Episode 40 - Actor Jeremy Bulloch And Using Art To Draw Kids Into Family History

podcast episode May 05, 2014

Fisher visits with Star Wars actor Jeremy Bulloch about his ancestry.  This week's “Family Histoire News” talks about eight World War II vets who have finally been recognized as true POWs.  Learn why it took 70 years for these men to receive this recognition.  Also… virtually all early Irish census records are coming on line.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t amount to what any Irish descendant would hope for.  We’ll explain. And, a man has written a book about three generations of his family and their lives in what became East Germany. 

Guest Steve Young, producer of the show “Our American Family” on numerous PBS stations talks about the show’s development and growth.  Fisher talks about what a great job it does in showing how family’s can get their seniors to share great stories from the past.  

Guest Valerie Atkisson, who can best be described as a family history artist, talks about how moving around the country grounded her to her ancestry much more than any single place.  This led to her connecting with her ancestors through art.  She gives advice on what families can do to use art to draw children into an appreciation of their heritage and ancestry. Visit her website at valerieatkisson.com

Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com is back with more great advice on preserving your families memories and treasures.


Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Jeremy Bulloch

Segment 1 Episode 40

Fisher: Hello genies, you have found us! It is Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. I am your congenial Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher. It is good to have you here. Hope you’re getting some great stories from the old folks, making sure they get saved. Later in the show we’re going to talk to a man named Steve Young, a guy who has no doubt, been tormented by the fact that he never won a Heisman trophy or even a single football game for that matter. No, he has done something at least just as awesome though. He has started a beautifully crafted television show called Our American Family that you can see all over the country where people who lived in the first half of the twentieth century tell their own stories. I’ve seen it. I know you’re going to like it. He’ll be here to tell us about it, coming up in about ten or eleven minutes. It’s just a great reminder we need to get these stories from our seniors while we still can. Then, later in the show I’ll introduce you to an artist named Valerie Atkisson. Valerie is from all over the country, lived in New York for a while, and has produced remarkable art as an expression of her love of her ancestry. She’ll talk about how you can us the art within your family to get children involved in family history and how this can help them to appreciate their ancestors And of course, Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com will be in with a fascinating announcement for you later in the show. And yes, we do have another celebrity family history segment this week. Last week it was Butch Patrick of the Munsters who told us about how his buying back his grandmother’s home in the Midwest and is planning to actually host some events there because it is haunted. Yes, a real Munster house! This week, here’s my visit with British actor Jeremy Bulloch who played Boba Fett in Star Wars and Q’s assistant in two classic James Bond flicks.

Jeremy: My family’s history, well most of us grew up, I mean, I’m Scottish. My grandfather, he was a scriptwriter. “Scott of the Antarctic” He wrote the script for that. And he was an author, a great, great man, very assertive, quite greedy, then in a lot of ways great fun with a twinkle in his eye. And my grandmother is the one who had some money for the family, but my grandfather took it all. [Laughs] Family is very important, that’s why the young Boba Fett is so hopeless.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Jeremy: That I have to tame him and say behave. Put your foot down. 

Daniel: My family goes as far as just me. [Laughs]

Fisher: That’s it? You just hatched or what?

Daniel: No, I was a clone.

Fisher: Oh. [Laughs] How far back have you traced your lines Jeremy?

Jeremy: Around about 1870 something like that.

Everybody’s got a story, and they usually love to share it if you just ask. And by the way, that was the more modern Boba Fett, Daniel Logan popping in there about being hatched. [Laughs] We’ll have another one for you next week. I think they’re fun. Our survey over the last week on ExtremeGenes.com was about the most children in your lines born to one mother. In our family that number is nineteen. And apparently that is not horribly uncommon. Seventeen to twenty three was the top ranch chosen followed by none to twelve and thirteen to sixteen. Nobody voted for five to eight and we didn’t even give you the option for four or less, so thanks for voting. This week’s question has to do with the ancestral politicians. “Do you have any ancestors who were politicians?” You can vote Yes Congressman, Yes President, Yes some other office, No thank goodness. Cast your vote now at ExtremeGenes.com. It is time once again for your Family Histoire News from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com. Eight American World War II Veterans finally received the honors they should have received some seventy years ago. In the basement of the Pentagon they arrived to relying on canes, walkers or escorts and in one case with an oxygen tank in hand. They were there to receive medals and recognition as former prisoners of war. For decades men like these were suspected of having bailed out or intentionally putting their planes down in Switzerland or other neutral countries to avoid the huge risk of aerial combat. These men were held in Switzerland in a notorious prison camp under stark conditions, commanded by a Nazi sympathiser who later was accused of war crimes. The ceremony was a result of fifteen years of research into the subject by army Major Dwight Mears whose late grandfather had been held in Switzerland during the war. What started as Major Mears interest in his family’s history  became a passion which then resulted in this long overdue recognition and for a few living men and many more who are now gone. Read all the details at ExtremeGenes.com

