Thursday, September 28, 2006


I remember the day I was introduced to the Video Cassette Recorder. It was in late 1985. I saw an ad in the paper that you could rent one for 2 days for $9.99. You have to understand this was a totally new way of viewing entertainment. To be able to watch any movie you wanted at any time you wanted was unheard of. For decades, we had been ruled by what the TV broadcasters put on the air. Now there was this machine that could play movies.

Needless to say, I was interested, so I talked my mom into going with me to Sarnia East Video so that I could rent a VCR. Remember renting those things? How they were put in a case that had a handle on it so that you could lug it back home with you? I walked in the video store and was impressed. Cool posters all over the place. Hundreds of videos to choose from. I loved the poster for "The Terminator" (and rented the movie a few weeks later). In the end, I rented 2 movies that I had seen before: "The Empire Strikes Back" (how shocking) and the Henry Thomas-Dabney Coleman movie "Cloak & Dagger".

I also remember when stores used to have you sign a copy of the rental agreement each time you rented a movie. My stepdad had an account at the local grocery store Midtown Foods and had me and my siblings put on it so that we could rent movies whenever we wanted. Our stepdad had a different name than ours (obviously), so the boys would always sign the rental agreement with their actual first name, but my stepdad's last name. Those kids, I swear.

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