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May 17, 2023Liked by Retroist

I listened to this when you first posted it but am only getting around to commenting on it now. This is a real McCoy time capsule!

I have a YouTube channel where I upload retro TV commercials. This means I occasionally look through junk people discard out the front of their house (council collections in Australia) for old VHS tapes. I love discovering what’s on those tapes. Not just the ads, but also seeing what TV shows and movies people taped off TV.

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I agree, it is fascinating to see what people decided was worthy of recording and saving. I found a box once that had dozens of tapes that were all recordings someone had made of a small town council's meeting. They had recorded them off the TV and took the time to label and date each one. I wondered if they ever rewatched them.

Have you found many home videos? I am often conflicted about what to do with them.

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Yes I’ve found two home movies. The first was holiday footage of someone I used to work with. She left her old VCR at our office (with a bunch of tapes) when moving and never collected them. They were there for years and no one remembered who owned them. So I contacted her and agreed to digitise it and give it to her on USB stick. In return she gifted me the VCR which I use for digitising old VHS tapes today.

The second was a full wedding recorded in the mid 90s. This one was harder as the box was found outside a big block of apartments and I didn’t watch that footage until years later. But there’s an address at the end - about an hours drive. I’m probably going to try my luck and knock on their door.

I know what you mean about being conflicted. Returning that wedding video means I have to admit I took their junk and then watched the footage to find the address. Some people might find that a bit strange.

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Nice, you were able to get that back to a coworker.

I have also found wedding tapes in what was basically the trash. My initial thought was that if someone put their wedding tape in the trash, it might have been by mistake. But what if it was done on purpose, and suddenly I show up with it? So I am left just holding onto it.

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May 17, 2023·edited May 18, 2023Liked by Retroist

My thoughts exactly. Maybe things didn't work out and they wanted to get rid of the wedding footage. And it keeps coming back like a boomerang?

The irony is that it's the people who recorded the mundane every day things, like going through McDonald's drive-through or riding a train, that now have the most interesting footage. E.g. There's someone on YouTube who posted up a one hour drive through suburban LA in the early 80s, and that's gold now.

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I know what you mean about the mundane stuff being so sought after. I am also one of those people who bookmarks and slowly rewatches these videos, just hoping to spot passing details.

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