Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nanci turns 60 — The Magik of Multimedia

A couple of months ago my niece Amber asked me to handle the multimedia part of a celebration that she & Karina were organizing for her Mom — my "big" sister Nanci Gail Pammett Phelan — to honor her on her 60th birthday. So naturally I took on the project with much enthusiasm because I knew it would mean a great deal to my sister plus it'd be a great way to hone my multimedia skills, not to mention the nostalgia of going back thru family photos for the last 6 decades.

Click here for the full size image of 'The twenty-one Faces of Nanci', a collage I created to honor Nanci on her 60th birthday As planned, the surprise party for Nanci took place on Saturday February 21st in Elmira, Ontario, Canada. She was completely surprised as you can tell from the YouTube video that I captured when Nanci first arrived at the party. The picture on the right is what I called "60 Years of Nanci". I had the collage printed professionally, framed, and then this is what I wrapped up for Nanci to open at the party. Later on I made this version for her because the blue-sky background lets the faces show up better + this background picture was taken on our trip to Canada for our brother, Johnny's, memorial service. I chose the sunset picture because it is from Pigeon Lake on the day of our Dad's funeral.

The full set of pictures are in this Flickr album — and man was it hard to sort thru them all to come up with a subset to use in the video that I played during the celebration. If I do say so myself… this was multimedia at its best: people were moved to tears reminiscing thru Nanci's life — childhood, adolescence, her University years, marriage, bringing up her children, the passing of our parents, birth of grand children… — all with a sound track that brought back memories and culminated in an animation creatively made from the "Faces" collage shown above. Due to size limitations imposed by (the free) YouTube, only a "speeded up" version of Nanci's Video on YouTube can be seen in a web-based presentation. But if you do want to download the full video to your hard drive right-click here and do "Save Target As". Be forewarned that it's 378 MB so that might take a while. Using my cable modem the download took 9 minutes. The full 12-minute video, like all multimedia products from, plays on a Mac with QuickTime and on Windows with Window Media Player.

So… Happy Birthday, Nanci !!     It was totally my joy to be a part of your well-deserved celebration.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Doris Redfield Chadwick turns 100 years old

The Pammetts were not fortunate enough to be able to get to the extended family party… but recently Jack sent me the picture shown below of Auntie Dot's 100th birthday so I've decided to post it and write this story on Groundhog Day, 2009. Every year I celebrate this day as the first significant milestone long enough into the Winter season that finally the days are starting to get significantly longer. Yeah!! Click here for the full size image of Doris Redfield Chadwick's 100th birthday party on Nov 13th, 2008
Just imagine what the world was like on Nov. 8th, 1908, when Doris Chadwick (née Redfield) was born in East Bridgewater, Mass. Wow!! And now, 100 years later, she's still happy and healthy enough to celebrate her centenial birthday with 75 of her closest friends at the Stuart Congregational Church in Stuart, FL.

The Bassetts, Chadwicks, and Redfields are my wife's side of the family, so I didn't get to meet the Chadwicks until the 1970s when they lived in Connecticut. But for most of my time knowing them, "Buster and Dot" enjoyed their golden years in Florida. In the 90s, when my kids were little, we visited them often because we lived in Alabama. On a return trip to Florida in 2002 I featured my kids' "favorite great Aunt & Uncle" in pictures on this magic cube.

Click here for the full size image of Doris Redfield Chadwick's amidst her presents on her 100th birthday party on Nov 13th, 2008Great Auntie '.' (she loved to write it like that) was always joyous and welcoming of my family whenever we came to visit. I remember well the visit when she had just finished having "The Last Twig" published, and I told her about "the web" and how "in the future everyone will be able to publish things themselves on the web". She was somewhat skeptical about that and we did talk about the possibly of making her book available… but alas I never did get in touch with her publisher. Nevertheless, I just Google'd her book title, just to see, and I was thrilled to see that this article says "Chadwick wrote several books, including The Last Twig — a story of her life and times, published in 1998." Another book (printed in 1984), "Hold High The Torch", is an amazingly detailed documentary of a most impressive family genealogy — 13 generations of Redfields that date back to the arrival of her ancestors from England in 1630.   Wow!!    My father-in-law's family — when Ian Alexander married Millicent Redfield Bassett — comes into the picture in generation XI. It is certainly my honor to be part of such a family.

So, Auntie '.'  — Happy Birthday !! and may you live to enjoy many more happy years !!