The New York Daily News has done an outstanding review of a memoir of a man born on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. His name is Maxim Leo. He’s a journalist and his story is called Red Love, the story of an East German family. The book is referred to by one reviewer as an official history of a country that no longer exists. Leo covers his family’s story on both sides including his mother and father and both sets of grandparents. The compelling tale follows his family from the beginning of World War II through the creation of the Berlin Wall and its eventual destruction in 1989. Leo writes, “The GDR has been dead for ages but it’s still quite alive in my family like a ghost that can’t find peace.” Included in his book are family stories of a former Nazi soldier, his maternal grandfather, a resistant fighter for the French, dyed in the wool socialist, and one who openly questions socialism. Leo wrote, “I wish I could go back to the GDR to understand what actually happened there to my grandfather, to my parents, to me. That’s when he began interviewing and photographing family members. Then he said, “I asked questions that I’d normally never dared to go near. I was allowed to do that because I was a genealogist now. Red Love, the story of an East German family, sounds like a great book on one family focussed on the fifty years between 1939 and 1989. Read the full daily news story at ExtremeGenes.com. We’ve been talking a lot lately about the wealth of Irish records that are now making their way online from various companies like Ancestry and Find My Past as well as the National Archives of Ireland. Well, this past week the Minister of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, I think that’s how you say it, rolled out all of their pre-1901 Irish census holdings. Unfortunately, they did not amount to much. You see, in 1821, a full twenty years before the rest of the UK started taking censuses, Ireland completed their first. Eight censuses existed by the time of the completion of the 1911census. The first four were in the public record office. The Registrar General was responsible for the censuses after 1851. And if you’re of Irish ancestry you’re going to hate this. During WW I for reason no one gets today, the Registrar General ordered the destruction of the 1881 and 1891 Irish census records. They joined the 1861 and 1871records that had also been destroyed not long after the censuses were taken, privacy, space, who knows the reasons? Then, the public record office was destroyed in 1922, taking with it the censuses of 1821, ’31 and ’41 and ’51, the first four. Just a few pieces of these survived and that’s what was released online this past week. Makes you want to cry, doesn’t it? Coming up next, the Producer for the TV series Our American Family, Steve Young talks about what they’re doing to reserve the stories of the first half of the twentieth century in the voices of the people who lived it. It’s coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 2 Episode 40

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Steve Young

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth talking to Steve Young, not the football player hall of famer and all that. Steve Young is the producer of a show called “Our American Family” which you may see on your public television station in your area. Steve welcome to the show, nice to have you on.

Steve: Oh so glad to be here. Thanks for having me. 

Fisher: Now tell us about this thing. I was looking at it online and first of all it is a beautifully produced show filled with stories, which is a lot of what we try to do right here because there’s just an endless supply. It will never stop. The graphics are gorgeous, the stories are well told by the people themselves, when did this start? How did you get the idea? And what’s your involvement in family history throughout your life?

Steve: “Our American Family” began as an inspiration to capture my own family story before it was too late. My father is one of eight children of tenant farmer family from North Mississippi and we lost my grandmother unexpectedly and she was the treasure trove of all things about the Young family. And I realized that we’d lost a huge opportunity but that it wasn’t too late, that we had a chance if we jumped on it to talk to my dad and my aunts and my uncles that were still living, to understand what did it mean to be a family in the first half of the 1900s. You know Scott, that’s the period that’s the most liked of all of the generations that came before. My family were farmers. I think they went back to Scotland being farmers, but it was really after World War II that everything changed and it’s still changing. So we don’t have many years left where we can speak with those who lived through that change. And so, I think we are trying our best in our way to inspire others to reach out to their elders and get their family stories from the simpler time before it’s too late. 

Fisher: Well you know, that is a very interesting way to look at it. I haven’t thought of it that way. But the first half of the 20th century was more like the 19th than the 21st

Steve: Absolutely. And you know, one of the things that I muse on a lot is we talk a lot about family values, you know, the things our parents taught us. From what I can tell, doing this project, a lot of that really harkens back to this era and before when times were much tougher. Families had to pull together to be much tighter, and therefore, family values wasn’t a slogan it was simply the way you made it. And what you valued when you didn’t have much. And we have been all this time piggy backing on those values that were forged back in that simpler time, and I wanted to make sure that we told some every day family stories in their own words not with a voiceover but literally in the words of those who lived it. And that’s what we’re doing with “Our American Family”.

