Griffin resident’s video shows a look back in time

By Sheila A. Marshall

Managing Editor

The world around us is constantly changing. Although we may not notice the minutia on a daily basis, over time, the differences can be shocking. Such is the case with a video filmed in 1979 by lifelong Griffin residents David and Reba Baugh.

Entitled “A Drive Thru Griffin,” David Baugh said the video was basically an experiment with some new and at-the-time cutting edge electronic equipment.

“I had a huge, chunky VCR – an RCA SelectaVision – one of the very first ones that came out. I paid $1,200 for it; I thought my wife was going to kill me,” he said. “That video was pretty much an experiment, more or less. I wanted to see if I could record in the car. I wanted to go out around town and shoot a video, and it worked.”

David Baugh said in addition to the VCR, he also purchased an inverter that could be plugged into the lighter of his 1979 Plymouth Gold Duster. The inverter converted battery power to electricity, powering the video recorder.

“At that time, we didn’t have battery pack cameras like we do today,” he said. “My wife was actually holding the camera because she didn’t drive. A lot of things were different then.”

Baugh said until recently, the video, which depicts scenery in and around downtown Griffin, was never viewed by anyone other than family members.

“There was really no way to share it back then – there was no Internet – and back then, it was probably boring, because you could just drive downtown and see it for yourself,” he said. “I never realized that 30-something years later, others would be looking at it. I know the quality is awful, but I think it does have some importance. I didn’t realize until I got that video out and played it just how much Griffin has changed.”

It was upon his retirement that he found himself with time to go through old family videos and begin the process of converting them to more modern formatting. He said public interest in this first project has encouraged him to continue on.

“I’ve had some comments from people saying how much they’ve enjoyed it. One person said they saw the house they once lived in,” he said. “It brought back a lot of memories for me, too. I met my wife at work in early 1969 and we married Dec. 19 of that same year. Our first date was at the Blue Goose. It’s not there any longer, but I noticed it was in the video. Later on, when I asked her to marry me, we were parked at the old A&W. They tore that down years ago and built Griffith’s, but the original A&Ws was in the video, too. There are some very historic places from my life in that video.”

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