Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Father's Gift To Me

One of the questions I often ask my clients is what traits they think they've inherited from their parents. With the approach of Father's Day I got to thinking about my Dad who passed away over twenty years ago and his influence on my life. There are the obvious things such as being a positive role model and providing financial and emotional security for my family but a more subtle one has turned out to be very significant as well: My Dad loved to take home movies. And he took these starting back in the early 1940s when my 6 older siblings were young and continued this chronicle through the 50s and early 60s adding me and three other children along the way. The first films are in a grainy black and white shot on a 16 mm movie camera with no sound. These are short clips and as in most home videos, they more than likely record a new baby or a holiday. The films improve over the years with color and better quality images but he never changed cameras. Even though one DVD will hold all of the footage he took over the years, they vividly reflect a lot of my family's history as I was growing up. And that impression has always stayed with me. When our children were young, we bought a video camera even though our funds were limited because when capturing those moments, you don't get a second chance.

When I conduct interviews or create a tribute for a client, I will ask if they have any home movies they would like me to take snips of to include in the DVD. Often, the reply is that their family never used a video camera and have only still pictures. This is not necessarily related to the family's economic situation; it's often something that just never occurred to the family to do. I'm grateful to my Dad for showing me how priceless video can truly be and for providing a treasured family keepsake along the way.

You can see snippets of his home movies starting in the 8th minute of a tribute I did for my mother's 90th birthday; in fact, it ends with some footage he took around 1940 of my mother on a scooter.

Bridget Poizner