VHS Memories

Day 20 - VHS Tapes Illustration - Doodlewash

When I was a kid, and there was nothing I wanted to watch on television, the VHS tape was my hero. This wondrous and modern technology came out in the late 70’s, just in time for me to enjoy my favorite cartoons, and then throughout high school to enjoy movies and well, my favorite cartoons. The fact that you could record television shows on a VHS tape made it seem almost too good to be true. We had stacks and stacks of these oversized cassette tapes, which were later transferred to boxes. There were also a handful of VHS tapes that had some of my theatre performances on them, but I’m no longer sure where those are today. They may surface one day in a box in the garage, but with no VHS player to view them on anymore, they’ll simply be physical artifacts rather than a relivable memory. Though, if ever do find them, I might consider tracking down a player just out of curiosity. I remember carefully marking recorded VHS tapes so nobody else in the family would record over them and destroy what I’d recorded. This, of course, still happened occasionally creating a bizarre show that starts with football game and this abruptly switches to a scene with Elmer Fudd taunting Bugs Bunny. But, I have found memories of them still.

Of course, by the turn of the most recent century, DVDs came to replace these bulky tapes and today, BluRay has replaced DVDs, and streaming media removes the need for anything physical at all. While certainly more convenient than having boxes of tapes to dig through, I rather enjoyed digging through those boxes of VHS tapes. It was like a treasure chest of stories. I have to admit that I love having digital movies and even books, so I can take my stories with me wherever I go, but I do sometimes miss having a physical object as well. I’m not sure why, but it made each book and movie feel more important somehow. A trophy of sorts and each one was unique. Today, as everything turns to bits of data, it all sort of becomes an endless stream of sameness. I loved going to the rental store to rent a VHS tape and later DVD. It was shopping for a specific thing to do that evening and became an event in itself. Since it took a bit of extra effort, the chosen movie was a bigger deal. Now, entertainment has become like using a dating app, where you can endlessly swipe right or left as you go with no real thought in the moment of actually committing to anything.

Though, yes, we can now binge watch just about any show imaginable now, which is definitely fun sometimes. But, Philippe and I still choose to only watch one little thing each day on television. Reliving those old times a bit, I guess. Though rather than a television, we watch it on an iPad now instead. Having run out of shows that were holding our interest, we recently opted to watch old episodes of the original Twilight Zone. This was mostly due to the fact that most of them are less than 30 minutes in length. A terribly short attention span is something we both share in common. I remembered some of the episodes we watched from when I saw them as a kid. And I was amazed it how they are all still relevant today. No matter how bizarre the story, they were all really timeless stories about the human condition. As much as things change when it comes to technology, we humans have remained rather consistent. And even if I no longer have those tapes from so many years ago, the experience is still locked in my mind and all of the wonderful stories embedded in my heart. Though life continues to lurch forward with change, I still have the fondest VHS memories.

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Day 20 - VHS Tapes Illustration - Doodlewash
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19 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    If you ever really need a VHS player i’m pretty sure there’s one hiding in one of our closets and I would be happy to send it to you. hehehe

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      hehe! Thanks, Mary! 😃💕Yeah, my first thought was… ohhhh… were are those tapes, I should find them. My second was… ohhhh… I have nothing to play them on! lol

  2. Jacob 1 month ago

    I don’t remember our video tapes coming in those cool colours! Oh, the memories: the horrifying sound of the tape being chewed up or worse, someone daring to tape over mum’s soap operas.

    We managed to get a DVD/VHS combo, which meant there was no need to get rid of the tapes and free up some space – there are loads of them sitting in my room, and I do sometimes wonder what’s on them. My dad was going through some and watching some obscure aeroplane show from 1988 recently. There’s probably lots upstairs that can’t be found anywhere else!

