CEDAR PARK, Texas — Home videos have long been a way to keep special moments alive. Before digital recording technology, those memories were stored on VHS tapes. But for most people today, VHS tapes are outdated technology.
- Video is dated September 27, 1994
- Label on VHS tape appears to say “Tyre”
- Family contacted him Sunday evening
“It’s been obsolete for so long that it’s actually become hard to find," said Jim McKay, an Austinite and filmmaker.
But to McKay, that doesn't make it less valuable.
“When I was a kid, my parents were like some of the first people that had like a VHS camcorder. So I filmed some stuff and I still have it, I kept it like my whole life," said McKay.
In fall of 2018, he bought a VCR player from a Goodwill in Cedar Park, but wasn't able to use it for more than a year.
“The thing with the old VCR is you can't hook them up to modern TVs because their connections are different. So, the missing link was finding an old TV to hook it up to," said McKay.
He planned to use the VCR player and old TV as props for a film project, but also to watch his own old home videos.
“I wasn't expecting anything in it. As soon as I hit the power button it like made this rumbling noise and a tape spit out. Like, whoa, this isn't like a bought tape— this is someone's home movie," said McKay.
When he used it for the first time this weekend, he discovered a 25-year-old home movie inside the VCR.
“First frame was the baby," said McKay. "Dad is like releasing the baby trying to get the baby to walk. It's like, wow, wow, this could have been something dumb. This is amazing.”
The label on the tape simply reads, “Tyre Learns to Walk. September 27, 1994.”
“By the end of the video I was just amazed at this family," said McKay, "There's gospel music playing the whole time. The family singing along— the clapping— is just like, it's beautiful, beautiful family moment.”
McKay says he knew he had to make an attempt to find the family that made the tape and decided to post the video on social media. It’s since gone viral after being shared by a friend on Twitter.
“People just in general have been really supportive and kind of all pulling together for this one really cool cause. So it’s a neat moment," said McKay. “If I was the dad in this scenario, I would lose it, I would just cry, it would be like amazing, because I think that is like a really special moment. And it's amazing that they had the foresight to capture it."
And late Sunday night, the family in the video contacted McKay.
“It’s kind of magical," said McKay. "Just like seeing seeing it all come together and work out, you know, kind of like against all odds, is like incredible.”