As I mentioned in my last post, lately I’ve been focusing on organization. When I took a trip to Hoboken a couple weeks ago to clean up our storage unit, I found a torn up bag filled with the old Hi8 video tapes that I had recorded in high school. Over the last two weeks I’ve slowly been digitizing them so that, in 50 years when I want to recall how I spent my youth, I will have video records to share with the world.
I remember the camcorder fondly. I had spent months saving every penny I could. In the summer, I worked as a life guard at a local pool. When the manager found out that I didn’t know how to swim, I got shifted over to maintenance, which I enjoyed even more. I savored the freedom to rummage through the closets and machine room, finding things to fix, checking the chemicals, outfitting myself from the lost and found, and feeling responsible for the operation of my favorite summer hangout. Once school started I would pocket my lunch money every day, opting instead to eat the leftovers abandoned by most students, often up to half of their meal. My developing brain was fueled by tater tots and chocolate chip cookies.
I had picked out the camera before I even started saving. Took a weekend trip to Best Buy to try it out, feel it in my hands, compare it to the rest. I remember when I got it how different things looked through the viewfinder, as if observing from another world. I filmed often, brought the camera to school, on trips, made movies, and re-explored the world around me, capturing every moment along the way.
Looking at the footage now, I obviously loved surprising people with the camera. Much, though, is simply observations, watching how things work; a stereo, a toilet, fire, a slug. Here is a two minute video to serve as an overview of what I saw through the lens as a teenager.