I don’t have all of Ben Hacken’s film output, so I don’t know how often he took movies of family events. I have only four such events over a 15-year period, beginning with the footage of Zanvil Samuel Feuerstein, my great-grandfather, in 1937. But this one is the gem of the collection.
It is the wedding of my mother’s first cousin, Sylvia Feuerstein, and George Braun on October 11, 1947. Those nimble with the numbers will jump to the conclusion that Sylvia and George have been married now for 65 years. It is the gem because it’s far and away the longest-running of the Ben Hacken films I have—nearly seven and a half minutes. I’m not sure of all the relatives it shows, but I’m working on identifying as many as I can, and then perhaps coming up with a stop-action clip of some sort that identifies everyone.
What a 65 years it has been for Sylvia and George—four sons, ten grandchildren, four great-grandchildren!
Many have commented that they wish they knew how these family stories I’ve been posting turned out, and there’s an easy way to find out. The Feuerstein Family Tree is online in both a graphical version and a text version. I find it much easier to understand a family history and grasp the family relations from the graphical tree—which is a flash-based tool that enlarges when you click on it—but many others have said they much prefer the text tree because it shows on iPhones and iPads and is not a clunky as the graphical tree.
The upshot of this clip, and the others I’ve been posting, is that it’s important to preserve and share family history. It is a living thing that helps each of us understand who we are and where we’ve been, and sometimes, it can even show us where we may be heading. I am thankful that his film, and the others from the Ben Hacken collection, fell into my hands and that I’m able to bring it back to life.