Voices From The Past

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It has always been a toss up to me as to what might carry more emotional weight for someone… seeing a familiar image or hearing a familiar sound.  Today’s memory leans towards the audio vote.

I had a man come into the studio today carrying an armful of 1/4 inch reel to reel audio tapes. He was specifically looking for one he thought existed but none of the tapes were labeled so he didn’t know if he had found it. I had some free time so we starting playing through them. Most contained music that must have been performed 50 or more years ago. There was one consisting of a number of sermons recorded by the same preacher. And then we came to the last tape. At first we thought it was blank but we ran it through to the end and reversed it on the machine. When we started playing the other side, we were stunned to hear the clear and delightfully young voices of this man and his siblings playing with the tape recorder.

Immediately, the emotional level in the room red-lined. The man got quiet, his head bowed; my wife became visibly stirred, even I got a bit misty-eyed watching him drink in the voices from his past. His sister, no longer with us; his father, now in a nursing home but then a vibrant young man playing with his new family; and his own sweet pre-school aged voice. It was a touching moment and one I was quite privileged to experience.

Tomorrow, a video may evoke similar feelings but, today, just the sound of a few forgotten voices that electronically survived the passing years was able to melt three adult hearts… two of which had never heard them before. But there was that one heart who remembered them only too well and we felt and shared the emotion that flooded his soul.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

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