Friday, August 31, 2012


Twenty Year Leap

Twenty years ago, to the day, one of my best gradeschool friends (Ben S.) and I made a video penpal 'letter' for a girl/friend we had both been writing to for a few years. It featured the two of us 'tooling around' our homes and neighbourhoods in our hometown of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The penpal got a copy, Ben made a copy, and the original 8mm tape was 'put away' somewhere in Ben's house. It was always my intention to make myself a copy, but I never did. In the following years the video would occasionally bubble up from my subconscious and I would bug Ben about finding any of the copies for me to dub, to no avail. Earlier this year, my brothers and I made a nostalgia trip to P.A. (the first time that all three of us had returned together in our adult lives). The events of that trip deserve an entire post of their own, but here's a taste:

5th, 4th, and 3rd of 5
On a whim, I sent a text to Ben, now living in Calgary. He, in turn, called his mom. She, it just so happened, was packing boxes of Ben's old stuff AT THAT VERY MOMENT! The tape she had just seen was unidentified other than a date: "aug 31 1992". It seemed the most likely candidate. Within an hour I had it in my eager hand. My father offered to find out if he still had access (through work or otherwise) to equipment that would allow him to burn 8mm to DVD, or at least play the tape to determine if it was what I sought. As it happens, he had  everything he needed at home.
One of two times I recall seeing Vin in a tree!

Last Saturday I sat down at my parents house near Saskatoon for a rare chance to peer back into the home and bedroom of my teenage years - specifically the summer between grades ten and eleven. My own son, 14 years old as of five days ago, got to see his father's adolescent counterpart for about half an hour of teenage silliness. A rare treat for both of us. The geek in me found it a bit of sci-fi bliss!

Highlights include:
-Seeing the old basement AMIGA setup.
-My dog, Tina.
-A thoroughly postered room, complete with Bat-shrine.
-Appearances by my brother, Captain Orange, and friend Darren T.
-Hardware: You Can't Stop Progress!
-"Twenty-One" on the tarmac behind my old elementary school (now demolished).

While I intend to tease out each little bit of trivia I spot, frame by frame, and savour the whole process, tonight I'm going to simply enjoy sharing this out-of-time experience with all of you.
(annotations under construction)

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