Family Survey Suggestion
Prolonging the memories you choose
(those memories you don't want to lose)
requires some will.
Apply some skill,
and your records no one can refuse.
Preserving memories requires thinking ahead, now!
What it takes to get started:
This afternoon I played a cassette tape on our portable GE Tape Player/Recorder and was surprised to hear myself, the youngest three of our children, their mother, and two aunts recorded over 40 years ago. The children (all three born within 14 months due to twins) were still learning to talk.
The experience delighted my wife and me. I thought about how precious listening to the tape might be in the future for our five children and 17 grandchildren (not to mention the aunts.)
For some time I had been thinking about how to best preserve the many photographs we had taken over the years, and now the recordings seem to need some judicious saving as well.
Photographs can be handed down in albums, albums can be copied to CD's, tapes can be duplicated (as can CD's, recordings, and photos) but how long can the originals and copies survive?
In any case it is evident that working to preserve and pass along such memorabilia is not something we will want to put off doing.
It helps to be retired (almost) and to have time to work on such projects. I suspect that procrastinators will not be well remembered. Life is short and time is fleeting.
I chose my first step to be contacting our children to find out what playing and viewing capabilities they already have. By emailing them I quickly had details on whether or not they could listen to reel-to-reel tapes (we mailed small reel-to-reel tapes home from overseas when our first two children were crib-size, then toddlers, then learning to swim.) Did they have the capability to listen to cassette tapes and micro-cassetts tapes. Could they view photographic slides, watch video tapes, and CD's, etc.
Nowadays we could even ask whether or not they can play 45 rpm and 33 rpm records, and the 8-track cassette tapes. Not everyone can listen to those. Those who can may get some good tapes and records; collectibles they don't want can be sold to persons who can enjoy them.
As we think about "who should get what?" we find that we get into the broader field of anything around the house or apartment that has value to someone in the family. Books, photographs, paintings, souvenirs. hobby items, and the broader list of bigger, heavier items worth (and not worth) shipping.
What does it take to get started?
Actually that seed has already been planted. You are thinking about it already, and that's a start.
One thing to keep in mind is this quote from an expert: "Your CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes are not disintegrating on the shelves." Keep them away from magnets though, and dust them once in awhile, review, and be ready to disperse to where they will have the most lasting value.
© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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