Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm just guessing -- jcarolek

This weekend I have been working hard trying to get last minute things done before my son's wedding next weekend. Well, hmm, I'm not actually DOING anything for that occasion, but more am getting things done so I don't have to DO them next weekend. I washed everything that didn't run away when I approached... windows, bedspreads, sheets, curtains... you get the idea. I got the annual caulking event completed so my windows will be ready for the winter months. I did a little touch-up repairs and painting on some walls. Today I sanded the last post on my front porch and the only piece left to treat before the front porch is complete. I'll get that finished by Tuesday at the latest.

Now, I am relaxing and working on a fun job. I am copying the MANY VHS tapes from my travels in CA over the past six months to DVD. My friends like to video tape EVERYTHING. And when we jam, they like to tape record AND videotape the whole time. As I write this post I am watching a video of one spectacular driving tour of Yosemite. The audio portion of the video is a combination of a tape recording of one of our jam sessions playing in the car tape player and my friend and me singing harmony with the tape. The drive is so very pleasant and the scenery incredible.

I got to thinking about this and I suspect there are not many who actually have such a video of their vacation. In the past, I have made slide shows of photos and dubbed in music. In the past I have had home videos taken in the car with the radio playing. In the past I have had videos taken of my friends and me singing. But this is a first, to have the video with the tape of us playing and our live harmony all in one.

And there is my friend whistling with the music... My mother used to be a fabulous whistler, but in our house whistling was not allowed. Outside whistling was fine, but never in the house. Somehow, in the car, with the scenery, the good company and the music we made playing, the whistling is delightful. And the complaining from the back seat by the friend who was growing tired and hungry while we in the front seat were still going strong on a little bread and cheese, still tickles me... he is a funny guy and we just pushed him to his limit with our passion to keep seeing more....

And if there is any doubt that I had a good time in Yosemite in April 2008, they would be put to rest just watching these videos. I swear, I laugh so much I sound like a little kid... everything was new and spirits were so good. Jamming with friends at night and enjoying the company of these same friends as we toured that beautiful area of California is something I won't soon forget. And if, per chance I SHOULD forget it, all I will need to do is pop in the DVDs I made from the tapes and I will be immediately back in the comfortable, easy feeling of that magical two-week period in April, 2008.

I have many such tapes to dub, and, eventually, editing will be done for a "cleaner" copy to share, but for me, I will want to keep the original, uncut version.... for it contains the little back and forth chatter that makes this such a delightful experience for those who were there, and which would, in all likelihood be boring to others.

In July I bought a new Panasonic camcorder with a 30GB hard drive. The tiny camera that fits comfortably in one hand and which weighs only a few ounces is quite modern compared to the behemoth VHS recorder we used in April and May and June and July in CA. The videos are easily ported to DVD's with a single button push. The picture is excellent and the sound very good. I'm very happy with the new camcorder... but that old behemoth will always have a special place in my heart.

Yes, I'm just guessing that very few people have the beauty Yosemite captured with the accompaniment of "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," "Go Tell it on the Mountain," "You are my Sunshine," "Amazing Grace," ...well you get it... just a few hours in the greater scheme of things... just a few delightful hours out of a lifetime of memories.... this one, I will certainly treasure.

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