Forever Lighting The Way

Today’s blog is a repost taken from The Real Estate Reporter and ERA Grizzard Real Estate. Thanks for the history reminder.

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Set against the backdrop of the Harris Chain of Lakes, Mount Dora is a historical city that dates back to 1846. Nestled along the shores of its namesake lake is arguably the city’s most iconic landmark, the Mount Dora Lighthouse. 

The Mount Dora Lighthouse was built to serve as a navigational aid for boaters and water enthusiasts. Sitting along the edge of Lake Dora on Grantham Point, the lighthouse guides boaters along the shoreline to local boat ramps at Gilbert Park and Simpson’s Cove as well as the Mount Dora Marina.

Those who call Mount Dora home have grown to know the lighthouse as one the most recognizable and beloved landmarks in the city. 

The Story Behind the Lighthouse

Boasting some of the largest lakes in Florida, the Harris Chain of Lakes is an area treasured for its natural beauty as well as the ideal destination for boating and fishing. This chain includes Lake Dora – the lighthouse’s home.

These interconnected lakes were an important draw for the area’s first settlers and remain a fisherman and boater’s paradise today. Encompassing 4,475 acres, Lake Dora is one of the largest bodies of water in the area and therefore has become a prime location for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. 

Its origins  stem from local fisherman and boaters who were finding it difficult to travel from nearby Tavares to Mount Dora in the dark. Civic leaders and members of the community took this need to heart and began researching ways to alleviate this issue. 

With an appeal to members of the community, over $3,000 was raised to erect this 35-foot lighthouse that stands watch over the Port of Mount Dora. Open since March 25, 1988, the Mount Dora Lighthouse was built using a brick base and a stucco outer surface.

Powered by a 750-watt photocell, the lighthouse utilizes a blue pulsator to help guide boaters around Lake Dora after dusk and stands as the only inland freshwater lighthouse in Florida today. Its trademark look was created using alternating stripes of red and white paint as well as a white hexagonal lantern. 

Today’s Beloved Icon

Visitors are encouraged to walk along Grantham Point and enjoy its spectacular views. Referred by locals as “Lighthouse Park,” this area is a short walk from the quaint streets of downtown Mount Dora and is ideally situated next to Gilbert Park and Simpson’s Cove.

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the point and follow a pathway to the nearby Palm Island Park Boardwalk. This stretch of boardwalk offers picturesque views back to the lighthouse, particularly when the sun is setting.

Residents of Mount Dora treasure their beloved lighthouse and celebrate its history and beauty with events held during the year. A boat parade kicks off the holiday season with local boat owners displaying an array of lights and decor as they cruise along Grantham Point and the Mount Dora Lighthouse.

On New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July, the Mount Dora Lighthouse comes alive as fireworks light up the sky along Grantham Point. Regattas and boat races are also a regular event along the waters of Grantham Point, offering scenic vistas of the sailboats as they pass this iconic lighthouse.

From reminding us of the city’s historic past to holding a special place in our hearts today, the Mount Dora lighthouse is just one piece of what makes calling this city home so special. 

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

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White Dove Of The Desert

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When married to a history buff, you kind of get used to making little unexpected side trips.  Yesterday, it was to the Tohono O’odham Indian reservation, located about 40 minutes from our hotel.  There, in the middle of nowhere, appeared an attractive, gleaming white multi-storied structure. Nicknamed “the White Dove of the Desert,” the Mission San Xavier del Bac is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona.

The Catholic mission was founded by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692, and the structure itself was built some 100 years later. It is still in operation, serving the local community, the village of Wa:k.

The history is kind of interesting. When the mission was built in the 1700s, Southern Arizona was actually part of New Spain. Following Mexican independence in 1821, San Xavier became part of Mexico. And it finally became part of the United States with the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.

Renovation and restoration efforts continue as the mission has survived an earthquake in 1887, a lightning strike in 1937 and years of neglect as changes in territorial rights and authority led to an absence of oversight.

