Friday, August 9, 2013

11th Ward Reunion on 5/25/13 - The Videos Arise

Hard-core ROMA dude
On the evening of May 25, 2013, I attended a reunion of the Albuquerque 11th Ward, the singles ward that I attended in the early 1980s.  (Dorine couldn't go because Darren and Cait were in town that weekend.)  Unfortunately, not too many people (myself included) thought to take photos of the actual event, which took place at the Quarters BBQ on Ellison NW on Albuquerque's West Side.  However, it was great to see quite a few old friends, especially my old college roommates and singles-ward compadres (and co-conspirators) Tracy Carroll and Ken Mantlo.  The thing that made the evening magic, however, was the location, the playing, and the ultimate digitizing and distribution of the old "Academy Awards" videos that ward members produced back in the summer of 1982 for a ward "movie night" activity.  The videos aren't as good, or even as funny, as I'd remembered them, much of the problem being the relatively primitive "VHS camcorder" technology available to us thirty-plus years ago.  (Another major problem where I'm concerned was my abjectly cringe-worthy performance in the "dating spoof" video.)  However, they capture a time and place -- and a fun-loving singles ward -- like little else could, and for that reason they are priceless to me.  I had long been under the impression that there were numerous copies of the videos floating around, but, as it turned out, the only complete copy ever made was the actual VHS "master" tape played at the "movie night" activity in 1982, which had ended up in the hands of former ward member Randy Franklin.  Randy not only brought the tape to the reunion, but he generously lent it to another former ward member, Virgil Clawson, to digitize and send to interested parties on DVD.  I received my copy a few days ago, and it was almost like being presented with the Holy Grail.  The last reunion, which took place in March 2011 --  I couldn't attend, as Dorine and I were in Utah that particular weekend -- was great for all the old photos it brought to light; this reunion, though a lot of people couldn't come to it, was special for its resurrecting the videos.  (The still-frame above shows me singing, as a member of the "Royal Order of Ministering Angels" [or "ROMA"], the J. Geils Band's "Love Stinks.")  At some point, I think I'll ask someone more tech-savvy than me to do some editing to make the videos more watchable, but for now it's enough to have them in my possession.

[Update 8/10/13: I uploaded all of the videos to Youtube and created a playlist of the three files.  Here's an embed.]