Four of the Eleven Swinford (Names have been changed to protect the innocent) Children's Birthdays are in June. They are all grown with children of their own, in some cases, grandchildren.
The clan gathered at Unca Honey and Auntie Virg's for a mass birthday celebration. Also in this vid, yours truly, Dot, my step-dad Hardy and Mama Lou.
This comes from the home movies of Unca Honey and Auntie Virg, and all those are silent, the movie camera they brought out once or twice a year had no sound recording apparatus. I have added one of the tops songs of the era that was one of Auntie Virg’s faves. (Hope Ray Stevens don’t sue me) It must be providence that I chose this song for this clip cos it seems perfectly set up to the images. The song isn’t long enough for the entire vid, but I’ve decided that silence belongs to the many people in this clip how no longer walk among us.
Every time I roamed far and come back I always wanted to see the home movies. Even though, I wasn’t in them very much. The process of even being able to watch the movies was quite the production. First the projector, a huge, daunting Bell and Howell monstrosity had to be lugged out, set up. Individual reels were loaded up, someone did a shadow puppet thing in the dusty projector beam between films. We never “flew the bird” we were much more refined than we are now, cos now “the bird” is so common place, we no longer consider it “common”. The whole process took hours, but everyone was together, laughing, reminiscing.
The large family in this clip is the family my Auntie Virg married into in 1961. They were a close knit bunch. When I stayed summers with my Aunt, we would visit Unca Honey’s family frequently. I shyly sat back and observed these people. My earliest memories of a traditional clan involve this family and I don’t think any of them knows it powerful impact that had on me. Thank You Swinford family.
Dr Cuz had these reels transferred to vid and Dood Cuz made DVDs from those tapes. Now I am taking my set of those tapes and putting them into wmv files. Sometimes it makes me swimmy headed to realize how technologically advanced we have become in my lifetime.
If any of the family reads this and would like their own copy of the clip without my “commentary” they should let me know and I’ll gladly cyberspace them a copy.
This was to be my last “summer” with my aunt, as by December we would be back, Dot and I, as my mom and step dad parted ways. I lived at Alligator and went to a tiny private school in an charming old building. The 6th grade went on a field trip to Jackson and met the Guv’nah.
There would be other summers, but those summers at Alligator are part of who I am now.