Still, thanks largely to the local population, the mission continues to fulfill its purpose while attracting thousands of visitors to the area. If you happen to find yourself in the Tucson area, it is certainly worth a side trip.

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

Note: Michael & Kate remain in Tucson, Arizona while attending the 18th annual Home Video Studio Getaway. Our gala awards banquet is Saturday night. Our studio has been nominated in seven different categories. We’ll post the results once they are known.

Our Memories Become History

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I had a client come in yesterday with a request. He recently came back from a trip to the holy land and was meeting that evening with other people – some who were on the trip with him and others who wanted to see what they missed.

His request was simple. Take the photos that were taken during the trip and put them into a Powerpoint presentation that could be displayed during his speech. And as we were going through the photos to choose which ones to include in his presentation, the emotional impact the trip had on him shone through. He is a local minister and during his trip he had the opportunity to stand on the same temple steps where Jesus Christ once stood and deliver the same sermon that Jesus once gave to the people who followed him. It was an experience that will now be etched into his memory forever.

And it did not escape me that a main reason the experience had that impact on him is because the memory of what Jesus did was recorded and preserved for over two thousand centuries.

History is nothing more than memories that have been preserved. We know the acts of Jesus because his words and actions were written down. Since then, languages may have changed but, as they did, the original texts were translated into the new languages. The memories themselves did not die. They were preserved for future generations and future cultures.

We have the ability to do the same. We have been able to record the memories of our lives only to find that technology changed while we were living it. That doesn’t mean our memories are suddenly lost. We can convert our older recorded memories to today’s newer technologies. Our memories can still become tomorrow’s history. We just need to take the steps to ensure they will be preserved.

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

When Histories Intersect

 

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Before I got into the business of digital archiving, I admit I was one of those who compartmentalized history into two groups: There was the history we learned in school – famous names, dates, important battles – and then there was your personal history – where you came from, who your ancestors were, what you ate for lunch last week…

But soon after I began working with people’s personal histories, it immediately became apparent that there is no divide. All history is personal.

Today, a client hired me to digitize a dozen audio cassettes. They all contain the interviews she had with her mother, a Hungarian immigrant. Hours upon hours of personal recollection recorded on audio tape of what her life was like. And the client put a bit of a rush on it because she is soon flying off to meet with the offspring of the people that saved her mother and entire family from the Holocaust. The audio tapes contain a first hand narrative from someone who was there. And she thought the family who saved her family might like to hear it.

Personal History and World History cross paths. And they do so more often than we recognize.

Never discount the experiences you have lived through. They may be the history tomorrow’s children study.

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

Happy Birthday Sergei Eisenstein!

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I don’t know if anyone noticed that Google paid homage to Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein yesterday. It would have been his 120th birthday.

I studied Eisenstein’s work when I was in college – particularly his masterpiece silent film “Battleship Potemkin.” His primary contribution to the film world was his development of the film montage – editing disparate clips in a way to evoke emotion and add to a story in a brief period of time,

The role of a film editor is often largely overlooked by the general public but there are few other contributors that have as great an impact on the final product. The editor, more than anyone else is tasked with capturing the heart of a film and delivering it to an eager audience. If he does his job well, no one notices him… they’re too involved in the story he pieced together.

Eisenstein’s work today may seem dated or even antiquated. But there is no mistaking that it was revolutionary in its time. The Odessa Steps sequence in Battleship Potemkin (filmed in 1925) is still studied in film classes today. It was even successfully copied in many other films decades later including: Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables; Terry Gilliam’s Brazil; George Lucas’s Star Wars III; and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.

As someone who edits video, I can appreciate how a film is enhanced and improved through the work of someone who takes raw footage and converts it to a finished product. It takes skill to shoot video. It takes a different skill to shape the video shot into a final product that will engage an audience.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. We also edit those memories to tell the story you want future generations to remember. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

 

 

 

Kiwanis: What’s in a name?

