in his backyard haven

Monday, 23 April 2012

This weekend I thought about dad a couple of times.

I assisted some of my adventurous friends in a a bike race.  2 days, 180 miles, and about 13,000 riders.  They like to document this kind of stuff and so along with some non racing friends we photographed and recorded the racers over the course of these two days.  Some of the cyclists wore cameras. Specifically they are called GoPro cameras that can mount onto pretty much anything. Your helmet, your belt, handle bars etc.

This made me think of dad.  As a kid I remember him setting up some film reel projector thing and a screen. We had to watch tons of old film that, at the time, I thought was super boring.  No sound, only the clicking, flickering and sometimes blurry images that were way before my time.  Lots of grandma and grandpa's old cocktail parties and holidays throughout the years.

One reel featured dad on one of his ski trips.  It was probably in the '60's.  Dad and his friend Ken, who he still skis with today when the weather and his health cooperate, had set up their camera onto one of their skiis.  I can't remember how long the footage was, but we all watched dad and Ken downhill ski from the vantage point of the front of his ski.  I'm not sure how long we watched.  It seemed each downhill scene looped into the next. I'm sure editing actual film is much more difficult than the digital stuff we use today.  At the time, I thought, this is really cool that dad did this, and I can't watch this for very long because I'm going to be sick.

At the end of the day, dad's footage showed him and his friends (I can't remember if you were in it, mom) hot-tubbing it outside in the snow.  Actually it was more of a full swimming pool. I seem to recall dad doing canon balls.  Then again that could be mixed up from some summertime feature.

Maybe at the time it seemed new and challenging to mount a 16 mm camera to a ski, but now 50 years later they are selling these things in Best Buy.  Dad was ahead of the game when he showed off his athletic and cinematic skills.  Still even with the advanced technology, I still get a little queasy watching this type of footage.

The second time I thought about dad this weekend, was when the cyclists had to wait for a very long train to go by. I found myself tapping the record button just to capture the freight being hauled.  I chuckled to myself since so much train footage and pictures have interrupted our family's vacations. I still kept recording even though it was my friend's camera.


  1. Katie your memory is terrific! Den had indeed mounted his new 8mm movie camera on his skis (era 1960-63). He and Ken, and Dave and Henry skied many a spring break during high school. All of them were very techy for that time and together they edited several seasons because they each had only one set of ski apparel and decided they could make several shorts look like one long movie. If you saw a pool it might have been at an Aspen hotel where they hot-tubbed after a day on the slopes.
    Interesting addendum about the train - this weekend was the annual Train Days in San Bernardino when the antique "3751 steam locomotive" came through town on route to San Diego. All of Dad's RR buds were there...

  2. Ah yes. The cameras. I seem to recall a very recent debate over cameras - specifically tripods - at Christmas 2010. Dad and your hubby Ryan were in heated intellectual debate over whether Ryan's current tripod or Dad's very OLD tripod was better. I think that's the closest I've seen Ryan come to ever losing it. Dad didn't give a shit who he was pissing off. In his mind he was right and that was the end of it. I can't wait to see how we all turn out in our "righteousness".

  3. Hah! Yes, it was over his damn light. Dad had a super bright light he wanted to beam on us for the picture. One you couldn't even keep your eyes open for, it was like sunshine coming out of that thing. Secondly, dad kept repositioning Ryan's camera. So the picture came out a little off centered, and we all look bright white from that light. Funny, dad looks really good.

    Ryan photoshopped in a bunch of nuts as a border on one of his pictures.

    1. Yes - that's why is was called a "SUN GUN"! :)