As I watched more and more content from the Home Movie Collection, I noticed a common trait among the digitized files: the files tended to be comprised of several reels of footage joined together. The set of films I started to watch today broke that trend and the vast majority remained separate clips, each approximately four minutes in length. The content ranged from birthday parties, flag football, a trip to Walt Disney World, and, curiously, an Italian Renaissance Festival at Villa Vizcaya in Miami, Florida. Each seemed like short stories in a larger storybook. In that case, reading from chapter one seems like a good place to start.
The first small clip featured the family visiting Walt Disney World in 1987. They rode Thunder Mountain, interacted with Disney mascots such as Chip and Dale, and went to Tomorrowland. Despite these wonderful experience, the footage paled in comparison to past sets donated by other families.
By enlarge, the majority of these clips revolved around birthdays or “first” moments. Particularly, the husband and his very pregnant wife enjoyed their first wedding anniversary in 1974 by recreating some classic wedding traditions. Kissing the bride, cutting the cake (they used the top that usually sits on large wedding cakes on a much smaller cake), and feeding each other cake counted among those recreated traditions. Other precious moments include their eldest son’s first Easter, their daughter’s first couple of birthdays, and Thanksgiving in Inverness, Florida (which I did not know even existed until today).
In my opinion, the most interesting clip featured the family visiting Villa Vizcaya in Miami, Florida during an Italian Renaissance Festival. Now called the Vizcaya Museum and Garden, the site hosted this festival annually from 1982 to 2003. As filmed by the family, the festival featured mock sword fighting, singing and dancing with accompaniment, people role-playing as characters like a hunchback, and entertainers like a man walking stilts. Of course, the children enjoyed the food offered there as well.
The films also included random antics by the children. Whether the sons pretended to be an elite army task force while dressed in camouflage or dressed in a bathrobe while wearing their father’s shoes as toddlers, these small moments certainly provided the family with great entertainment. I appreciated these snippets as they reminded me of my family’s own home videos and perhaps those need to be digitized sometime soon.
Eventually, my shift came to end and I prepared to initiate closing procedures. I saved my work, unplugged the hard drive, and returned all materials to the stacks. Afterward, I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day.
In review, I watched clips of a family’s life during the 1970s and 1980s. On Friday, I plan to finish this set and move ever closer to finishing the guide. Until then, enjoy the rest of the day and stay safe! Bye!