Here is the fourth and final film, and it is hands-down my favorite.
It’s my favorite because it is a little over three minutes of my parents’ wedding on July 1, 1951.
There are some big differences between this film and the three others. This one did not come from the reel Eleanore Kopp sent my mother. Instead, it was digitized from a VHS cassette that circulated through the family earlier, maybe 20 years ago. That cassette had the three other clips on it, but it also included this one. The framing is out of whack—a problem they weren’t able to fix in the process of digitizing the cassette.
Also, unlike the other clips, this one is in color. (The other three, which were films taken between 1937 and 1947, were black and white.)
The camera pans, relatively quickly, across the faces of so many of my relatives from virtually every branch of my family. I’m going to have to work in the days ahead on a method to provide an on-screen identification for each person while keeping the format intact.
Again, what I’ve been able to post here over the last several days is a minuscule fragment—not even fifteen minutes of film. But it’s an important one because it is the only representation of so many relatives as living, breathing individuals.
This moving representation of my family may be the only look we have of some people who were so dear to our ancestors.
It’s why I beseech you to find the archives of your own family, preserve them, and figure out a way to share them. What you find may not be much. But it’s likely to be the only tangible evidence we’re able to leave to future generations.