Fisher: And each one that you interview becomes a great treasure for that family. Anybody tied to them and people actually who were maybe associated with them as neighbors.

Steve: Yes. You know what’s been really interesting about this and why it’s turned into a series for public television is because people who didn’t know the Young family had an opportunity to see the documentary when we made it and they had a visual reaction to it. And that was fascinating to me because they don’t know my family and yet it struck them somehow. And what we have figured out, Scott, is that when you are watching an everyday family telling their story, you’re looking in a mirror. It may not be the same color person, it may not be from the same part of the country, but there’s something common. And you look in the mirror and you instantly think about your own family. We realized that we had that opportunity to inspire others to capture their own family stories with a program like this.

Fisher: You know we’ve certainly discovered the same thing here. A lot of people will phone in and share their discovery, and it might not be your family, it might not even be from your part of the country, but when you listen to it, it certainly is universal for the human family and we all benefit from hearing that excitement and what those stories are and the things they’ve discovered. 

Steve: Exactly. And that’s what we’re doing and are just thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down and do this with every day family. 

Fisher: Now you’ve done this for a couple of years now.

Steve: Right.

Fisher: How many shows have you put together? How often is the show? And what does it take to produce one?

Steve: [Laughs] Those are all good questions. We move pretty slow, we’ve done one a year. We started with my family and then we did a family from Texas, the Smiths family from Gold State Texas, and we brought that show out last fall and we’re about to introduce two new families, the Barreras family from New Mexico, and the Furuta family from Los Angeles. And we are just wanting to take our time, find families with stories who we think are compelling, and there is quite a process. It takes about nine months to put one together adequately. Because you have to first research and find the family, and then you have to work with the family closely to pull all their archival information together. Story boards, their stories so you understand how they’re going to tell it, arrange the filming date, get the whole family in the same place at the same time, it goes on and on and on and of course a lot of work is done in post production. You mentioned the look of the show and a lot of that of course happens in post production not just when you’re capturing the family on film.

Fisher: Right. Yeah, “we’ll fix it in post” that’s what they always say in television.

Steve: [Laughs] It’s amazing what you can do in post these days. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: It’s what I call the secret sauce that really makes “Our American Family” stand up alongside shows like “American Experience” and the like. 

Fisher: Yes. And you know, it’s so fun to see so many of these come out because I can’t pick from one to the next. I want to watch them all. 

Steve: Yeah. It’s kind of cool. You know what I’m hoping is going to happen is that we’re going to get enough viewership and syndication that we are going to be able to, if you will, earn our way in to national public television distribution. We’re on the way to that. You have to be able to show that you have been picked up by 75% of the country at some point or another to kind of earn your way into that national consideration, and right now we’re sitting right around 55% and we’re hoping that these next few shows are going to kind of push us on up towards that 75% what they call common carriage rate. 

Fisher: Now, how long is each show?

Steve: They’re thirty minute programs.

Fisher: Okay. And so these stations have all picked them up so they’re all over the place and of course if people want to see it they can go to OurAmericanFamilyTV.com. You can find out exactly where the show is showing in your area. 

Steve: And more importantly then that Scott, you know because we’re syndicated it really is the local program director’s option in every market whether or not they choose to show us or not and for your listeners out there, if this is the kind of thing that appeals to you and that you value, we would appreciate you reaching out to your local public television station and encouraging them to show “Our American Family”.

Fisher: We’re talking to Steve Young, he is the producer of “Our American Family” it’s a syndicated public TV show about family history. It’s a compelling piece. I’ve watched some of the episodes online and Steve, you’ve got to tell us what is your favorite story so far that you’ve run across? 

Steve: Certainly one that is going to grab everyone is going to be a story from the Furuta family. The Furuta family is a Japanese American family based in Huntington Beach, California. And as you might suspect, based on the time period that we cover which is in the first half of the 1900s, this family has an internment camp story. In fact, the father of the family was married in the internment camp. What is so compelling to me about their story is that they came to make a better life for themselves in the United States were doing quite well when the war broke out and they were required to go to an internment camp and they lost everything. They lost their land, they lost their business by the time they got back it was all gone. And this family was not bitter. It’s just astounding to me. They were not bitter, certainly had the right to be bitter, and instead they said, “This is still a great country. We still have an opportunity to make something of ourselves.” And they went right back at it again. And one statement that really brought tears to everyone’s eyes during the filming was the son of the father who was now passed away, said that nothing would have made his father prouder than knowing that his family was considered for an episode of “Our American Family”.

