Tonight, in the process of making room for my new desk, I faced the job of ridding myself of well over $1000 of VHS tapes. Even when I began to purchase used tapes, instead of new ones, I still paid between $5 and $10 per tape, and I had 175 tapes. Approximately.
As I went through the tapes, I recalled purchasing many of them. I bought some of the tapes in North Carolina, in a video store about halfway home from work. Among my favorites from that location, Star Trek IV, Terminator 2 – Judgment Day, Crimson Tide, and the X-files movie. Those four, and probably 50 others, were late in my time collecting VHS tapes.
Before then, I would say that most of the videos came either from Colorado Springs, or from right here in Bath ME, at the local supermarket. One notable exception: I was in Adirondack Park when The Matrix was released, and I bought it new there, although several people had told me that watching it would make me go into epileptic fits, Also while in New York, I found a copy of Cannery Row, a movie I had watched in a class at Seminary. My collection grew, month by month, and I always packed it very carefully and securely in my many moves from state to state.
I have been through five or six VCRs in the last 25 years or so — in the last ten, I’ve had one to use, and always kept a new one under the bed, in case they became too hard to acquire. The one I am using currently doesn’t have a backup — I knew my VHS collection was reaching the end of its useful life. I have only kept two movies — favorites from my B-movie collection. One is Dante’s Peak, and the other is Volcano, with Tommy Lee Jones. I’ve also kept three tapes with family events on them — I doubt I will get rid of those ever, unless I find a way to put them on CD or DVD.
I feel a certain amount of melancholy — I built my collection of VHS tapes with much love and care. I was really too young to be much affected by the LP to cassette tape change, so this is really my first time cleaning out a couple of bookcases of media. Still, the room for my desk is far more important, so I simply reminisce a little about each tape, and then into the bags they go.
This is the end of an era for me — one to which I can easily bid farewell, as I step forward into a whole new world. Goodbye, my friends — you kept me sane many times, when I thought I would explode from boredom,. Thank you.