Will Your Memories Stand the Test of Time?
As the years go on, the times we share with friends and family live on in one of two ways – through the stories we tell from memory, and through physical records, be they books, photos, or film. Memory does, unfortunately, fade with age, often leaving physical media as the sole surviving account of many precious moments.
These physical records are not impervious to time, either. Family history is a vital asset to have, not only for future generations to enjoy, but to help ease older family members into their twilight years. Reminiscing on good times can bring solace and comfort to a mind that suffers from dementia or other illness.
Hook Law Center is happy to introduce our second guest writer for our weekly newsletter, Cory Langley, whose mission is to ensure the preservation of such media for families in the Hampton Roads area through Tape to Disc, his Virginia Beach-based studio. Cory shares the experience that inspired him to take up this profession ten years ago:
“Regardless of the complexities of your estate, there’s one item that is equally important to every person involved: preserving and protecting your family memories. My dear mother had the legendary shoe box full of pictures. She would attempt to place them in albums, but after a few hours – they’d go back into the box. ‘Mom’, I said, ‘put them in envelopes sorted by decades and I’ll take it from there.’ When she saw the video slide show I created, she began to cry. Her neighbors watched it, and they cried, too. I thought to myself – there’s too much crying, I’ve got to get out of here!”
Bringing family tapes and film rolls to the digital format is a crucial – but it isn’t magic. “What goes in is what comes out,” he warns; “most images will appear a little sharper on the screen, however, VHS will not magically become 4K HD.” Obviously, the worse the condition of the media, the harder the task becomes. Preservation should be a priority – you can always redownload a digital file, but you cannot replace a roll of film. Time is of the essence – old film becomes increasingly difficult to preserve as it ages. Cory adds:
“No more anxiety of losing irreplaceable keepsakes. The personal attachment we have to family memories is so powerful, that in a fire or flood, the first things folks reach for are the pictures. With your family history preserved digitally (with a few copies in separate locations), you have effectively eliminated that heartbreaking possibility.”
The entire process happens within the four walls of Cory’s Virginia Beach studio on the corner of 81st and Atlantic. Clients can drop off totes of old pictures, video, movies and more to be digitized and stored onto DVDs, hard drives, or flash drives – all with slide show capability. There is no outsourcing involved at all.
While laying out your estate plan, it is easy to overlook the value of photos and films. Every family has the chest of old albums, but rarely is anything ever done with it. The history of your family is important; reliving that history with the elderly family members in your life may prove to be a therapeutic experience that can be shared with those they love. As Cory puts it:
“The greatest impact of my work is how my clients have expressed the joy of being able to see and share these memories. Videos and movies of Christmas, elementary school plays, vacations – all unseen for twenty, thirty, or even sixty years! It’s the closest one can get to going back in time. Parents can make copies as gifts for their kids – and vice versa. Don’t laugh at Dad polishing his 1960 Pontiac – it’s your family history, be thankful you have it.”
Cory’s studio, Tape to Disc, can be found at 8008 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA, 23451. The number for the studio is 757-422-6064.