    If you do find those performance tapes, you could get them converted to digital. There must be somewhere nearby that will do that for you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      hehe! Yeah, the cool colors were mostly in the cartoons that they sold like Rugrats and some Disney ones. So, I used those to spice things up a bit. 😉 And that’s awesome that you have all those tapes still! Yeah, if I ever find my performance tapes I think I might get them converted, but sort of want to watch them first. I might change my mind! 😊lol

  3. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Ah yes – the old VHS tapes I have piled up with with the discarded cassettes and even an 8-track or two. I remember each being hailed as a triumph of new technology. All of the new stuff coming out now, and I don’t think younger people will ever have that sense of wonder we had back then. I do have to say – at least with the physical items, some of it may last for the future. When today’s technology is outmoded, the data is probably going to be completely lost – existing only out there, somewhere in the Twilight Zone.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow! You still have an 8 track? Those disappeared fast for me. I still me my 8 track with Ray Charles from when I was a little kid. And so true, Sandra! 😃💕I often wonder if technology is moving so fast that it can’t keep up with itself. We may have to all take a trip to the Twilight Zone in the future to relive our memories! 😉

  4. Lisa 1 month ago

    Not only do we still have a VHS player, I still use it once in a while to tape a show. Lol Any time you want to use it, you’re welcome.

    My old fashioned thing that you might get a kick out of, is that I have never had cable tv. Network was good enough for me. In the end, it was my cheapskate self showing. I just couldn’t make myself pay to watch TV! Now though I pay for specific things like Britbox and Hulu. So maybe I’m getting less frugal in my old age.

    This might tickle your funny bone. We live in the country on a couple of acres of land. When we moved here 20 odd years ago, there was one of those giant round metal dishes in the side yard. Seven foot diameter maybe? It’s still there! 😂😂 We could probably hook a laptop up to it and talk to aliens!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Oh I think you’re still discerning… Hulu and Britbox are a great choice! And that’s awesome that you have a dish in your yard! Is it a satellite dish or a UFO? Please let it just be the latter… that’s awesome! lol

  5. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    My kids were small in the 90’s, so we recorded endless Mr. Rogers and Reading Rainbow episodes on VHS. In addition, we acquired all the Disney classics which the kids watched over and over. The century turned, the kids became teenagers, and DVDs took over. I still own a VHS player – not sure if it works, though. I’m stuck with an old dresser stuffed with VHS tapes that seem to precious to throw away (Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Fantastia, etc.)!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow! Yeah… I know, right? Those VHS tapes still seem precious somehow. Maybe just because they were so huge! hehe 😃💕

  6. Kelly Miller 1 month ago

    So true, about the Twilight Zone still being relevant and the human condition not changing. 😄

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Kelly! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve been totally enjoying rewatching The Twilight Zone… that’s a mark of really good storytelling when it’s still relevant today!

  7. Lori 1 month ago

    I used to record stuff my son all the time when he was younger. At that time we did not have satelite. So any time a yearly show, like Charlie Brown specials would be on, I recorded it. All this digital stuff has taken the fun out of television in my eyes. Once a year the Wizard of Oz would be shown or the various Christmas specials. It was a big deal in our house! I still get excited when I see it is going to be, even thought I own the dvd. 😉 Yes I own several dvd’s but only because that it what I can watch in my craft room. Unless I want to stand on one foot holding a set of rabbit ear antena with tin foil strapped to it. Bahahaahwa! Oh the stories I will have for my grandbabes. On another note, the other day our internet service was down ALL day! Didn’t bother me, but my son was not too thrilled. ;P

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      I agree, Lori! 😃💕 There was such a magic in appointment viewing. Those annual events that you just had to be there for or you’d miss it, unless you could record on VHS, of course. But it was still only once a year. Though I’ve totally converted, mostly because of my site and online community… if the internet goes down this Admin has a very rough day! lol

  8. itsmyhusbandandme 1 month ago

    My Dad had a video 2000 – you turned the cassette over and it tape recorded the other side!
    Thanks for the memory!
    JP

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow! That sounds like modern technology at its best for sure!! hehe 😃💕 Love that JP!

  9. smzang 1 month ago

    Charlie says, ” we can now binge watch just about any show imaginable ”

    a sign of the times! I love it!

    I see you are a fan of the Classics (Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo)
    Way to go!

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