Voices from the Past

    “Voices from the Past,” Ensign, Apr. 1995, 72

    Voices from the Past

    How can you capture the excitement of a memory without also acquiring a big bill? Photos can be inexpensive, but they lack the sounds of life. And not everyone can afford a video camera.

    Five years ago we went on a vacation with my husband’s family to Orlando, Florida. Brian and I were newly married, and the money for a video camera was nowhere in our budget. So I took along the next best thing—a miniature tape recorder.

    No one shied away from me when I’d whip out my tape recorder, since the only thing I was recording was their voices. And we were able to take it everywhere: in the car, in elevators, and even on roller coasters! People would sing, tell jokes, make profound statements, and even talk to their posterity.

    “So, do you have anything to say to your future children?”

    “Yes. For my posterity: Please note that I once was young, just like you, and that at one time I actually enjoyed riding on roller coasters.”

    At home after the trip, I played one of my tapes.

    “Dad, what words of wisdom can you share with us?”

    “Well, I predict the family line will go on for a long, long time.”

    Suddenly I was back with the family. And no airplane, VCR, or TV was needed. All I needed was a tape player; my mind filled in the rest.

    Another benefit is that if I get homesick, I can play a tape almost anywhere: at home, in the car, or even while I go jogging.

    “So, Mom, what is the meaning of life?”

    “Hmmm … good question. To me it means family.”

    I find that family memories are enhanced by tape-recording as many family get-togethers as possible—for my posterity’s sake and my own.—Jalaire Foote Hickman, Sunnyvale, California