Vintage Moments

Right now, Cheney and I are sitting in the living room watching "Swiss Family Robinson." Every time this is on, it transports me directly back to my childhood in Denham Springs, Louisiana.

I couldn't have been older than 4th or 5th grade - maybe even younger when Daddy came home with our very first Video Cassette Recorder. It was huge - about twice the size of the one we own now- and heavy as heck. The remote control was actually attached by a long cord that would just reach to the sofa. I remember that our neighbors had a BETA tape player at that time. I'm not sure why Daddy chose to go the VCR route instead of the BETA.

Anyway, that night we decided to rent our very first movie. We had to drive all the way to the corner of Rushing Road and Florida Boulevard. The building exists today and it has housed all sorts of businesses since then. I remember that one side of the shop was VCR tapes and the other was BETA. We spent lots of time trying to decide on just what to rent. If I remember right, I think we rented 3 movies - 1 for the family and 2 for mom and dad to watch after we went to bed. The family choice was "Swiss Family Robinson." I even think we stopped at McDonald's on Florida Boulevard for supper that night and brought it home to eat in the living room while we watched the movie.

That was the beginning of a long history of movie watching in our house. Mom and Dad would always watch horror movies after we went to bed. I remember crawling down the hall and sneaking in only to be scared out of my wits and quickly returning to bed. I believe that was my first glimpse of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

"Grease" and "Dead Poets Society" were favorites that played over and over. There was also a New Kids on the Block" video that was viewed at least 1,000 times I'm sure. There were moments in my teen years where weekends were spent watching movies we had rented from The Video Place that once sat where Starbucks now is on Hwy. 16. Every time we were sick, mom would make a run to the video store and rent a stack of movies to comfort us on the couch while we nursed ourselves back to health.

That old black boxed VCR has long sense disappeared and has been replaced with something more state of the art, but the memories that were made still remain.