my life.  It had to.  The food represented Mom and Dad’s lives: succulent, flavourful, rich, well-done, elegant, timely, well seasoned.  I could go on.  Suffice it to say – the meal nourished our souls.

How can one capture the essence of what had just happened only an hour previous to these dining and dancing delights?

Food has always been a big part of our lives.  Growing up, my brother would always ask for the same thing from Mom for his birthday dinner:  escargots, fondue, pineapple delight, and garlic bread.  The escargots at Red Lobster were almost too much to take.  I must confess they almost brought a tear to my eye – our connection to food appears to be one of the last “senses” to go – if that makes sense?  Jamie, Martin and I had to order lobster (not grilled, but steamed) for Dad, and scallops for Mom (count how many are on the plate!).  Fantastic.  Megan ordered the coconut shrimp that Mom had always ordered when she and Megan and she and I and my kids ate at Red Lobster.  Fantastic.  Again – the shrimp almost brought a tear.  I could go on.

Food is memories.  And every memory associated with food is happy.  Who wouldn’t be happy eating Mom’s roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding?  Well, again, to be honest – we were not all such big fans of the Yorkshire Pudding, but were all too ashamed to not eat these works of art so carefully and lovingly prepared for dinner by Mom.  She had a special pan that still sits almost religiously in the pantry – untouched since the last time “she” used it.  “No soap on that pan!”, she would insist.  The soap would affected the taste of the puddings.

Food is comforting.  All 14 of us walked into Red Lobster yesterday not knowing how to feel.  We were slightly lost and although we knew each other very well – we were all slightly uncomfortable with the newness of this unlikely new family we had formed.  Here we were – how had it come that we all were gathered together?  We all sat – our new family – to enjoy a meal together.  How Mom would have celebrated.

And then there was the wine.  I could go on.

Yesterday’s meal brought a group of people together who represented all ages in life, all walks in life, all sizes, shapes, and colours… as a family.  It had been a “vital” dining experience for all of us.

Dad:  You done good kid!

Mom:  Wonderful.  I just love those coconut shrimp, but I can make escargots better!

Stacey:  It was sure nice that you could join us yesterday, Mom and Dad.

Jamie (to the other 13):  On behalf of Mom and Dad, I’d like to thank-you for helping us to celebrating the lives of Bill and Paula Duff.

All:  TTFN

Categories: Duff History, Family and Friends, Life After Dad, Life's Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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