Family: Stay and Go Away


It all started with a recent sorting episode involving our VHS tapes. If you aren’t sure what these are you may want to read another blog, but if the robotic voice exclaiming, “Danger, Will Robinson!” makes you chuckle, please continue. You’ll understand.

Over the years, my husband and I have successfully and impressively fallen prey to the latest AV entertainment and videotaping formats. As you might suspect, our substantial collection took time to evaluate, to reminisce upon and to declare doom or rescue.

The ultimate goal: to find and locate worthy contenders for video makeovers from VHS (very hard to store!) to DVD (darn video device, another one!) As we began, I was secretly concerned a secret camera from Hoarders might be taking a peek. Alas, none surfaced and we persevered.

Our family scrapbooks have done remarkably well preserving the photos and stories I’ve written within their covers. But it was those pesky video stacks that pushed us to the brink of “Something must be done, and now!”

As my husband watched a professional football game of our hometown team – which is having its best losing streak ever – I shuttled stacks of tapes from a nearby cabinet to the couch. There, between commercials he considered and pondered each tape before pronouncing his decree: keep, giveaway, throw away.

Among the discoveries: Patton. A 6-part PBS Series of the Civil War. Roots, which came out when we were in 10th grade. Star Trek: Next Generation, which netted party status as we watched its debut with friends long, long ago. Touched by an Angel, which was a family series staple.

Then came tapes of kid shows we’d made for our two sons, now 20 & 22: primarily Barney (the purple dinosaur) and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Wild and crazy stuff, I know! Bet you didn’t know Mister Rogers had a musical episode: Windstorm in Bubble Land. It may not have measured up to Wicked or Les Miserables, but it worked until we could take our kids to a Broadway show.

Soon afterward the videotape subject surfaced during a lunch with our 20-year-old and his girlfriend. As he munched on his Frisco Melt at Steak and Shake, and his girlfriend and I enjoyed our salads, my husband and I updated him on the results.

“Do you remember Bubbleland?” I asked him.

“Do I?” he said. “We saw it like, 50 times.”

OK, so we had some repetitive Friday Family Nights video watching….

“You didn’t throw away The Disney movies did you?” my son asked.

“Absolutely not!” I assured him.

“Good,” he said, as he exhaled in relief. “I was those for my (yet-to-be-born) kids.

That made me smile.

I digress here but I don’t hear many 20-somethings speak favorably about children. Ironic since they used to be children themselves.

As an aside, our other son has told us he plans to give away any of his future children temporarily – during adolescence. Hmmmm. We didn’t do that to him

“We found the Lost in Space videos, too,” I mentioned.

At that point, his sweet girlfriend stopped eating saying she’d never heard of the show.

“You know, ‘Danger! Will Robinson!’” my son interjected. “It’s the main line of a robot on the show.”

With that the mystery was solved for her. But in order to help her understand the show’s significance and to not be a parent without electronics at a meal – I googled what any good boyfriend’s mom would google: Lost in Space. During the instant, tell me more session, I discovered the perfect gift for any longstanding fan – an officially licensed replica of the B9 Robot from the show. Only 12 available at $24,900 each. By the way, I’ve been a very good girl this year!

After we parted ways, us on a road trip and the two of them back to college life in Tallahassee, I realized the significance of all those tapes. The memories. And with that, I recalled my favorite discovery during the famous video purge of 2013: our 1987 wedding video. It’s long. It’s unedited. It’s so home-movie like I can’t believe its $150 price tag back then. But that’s OK. In this time of 3-second-long attention spans, I look forward to the DVD version, and eating popcorn with my husband of 27 years.

Now, that’s something that would compute for the B9!






10 thoughts on “Family: Stay and Go Away

  1. Leslie

    Did you know Mr Rogers tried to revive his dead goldfish using cpr? I love this post and have yet to do through the VHS collection. But keep thinking there is money to be made in promising not to post the home videos. Keep the writing going …


    • Really? CPR on a fish…now I never want to be certified again!! The best way to do the VHS collection is to be very unemotionally attached – keep, give away, throw away. The extraneous movies can be donated to the library or a nonprofit. The keepers are the tough ones. I would do those at another time…
      THanks for your comments.


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