Fisher: Isn’t that a great tribute.

Steve: I mean, you know that just put us on the floor. I mean we were just floored by it and we’re honored to have a chance to know this family and it’s really a great reflection of what is so wonderful about this country. We are diverse but we hold many values in common and I’m hoping that this series list that up. 

Fisher: So Steve, what do you do the rest of the time?

Steve: [Laughs] When I’m not doing these crazy projects?

Fisher: Yes.

Steve: I am the executive director of “Living Waters for the World” we are a water humanitarian organization that trains volunteer teams to put in clean water systems all over the world, and I certainly enjoy that work very much.

Fisher: Well thank you so much for your time and good luck with “Our American Family” Once again, it’s available at OurAmericanFamilyTV.com. You can actually see some of the work that Steve has done. It’s available hopefully in your area on public television. It’s syndicated so it’s kind of hit and miss at this point but Steve, we hope you hit your goal of national recognition by PBS stations in the not too distant future.

Steve: Oh thank you so much Scott. Really do appreciate the opportunity to share it with you today.

Fisher: And coming up next, she’s a family history artist with all kinds of ideas on teaching your kids to appreciate family history through art. We’ll talk to Valerie Atkisson in five minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.  

Segment 3 Episode 40

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Valerie Atkisson

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with Valerie Atkisson. She is an artiste extraordinaire in the family history genre. Welcome to the show Valerie. It’s good to have you.

Valerie: Thank you.

Fisher: I had someone get in touch with me recently about a display that they saw that you did relating to your family history. You created this artistic thing and I’ve seen it online that goes back like a thousand years. Let’s start with this. Your family history and your interest in it, when did all that develop?

Valerie: When I went to New York City to go to graduate school, people would always ask me where I was from and I would say, “Well, I’m kind of from the Midwest, but I grew up all over the place. We moved around a lot.” And that kept coming up and I realized at one point that instead of where I wasn’t like from a landscape, from a state or something like that, but I was from people.  And I knew a lot about the people because my parents, as we moved around, would tell us about our ancestors and about our family history and that kind of gave us an identity rather than where we were. Does that make sense?

Fisher: Yeah, yeah.

Valerie: So, I began to be interested in that. I just realized how much I knew about the people that I was from, which was a lot of information. I felt like we’ve been to ancestral homes that heard the stories and they knew quite a bit, and so I decided that I was going to make a self-portrait guess you could say. And I was going to write on my studio wall all of my ancestors and the known ancestors and the shape that that image would make with all that written information would be a self-portrait in some, you know, in my eyes.

Fisher: So you don’t have necessarily a home town but you have your home family, and that’s the thing that was grounding you?

Valerie: Yeah, um hmm.

Fisher: I remember back when I was a kid there was this thing that we used to do with chewing gum or bubblegum wrappers and we’d make these long link chains and what you did kind of reminded me of that.

Valerie: Um hmm.

Fisher: They were like triangular and they linked together and how many generations back did that go?

Valerie: So that piece is called Hanging Family History. And after I worked on the walls and these pieces were painted over I decided I wanted to make something three dimensional that would be permanent. It started at the top with myself and I made a triangle armature of copper wire and wrapped it with paper, with rice paper and I used the triangle because it went from one point to two points. And so I could put my mom and my dad, I could hook them on to them and then I could hook their parents on to them and their parents on to them, also, a triangular architectural structure that can hold weight. So this piece starts with one triangle at the top. My parents are hooked into me, their parents, their parents, their parents and it goes back actually two thousand years to 9 A.D. 

Fisher: Two thousand years! 

Valerie: And there’s just thousands of people on this Hanging Family History. And I got the information from Ancestral File in about the year 2000. And I didn’t worry about whether it was right or not. It was the known information, the best were known. And this is an art piece. It’s not historical.

Fisher: Right.

Valerie: And it represented, even though it was my ancestry, it represented everyone in that we are all made of thousands of people from generations and generations beyond us. And it really could be anyone putting themselves in our place.

Fisher: Well, you know in Europe right now there is an understanding that many people in Europe have the most common recent ancestor. They believe is as recent as the 1400s for much of Europe.

Valerie: I believe that’s true.