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A shout out to the Golden Triangle Kiwanis Club who graciously invited me to be a guest speaker at one of their breakfast meetings last month. I spoke on how digital technology can help us preserve our memories and build a legacy for our families. (And on a side note: the photo infused thank you card was a nice touch. Class move there Kiwanis.)
The Kiwanis are an international, coeducational organization dedicated to serving the needs of children within their local communities through fundraising and participating in local service projects.
The original motto for the Kiwanis was “We Trade.” It was changed by a vote of its members in 1920 to become “We Build,” which stood as its motto for the next 80 years. Recently, a new motto was voted in to better reflect the goals of the organization. “Serving the Children of the World” is its current motto and it is what the Kiwanis are all about.
Oddly enough, the word Kiwanis comes from the Ojibwe language and, according to Wikipedia, can be loosely translated to mean “I fool around.” Whether that is true or not, based on the camaraderie exhibited at the meeting I attended, the members there do know how to entertain themselves while, at the same time making a pretty significant impact in the lives of some local kids.
If anyone is looking for volunteer opportunities to help make this world a better place for our children, the Kiwanis Club may provide you with the perfect platform. Search out a local chapter near you.
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Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. And we are available for speaking engagements. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd
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It’s About Time

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I have always had a fascination with time travel. Perhaps it all started, as most things usually do, when I was a young lad watching The Rocky and Bullwinkle show. That show contained a segment where Mr. Peabody and his faithful assistant Sherman used their “Wayback Machine” to witness and possibly interfere with well-known historical events.

Since then, I have had my share of “must-see-TV” shows dealing with the possibility of traveling through time.  Among my favorites:

THE TIME TUNNEL

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A pair of “scientists” get trapped in time. Each episode finds them in a different time and place – usually during some historically important moment. Near the end of the episode they somehow activate the time tunnel which deposits them in some other place with another adventure that will await them… same time next week.

IT’S ABOUT TIME

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For sheer silliness this comedy, by the same people that came up with Gilligan’s Island, featured a couple of astronauts who inexplicably end up in prehistoric times. Later, they return to their own time with their new prehistoric friends in tow. It, understandably, only lasted a season but the show’s theme song is still embedded in the minds of whoever heard it.

QUANTUM LEAP

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This show puts a twist on The Time Tunnel conundrum. Not only is the central character (played by Scott Bakula) trapped in a time warp, every time (episode) he is transported to a different when and where, he assumes the character of someone from that time and must complete some cosmic task as that character in order to be released to travel elsewhere in time.

TIMELESS

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A much more recent entry to the world of time travel entertainment, Timeless featured the crews of two time machines chasing each other through the past. One hopes to change the past to shape the future to their liking – the other hopes to stop them. Unfortunately, the show did not last long enough to come to a satisfying conclusion.

I am sure I am not alone with this fascination. There is something about the past that captivates us. Part of us longs to pay a return visit if only we could. It is comforting to know that while it may never be possible to do so physically, no one can stop us from traveling back there in our minds.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in preserving family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

How Did Christmas Look on the Year You Were Born?

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Things do change… Christmas is no exception. Have fun scrolling through these pictures that highlight what was popular at Christmastime through the years.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/this-is-what-christmas-looked-like-the-year-you-were-born/ss-BBnMNGt?ocid=NL_ENUS_A2_20171222_2

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

History Tidbits

Kudos to WUCF-TV for this wonderful look at my adopted “home town.” Mount Dora does have a lot going for it – along with a rich history that only adds to its appeal. Enjoy this 20 minute video which puts the spotlight on this most charming little city in Florida.

 

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories and are centrally located on Donnelly St in Mount Dora, mere minutes from the historic downtown shopping district. If you plan to come to the studio, please give yourself time to explore and enjoy our sights and hospitality. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd