Sometime in the summer of 2004 I got this crazy idea that I would start doing a lot of photo restoration and transferring for the family. It began with my wife's grandmother and her shoebox full of black and white negatives from the 1950's. These negatives weren't sliced, but were rather still in their native "rolled" state. So I bought a negative scanner and began meticulously slicing the negatives scanning them in at 1200 dpi, and spending countless hours restoring them in Photoshop. Removing dust and scratches, toning down harsh glares, balancing the light, and so on and so forth. After about 7 rolls of film I got distracted with work and our moving into a new house and the remaining 40-odd rolls of film have been sitting on an end table ever since.
They're not alone.
I also collected a large assemblage of photos from my family in which I need to scan in, touch-up, and transfer to a DVD.
But that's not the least of it. I also purchased a Super-8mm projector off of Ebay and encouraged my father to brave the depths of his basement (where nobody has seen the floor in over a decade) to find me the cannisters of home movie reels that he shot when I was a wee toddler. And he did. And I have the reels of film in a bag in my office closet, and the projector in a large box in a spare bedroom. I have everything I need to transfer these films to DVD and bring them back from the dead for all the world to see. Or at least my immediate family. After all, I'm sure there's some incriminating stuff of me on there.
And I have the time. Or, I should say, I've had the time. But instead of actually doing something productive with my time, I've been spending my past 6 weeks of time off of work (I like to say "I'm between projects") doing little other than playing videogames and watching way too much ESPN.
Until now. Kristin's grandmother has always been extremely generous to us over the years and now she wants to take us on a trip next year. Places like Egypt, London, Novia Scotia, the Arctic, and Greece are being bantered about as possible detinations. And she's never asked about the negatives in the 18 months that I've had them -- not even when she was here last spring and likely saw them sitting there in the bonus room near the scanner. Nor has she seen the photos on those negatives in several decades. Photos of her long-ago deceased husband and son.
We printed several of the photos last year and framed them in a beautiful collage. She cried upon seeing them, but even then never asked about the progress of the DVD I told her I would make.
This woman who may have lived one of the most fascinating lives of anybody I've ever had the privilige of meeting (Holocaust survivor to cover model for "Vogue" magazine to world traveler) isn't getting any younger and I owe it to her to finish this before it's too late.
Not that she would ever ask me to hurry.