A Cowboy and Cowgirls: The Lujan Home Movies

This weekend I decided it was time to pull out a very special, old collection of family records. The records are motion picture films (moving images). The films are those which survived, and they were filmed by my parents using an 8mm camera. I started wondering what happened to the actual camera, but sometime back my dad did pass over the projector and seven films to me. I remember feeling so happy when he gave them to me. On Saturday night I watched a few of them. After pulling out the old 8mm reels and the projector (which my dad also passed along years ago), I realized that it would be the first time Daryn would see footage of me as a child.

Movie still from the Lujan Home Movies of the twinz (Thomas and Laura) and Felicia dressed up in western attire.

When we played the footage of my brother and sister (the twins) and I dressed up in western attire, it was so funny. I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t stop. I immediately decided that I had to capture the footage (in a very unsophisticated way- right off the wall using my iPod) and email it to my sister. My mom just happened to be with her, and they were also laughing when they watched it. My mom told my sister that my brother Thomas loved rocking as a baby, thus the “going to town” on his horse in this clip! I obviously was a little old for that small plastic, rolling horse, but insisted on getting in on the action. When my sister and I caught up on the phone, we laughed our ashes off (yes – I said ashes). It was straight comedy! She said “what the heck was I doing the tin man or what?” She was working a bit of leg action in her baby march! She has always been a cowgirl, and I always tell her that. What fun it was to take a peek back at us living in the moment! Since I wanted to share the clip, I posted it to YouTube. Take a look if you get a chance! It is really funny and not the best reproduction of course (since I recorded it off my wall)… You can watch the short clip titled On the Ranch_Lujans_4.14.2012 at the following link: http://youtu.be/DFh0eJUFYss.

I really need to start doing more to preserve these films. Sometimes I hate being an archivist, and maybe I hate that I care. The loss of this footage would be tragic for me. There are so many things on there I would not want to part with. The footage includes people who are no longer with us like my Grandma Corine, my Grandpa Gilbert, and my Uncle Donald. I really thank both of my parents for taking the time to capture these memories! I am so proud that they took the time to do that… They will be valued by me forever. There are still two films I have not seen because I need to track down a 200 foot take up reel. I would also like to purchase some archival quality preservation supplies for the collection at some point, and fully describe the contents of each reel. The footage is important to my family history. The reels I have seen thus far have: footage of my parents building our house in Pojoaque; my uncle and my mom playing basketball, my dad and my uncles hunting and by the campfire; my maternal grandma, and my paternal grandparents; and lots of images of me, my siblings, and my cousins growing up.

Print screens from the Home Movie Day Web Site of the Lujan Home Movies. Includes some of the clips selected by Living Room Cinema for a DVD and preservation by the Center for Home Movies in Los Angeles, California. There is footage of me and my cousin fighting for a baseball, and of me picking flowers in the mountains.

Several years ago, I did have the opportunity to preserve some of the footage as it was included in a preservation project with the Center for Home Movies in Los Angeles, California. A staff member with the Academy Film Archive accepted three of the 8mm reels from my family collection in 2004. The reels they accepted included: footage of my dad picking a flower for my mom; footage of my parents building our house in Pojoaque; and footage of a trip my parents took to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1981 with friends. One of the Home Movie Day participants called home movies the “original reality television.” That is so true! I guess I just have to keep taking baby steps toward preserving family history.

YouTube Video- On the Ranch_Lujans_4.14.2012

Living Room Cinema- Center for Home Movies
Lujan Home Movies included on DVD

Footage from the Home Movie Day Trailer
Media Page>Video>Trailer>”Scenes from Home Movie Day”

Explore posts in the same categories: Archives, Family Records, History, Maternal Line, Memories, Movies, New Mexico, Paternal Line

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