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.