from Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.  ()
Get out your 2019 calendar and an ink pen.  The 2019 SFA Reunion will be in St. Louis, Missouri, from September 18-22.  St. Louis is often called the Gateway City with many great landmarks.  Forest Park was the site of the 1904 World’s Fair and now has a famous zoo.  Standing tall and gleaming is the Gate Way Arch, so be sure to take a ride to the top for glorious views.  If you enjoy plants, you will want to experience the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden.  This Reunion could be a great family vacation!  More information will be coming!
February is not just a month with Presidents’ birthdays and Valentine’s Day.  February is a month with many historical events.  Below are just a few.  Our country has continuously evolved!  Many SFA members have family histories and memories of events that interesting and should be saved….and even published in the Quarterly.
1690  Massachusetts authorizes the first paper currency issued in America.
1789  The Electoral College chooses George Washington to be the first U.S. President.
1790  The U.S. Supreme Court convenes for the first time, in New Yorkcity.
1861  Texas secedes from the Union.
1876  Baseball’s National League is formed with eight teams.
1913  The Sixteenth Amendment, authorizing a federal income tax, is ratified.
1932  The last Ford Model A (the successor to the Model T) rolls off the factory line.
1940  Frank Sinatra gets his big break when he debuts with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in Indianapolis.
1943  American troops recapture Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific.
1962  John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth.
1967  The Twenty-fifth Amendment, dealing with presidential disability and succession, is ratified.
1971  Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard hits three golf balls on the moon.
2003  The space shuttle Columbia disintegrates, killing all seven crew members.
(Source: The American Patriot’s Almanac by W.J. Bennett and J. Cribb, 2010)
Thanks are extended to six, yes, six, SFA members who shared responses to my dilemma with 35mm slides and 8mm movie films.  There are many of us who remember 8mm movies being spliced together and then the films were converted to VHS.  Now splicers, VHS tapes and projectors have disappeared.  There are now a variety of mail-in services and local businesses, such as office supply stores and Costco, that will make DVDs from 8mm films and VHS cassettes.
When dealing with the huge numbers of 35mm slides, there seems to be an agreement that sorting them is a time-consuming activity.  Slides of scenery, shots that you would not want to remember, and unknown people seem to be the most likely to be discarded. The focus seems to be keeping slides of close family members. Organizing slides is an important part of the process and choices include organizing chronologically, by events, or by person.
SFA members have suggested several possible services for converting movie films and 35mm slides. converts videotapes, camcorder tapes, VHS tapes, film reels, prints and 35mm slides to cloud storage, a thumb drive, or a DVD, through a mail-in service.  Another suggested mail-in service is scancafe com.  This mail-in service converts slides to DVDs after cleaning and enhancing colors.  The customer will be able to review the scans online and delete up to 20% of them without a cost.  Both of these services have a variety of options, return the originals, and have a barcode security process.  Both services also have specials and coupons.
Another SFA member suggested looking at the site for his advice and possibly signing up for a free newsletter.  This site has a video that highlights PhotoStick, a device which is used to protect photo and video memories.  It is a small thumb-size drive for PC or Mac equipment.
And now what …. after getting the digital pictures and you want to enjoy them, there are more options.  Options include Shutterfly which is used for a variety of books, notecards, and gift options.  Another option is tweedwolf com.  Customers upload pictures and the company makes a keepsake album.  Another display option is a digital photo frame that is a continuous slide show. These frames come in a variety of prices with a variety of memory options and special features.
An update on my 8mm movie projector problem is the wrong size belt was shipped so we are still in process.  However, a totally newsworthy story is about the 35mm slides I gave to various people and the results were genuinely unexpected.  I sent a padded envelope with slides and a short note to my male Shelden cousin and he actually wrote me a thank you email.  After I sent an introductory (“heads-up”) email, I sent a padded envelope to a female cousin with some slides for her and some for her brother.  They grew up in circumstances with very few pictures which were “frills.” Since mailing the slides, my female cousin has been continuing to email me with several long wonderful memories about our family history and stories.  For Valentine’s Day, I am giving my younger sister a gift box of slides of her and her late husband with his 1970’s long curly hair.  In addition, I really took a risk and located a family friend who I grew up with since grammar school.  We had a lovely mini-reunion and I gave him pictures which he had never seen of his Sierra Club burro trip with my dad about 60 years ago.
(The 8mm movies will be another project for another day….)
If you have more suggestions for photos, slides, and films, please contact me………Your comments and suggestions have been appreciated.  I hope to meet many SFA members in St. Louis.