A young white girl in a 1970s pantsuit stands next to a plaque describing the actions of the 29th Illinois Light Infantry at the battle of Vicksburg

Social media of the 1980s

As a pandemic-compatible project, I have been doing some work with video, including my family’s old 8mm movies. Projecting these movies was always an occasion, with multiple people gathered. It began with the ritual of setting up the projector and the screen and getting the film threaded into the projector. The pause to rewind each three-minute reel gave everyone a chance to post their review in real time.

On family road trips, both my grandmother and my dad would make a point of stopping at any Civil War sites we passed. In the photo above, I am with Gramma at the Vicksburg National Military Park. She is posing me next to a plaque about an Illinois unit, because I was born in Illinois. (I am all enthusiasm, clearly.) In this movie, Dad is commemorating a battle in the siege of Atlanta. At the time he was filming, I don’t know if he was aware of his great-grandfather’s connection to the siege, which I describe in the narration.

My connection to the movie turns out not to be what I thought it was.


  1. Pei-Lin Yu
    February 23, 2023

    Well, the expression on your face echoes kids’ faces everywhere when confronted with adult enthusiasm about history…but the pantsuit is PRICELESS.

    As a fellow 70s kid I love this post. With my Dad it was his coin collection, just sayin’.

    1. Anne
      February 23, 2023

      The pantsuit was made by my Mom. Anybody else remember Stretch & Sew?


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