When I visited my parents last February, I spent some time examining a small reel of 8mm film – footage from my the wedding of my grandparents, Cy Kaplan and Theresa Goldman, in December 1938. The film was practically falling apart, and much of it had been damaged years ago when my grandfather had someone clean the film, and they ended up corroding it instead.
I spent a lot of time investigating ways to restore and digitize the film, along with a number of other reels we had from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. So you can imagine my surprise when I came back to Florida to see my parents and grandmother this week, and they told me that a cousin of mine had given them a copy of all of the footage on a DVD. It turns out that when my grandfater had the film restored, they got transferred to a VHS copy. A cousin had a copy of this tape, so he decided to burn it to DVD and send it out to the family.
A couple of nights ago, we spent the evening watching the footage, largely at half-speed, so my grandmother could identify people for us. Even though she's 92 years old, it's amazing how many people she could spot almost instantly. She also got to see footage of her parents, who died more than 60 years ago, for the first time in decades.
Since I've been documenting my grandmother's stories on this blog, I thought I'd share her wedding film as well. It's about seven minutes long, including the very end of the ceremony, the wedding reception, and brunch back at her family's house in Chelsea, MA the next day. I know it might not be very interesting to everyone, but having it in digital form means the world to us. -andy