Fisher: And so, when you talk about we all tie in together I mean, consider that. [Laughs]

Valerie: Yeah, right.

Fisher: And so you must obviously tie in some Royal lines to go back that far.

Valerie: I believe so, yes. So I think that you know, I’m a descendent of Charlemagne like...

Fisher: Everybody.

Valerie: Everybody is. [Laughs]

Fisher: Absolutely. That’s the other thing is if you go back to everybody living in England around the year 1000 who has descendents living today, we all descent from all of them.

Valerie: Uh hmm.

Fisher: It’s the way that works. So yeah, it’s good to see you cousin.

Valerie: [Laughs] Exactly.

Fisher: [Laughs] So what could you tell people about how to artistically connect with their families, because I think a lot of people can be intimidated by the research process in creating their charts, their pedigrees, their family groups. But, perhaps art is another way also to involve children into this.

Valerie: Oh, I absolutely agree, and actually one thing that my parents did, well my mom, she collected a few family stories and when we were kids she asked us to illustrate them. So we have this family story book that she created, I don’t know, 1976 or something like that. And we all contributed stories and we still have that, that’s a family treasure. That was one project of many and other people in my family are actually interested in this. My mother is a very good writer and she wrote many, many letters to her parents.

Fisher: Something we don’t see much anymore.

Valerie: Exactly. Well, then it turned to emails but she wrote about us and what we did. But, through those letters, especially her writings about travels that they made, trips and things, my bother for example collected all of those trips and made a book  that we called Travels of Mary Anne which is really a treasure for all of us. Another thing that we did was she also wrote a letter when we were moving away from Michigan and she was writing about the animals that she was going to miss. We lived on a lake and so she was writing about all these different animals. That was something that I illustrated to make a children’s book. So, there are ways that you can involve kids and involve adults in preserving these types of artistic things that your ancestors do or making them artistic yourself, kids illustrating family stories is a great idea.

Fisher: That’s an easy 6:24

Valerie: And it is easy. And I think that those things they’re just put in a book and preserved are going to be cherished at a later time.

Fisher: Now don’t beat me up over this, but is there a way for other people to learn how you created your long line of triangles? I mean, because I know you’re an expert artiste. [Laugh]

Valerie: Well, it took me a year and a half so if they want to spend that much time. Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Are there any simple instructions on how to do that work because it is beautiful?

Valerie: [Laughs]

Fisher: I want to point out by the way, we’ve linked to it. It’s on our website. You can see it on ExtremeGenes.com. So you can see what Valerie has created and it is absolutely fantastic. 

Valerie: The interesting thing about it was I wanted to see what that shape looked like of that known information and many people including myself have commented that it actually looks like a DNA strand, which is what it represents, the passing on of this DNA from one generation to another. So I really like that part about it that it was this kind of micro and macro piece in and of itself. The charts and these family group sheets that you print out like a stack of genealogy files isn’t particularly interesting to look at. But, there are so many stories, there are so many places and landscapes and visual information that are tied to these people, and in my work, what I tried to do was just give that information life. So I’ve done murals on walls where I’ve actually illustrated landscapes. This most recent piece that I did in this most recent show actually laser cut metal and it incorporated landscapes, incorporated images from stories from family histories in journals to kind of trace a pectoral generation. It was a ten generations of my matriarchal line. And so your normal fan chart that you know you can print out, well maybe there’s some embellishment you can do with that, where people live, or houses they lived in. I think there’s just a lot of potential there.

Fisher: I mean, ultimately it’s the stories that make us connect not the charts, not the group sheets. There are lots of different ways as you pointed out today to express those stories. 

Valerie: Absolutely.

Fisher: I think it’s really interesting and I really appreciate your coming on and taking the time to share your thoughts on that today, because it obviously really affected you decades ago.

Valerie: Absolutely, absolutely. I think that there’s a real desire for people, for young children, especially teenagers, to feel like they have an identity, that they have roots. And exploring ancestors is a really great way and especially because you know they didn’t have perfect lives. I mean, they had disappointments. They had joys. They had victories, but they also had struggles. 

Fisher: Made mistakes.

Valerie: Made mistakes, sometimes really big mistakes and those are things that we can learn from and are just really I think, valuable to us to put our lives into perspective that we know we’re not the only person that is going through whatever we’re going through. There’s just been lots of people before us who have gone through it. [Laughs] That is life.

Fisher: Absolutely. Valerie Atkisson, she’s the artist. You can find out more at valerieatkisson.com. You’ve got to put kiss right in the middle of it, right?

