Relic from the Past - VHS Camcorder
Today I went to my parents' house with a couple of VHS tapes I took in the early 1990's. This was just to see what they looked like as I, like I guess many people now, do not have a VHS tape player at home. As it turns out, the videos look great! Some of the scenes we looked at include the last run of the KCS GP30's out of New Orleans, pacing the Sunset Limited in Lake Charles LA with P30CH's, and a myriad of other things we once took for granted that are now 20...errrr...coming up on 30 years old!
The camera did have some setbacks. For example, loud horns tended to distort the images momentarily and the technology did not lend to the crispness we expect today. The memories recorded, however, are priceless.
My mother reminded me that she still had the video camera responsible for these tapes safely tucked away. My grandfather, Michèle Palmieri, bought this camera in the late 1980's for family videos. Of course, this camera quickly got pressed into railfan photography! Tragically my grandfather passed away in 1992, however, the camera continued to serve for many years.
The camera was still in the Samsonite case that protected it during my travels. Stickers for Amtrak trains 59, 21, and 5 decorate the shell as well as a couple of stubs from Amtrak claim checks and an Address Tag. Inside, were the camera, four batteries, and the charger. Hidden underneath the foam padding were some more cables and a pile of Amtrak head-end passes issued to me when I was an intern for Amtrak in New Orleans. Included was a head end pass for train No. 21 between Chicago and Fort Worth in February of 1998. It was on this trip that I interviewed for a Train Dispatcher position with the BNSF. The rest, as they say, is history!
Now it is time to take the next step and start digitizing these videos and uploading them to YouTube. I will be doing some research to determine what equipment and software will yield the highest quality digital files of these VHS movies.