April 7, 20200

Trying to look ahead to the unknown things that may await us in our future can be, especially in times of crisis, somewhat unsettling. For that reason, we often take comfort at looking back at memorable times in our past that make us smile. At least I do.

When I think of my past, I invariably return to the summers of my “teenhood.” My family belonged to our community pool. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day was spent, more often than not, at that concrete oasis where I first learned to swim, later to match myself against others in swimming competitions.

Being part of a summer swim team was the first time I completely immersed myself in a communal society of sorts. Being part of that team; wearing their colors (usually in the form of a rather ugly speedo racing suit) was my sole identifier during those formative summers.

And I have just recently discovered that I was not alone in that assessment. I recently found an Super 8 reel of film that contained footage of my old swim team during one of their away meets. I decided to post it on a closed Facebook group comprised of people who went to the same high school as I. I was shocked to see the reaction to that footage. People I haven’t seen in over 45 years started posting and sharing their stories and memories. They helped to identify people who appeared in their younger forms in that footage and ‘tagging’ other people who they thought would be blessed to see the past come to life again. It felt kind of good to get the whole gang together again.

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

Sugar Bread


There are memories that are so vivid they seem like they happened yesterday. Then, there are others that seem like you’re remembering them through a fog. This is one of the latter kind.

I was having a conversation the other day and the subject of childhood snacks came up. As we started naming the various kinds of snack foods we were allowed to eat while we were young, I suddenly blurted out: “Sugar Bread!”

That stopped things.

What I vaguely remember is, as a snack, we were given toast or bread, slathered with butter, with sugar granules sprinkled liberally on top. And by sprinkled liberally, I mean to say dumped. I also remember it being delicious.

I don’t suppose, with the health craze being what it is today, that current youngsters have had the opportunity to sample this particular snack food. They don’t know what they’re missing.

I don’t care how bad a day it had been, warm bread, melted butter, and a spoonful of sugar always seemed to make everything all right. It has been five decades since I’ve had this delicacy. And I most likely will never try it again. Some things are just better as memories.

One of these days, I’ll have to share with you how to make the perfect liverwurst sandwich.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories by transferring old media (film, videos, slides, photos, and audio recordings) into newer digital forms. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

Construction Zone


Perspective is everything.

I spent much of yesterday evening in a community meeting with neighbors trying to get information regarding the construction planned in and around our home for the next couple of years. Our quaint little town is becoming more accessible to the outside world and as traffic increases, so must the roadways.

Some of our concerns involve safety, noise pollution, land grading and flooding potential, HOA involvement, speeding through and past our community, egress in and out of our neighborhood, impact on property values, among many others.

When my family first moved into the home I lived in during my grade school years, our little Maryland suburban neighborhood was just getting started. I remember living with a construction site in our back yard for what seemed to me to be two or three years. It was great.

Bear in mind, as a mischievous young boy, I had none of the concerns mentioned above. All I saw was a vast, untamed playground with enormous dirt mounds, plenty of rocks, and giant machines that could double for anything from alien spaceships to parts of an abandoned western ghost town. I spent many after school hours there, lost in my imagination.

As an adult, I seem inclined to want to control my surroundings – shape them to my liking. As a child, having no control, it was easier to accept things as they came and find the enjoyment within them. It may be a little wistful naïveté speaking, but I miss those days.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

Got Milk?



Memory triggers are strange things. You never expect them and can never know where they might lead. But, perhaps because of what I do for a living, they occur to me on a regular basis.

Please bear in mind, I am a nice person. I’m never hateful; I bear no animosity towards anyone. But there is something in my character that enjoys making people laugh at inappropriate moments. Nothing vindictive… just an over-abundance of playful fun.

Last night I made a joke in response to something my wife said at the dinner table. The problem is that I instinctively waited until she had taken a sip of her wine. There is nothing wrong with that per se. The spit take is a classic comedy bit. It is just that it loses a little humor when employed in real life situations.

But, in my defense, it is deeply ingrained in my soul. I still remember myself some 50 years ago. For me, my junior high school success was found in the lunchroom – by the daily recounting of how many people I could get to pass milk through their nose. It is a developed talent. Timing is everything. And, I am sad to say, I worked at perfecting the technique. I actually got quite good at it. To the point where it became second nature.

Why my peers continued to sit at my lunch table I’ll never know. Maybe they thought I wouldn’t turn my special super power upon them and they just wanted to see some other poor soul pour milk from their nostrils. But I was completely non-discriminatory. If an opportunity knocked, I answered no matter who the victim would be and more times than not I was greeted with a lactate explosion. It never failed to satisfy.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

Cartoon Memories


Boy, make one mention of a childhood cartoon and the memories start flooding in. I was born in the 50s and spent most of my childhood in the 60s. Naturally, cartoons are going to be a major part of my early memories.

Here are some of the familiar catchphrases said by popular cartoon characters of my youth. To reveal the speaker, drag your cursor over the open space to the right of the quote. How many did you remember?

20. “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” – Snagglepuss

19. “Boop boop da boop” – Betty Boop

18. “Oh, Magoo.. you’ve done it again.” – Mr. Magoo

17. “Nothing up my sleeve.” – Bullwinkle the Moose

16. “Yabba Dabba Doo!” – Fred Flintstone

15. “I’m smarter than the av-er-age bear.” – Yogi Bear

14. “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” – Popeye

13. “Here I come to save the day!” – Mighty Mouse

12. “Hokey Smoke.” – Rocket J. Squirrel

11. “You’re dethspicable.” – Daffy Duck

10. “Beep Beep” – The Roadrunner

9. “Oh bother.” – Winnie the Pooh

8. “Silly Wabbit.” – Elmer Fudd

7. “Bing Bing Bing!” – Ricochet Rabbit

6. “Suffern’ succotash!” – Sylvester the Cat

5. “Exit Stage Left” – Snagglepuss.

4. “I tawt I taw a puddy tat.” – Tweety Bird

3. “There’s no need to fear…” – Underdog

2. “What’s up, doc?” – Bugs Bunny

1. “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” – Porky Pig

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit