March 26, 2019 – “The Real St. Augustine”

Hello, everyone!

I apologize for the delay: I needed time to work on more important matters. Regardless, the Home Movie Collection continues to surprise me regarding what people consider valuable enough to capture on film. For instance, the family I am currently watching footage from constantly features family members walking on sidewalks and even repeating the shot. I wondered about the possibility that this family tried to make their home movies seem more “cinematic” (if so, they did a terrible job editing the footage). Within the questionable footage, some moments of clarity broke through the confusion such as positively identifying St. Augustine, Florida.

After installing the Home Movie Collection hard drive, I resumed my progress with the next batch of films. Most of the footage involved the usual sights: birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, kids playing in the backyard, etc. The first reel file did contain that odd footage of various family members walking down a sidewalk and the following shot seemed to be the same people reshooting the same actions (slight differences, though). Very bizarre, especially since all the previous donated films did not exhibit this behavior.

The second film reel file did not contain any of the bizarre instances seen in the first. Granted, birthday parties and the like still appeared. In regards to any unique locales, this reel contained footage of a location very familiar to me. The notes said the family visited St. Augustine. The last time St. Augustine appeared in these notes, the footage clearly disproved those descriptions very fast.

Understandably, I watched the video with a skeptic’s eyes. My concerns seemed unfounded as I recognized the railings and the bridge as those from St. Augustine. As a precaution, I quickly used Google Maps’ street side feature to confirm that the footage indeed depict the oldest city in the United States. The Bridge of Lions’ design stands out, even from a distance.

The notes mentioned that family filmed their interactions within proximity of the Castillo de San Marcos. The film did not show the Spanish fort at all, despite the fact the family took a horse carriage ride through the city.  Very surprising, indeed.

The family also visited Walt Disney World. Compared to previous entrants in the collection, this family did not film as much of the theme park. They mostly filmed sights and cast member entertaining park guests in Main Street USA. The family also filmed a parade celebrating the re-release of Pinocchio in theaters (later, the family attended a Pinocchio stage show). The children flocked to the Dumbo ride, the family filmed Cinderella’s Castle, and ended their experience by filming the Walt Disney World Train Station at night.

Eventually, my shift ended. I saved my work, packed the hard drive, and  returned it to the stacks. Afterward, I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day.

In review, I watched more footage from the Home Movie Collection and happily confirmed that the family in the footage indeed visited St. Augustine. Tomorrow, I finish the last film reel donated by this particular family. Until then, enjoy the rest of the evening and stay safe! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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