Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shoot your parents today

If you don’t own a camcorder, you should buy or borrow one for a project that you’ll treasure forever.

The project?

Record your parents reminiscing and recounting the major milestones and crossroads in their lives.

I did this 21 years ago, in November 1988. My parents, Frank and Alice Hunt, didn’t really want to do it. I had to persuade them over a period of weeks to sit down in front of my Sony Betacam and I’m grateful they finally capitulated.

My dad died eight years after that video was made and my mom is now in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.

At $1,300, that Sony camcorder was quite the investment back then. Today, you can buy a camcorder with a better picture, complete with software to upload your videos to YouTube, for around $200.

I copied the original beta tape to VHS about ten years ago. That transfer, along with storing the tape in less than optimum places, has degraded the video quality significantly, but it’s still pretty good and is, by far, my favorite video.

My suggestion to you? Don’t put it off. Shoot that video now. You’ll be glad you did.

Part 1: Siblings and Parents

Part 2: Alice's Siblings and Growing Up

Part 3: Alice's Parents and First Cars

Part 4: Frank Enlists and How They Met

Part 5: Marriage and Pre-Deployment Training

Part 6: Deployment to North Africa

Part 7: Italy, End of War, and Reuniting

Part 8: Kenedy, Alaska, Ft. Bragg and Japan

Part 9: Camp Drake, Japan, and Ft. Bliss

Copyright 2009 Randy Hunt


  1. Thank you for sharing. Wonderful post.

  2. Love, love, love this idea! I'm going to do it to as many relatives as I can!

  3. Excellent idea - as a professional videographer (live in Falmouth) I am all for preserving histories on video. I have taped quite a few over the last few years. My email is

  4. I read this article several times in disbelief - I have been trying for several years to have a Beta tape converted to either VHS or DVD - is it possible? The Center in Hyannis cannot handle Beta, and I have a tape of my father that I would like to be able to share with my adult children - who never knew him. I've even tried a few TV stations without success. Please, please contact

  5. I'll check around. The deck I used doesn't work anymore, but there are many for sale on various sites on the Internet.

  6. I gave a shout to my two best sources and they could not come up with a Betamax. nybor54, you will have to google a service that will do this for you or buy a refurbished deck. If you use a service, make sure they're reputable because you'd be giving them your only copy of this material. If you buy a deck, I'll help you digitize your videos.


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