Valerie: That’s right. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your thoughts.

Valerie: Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.

Fisher: And on the way, Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com with an announcement you’re going to want to hear if you’re ever planning on doing a family reunion. So on the way in three minutes on Extreme Genes Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 4 Episode 40

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey, welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. I am so proud of you! This is an exciting new project you've got going on.

Tom: Yeah, this is awesome. It’s never been done before in North America. It’s incredible. What we're doing is, we're opening a new campus in northern Utah. It’s going to be about an hour north of Salt Lake City. And it’s a five acre site, we have 34,000 square feet under roof, so you can come for family reunions, family gatherings, it’s basically, we're calling it "The Family Preservation Campus."

Fisher: Wow! So, not only do you have the reunion there, but you can use that place to start saving your items so everybody can share, your images, your old movies, because you've got all the equipment for it right there.

Tom: Oh exactly. And one of the neatest part about, everybody's got a friend or a grandma or a cousin or something that has some photos or some slides that they will not let out of their hands, and they've said, "You know, when I'm gone, you'll have to pry it out of my cold dead hands."

Fisher: Which we often do. [Laughs]

Tom: Exactly. We do that. I've done it. Been there done that. And so, these people, when they come to your family reunion, they can actually come into the facility that we're building and they can actually scan them themselves. They'll have one of our pros there to help them, but they never leave their sight, they never leave their hands.

Fisher: Boy, what a great thing! And for the kids, too, you know, is, the cousins, the young cousins want to get together and get to know one another. They've got indoor basketball courts, exercise room, game room and arcade, outdoor soccer field, places for camping, the RV parking. Where is this again?

Tom: It’s in northern Utah. It’s actually called Garland, Utah, which is the sweetest city in all of America.

Fisher: Okay. [Laughs]

Tom: They used to raise sugar beets there.

Fisher: And so, are you taking reservations on this thing here?

Tom: Yeah. We've already started taking reservations for as early as June. And like I say, you can come in and spend a week, you can spend a day, a weekend, do day trips. If you want to fly in, we'll pick you up at the airport. We have a shuttle to take you to BYU for any conference activities they're having down there, for their genealogy conferences. Basically, we're going to almost have a mini Roots Tech there to provide for your family.

Fisher: Unbelievable! The new family preservation campus and the reservations are done where, through what address?

Tom: They can go right to our website. They can go to either [email protected] for any questions. We have stuff up on our website about it. Call us on the phone and we can get you all set up. But it’s an absolutely amazing thing. It’s been a dream of mine forever. I just love helping people preserve their memories. Nothing makes me happier than seeing, you know, a grandmother crying as she's looking at a DVD of, you know, her family that she hasn't seen for years or photos that we have scanned for her.

Fisher: Now I'm looking at these number here, 34,000 square feet indoors! So basically, if you have this reunion, you can actually stay on the campus, you can be indoors during bad weather or cold temperatures or outdoors enjoying these five acres. What a great idea!

Tom: We'll even make up special playing cards for the family that are called "family fun facts." If you can send us fifty two family fun facts, we'll make up a deck of cards, so they can sit and play different games.

Fisher: Unbelievable! And you can also interview some of the older people in the families while they're there.

Tom: Oh yeah! We'll have a full recording studio where they can sit and watch their movies and narrate them right while they're there.

Fisher: All right. And you can make reservations at [email protected]. I'm so excited you told us about that! All right, coming up in the next segment?

Tom: We're going to finish our discussion on disks, on BluRay, DVDs, DVD ROMs and all those acronyms.

Fisher: And what do they mean? We'll find next with Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 40

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. Final segment today with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, and if you have a question for Tom, we'd love to hear from you. Just write to [email protected]. You might hear your question answered on the air. Now, last couple of weeks, we've been getting into this whole thing about how different disks that are the same physical size hold different amounts of information. You've done a great job with that.

Tom: The thing that you need to remember is, as we were talking about light waves, the smaller the light wave, the smaller the impressions it can make on a disk. So in essence, a BluRay uses a lot smaller disks, so the chambers on the disk are actually small, so it can stack more chambers on it. So it’s kind of the thickness of the light. Then another person asked us, "Well, what's the difference? Why can I go to a store and buy a Taiyo Yuden disk that costs a dollar, but I can buy these other ones for like 30c, 50c. What's the difference?" It’s the quality of the dye. Just like you go to a gas station there's different qualities of gas.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: There's different qualities of dye. So you want a good dye. And I'm a promoter of Taiyo Yuden disks. I have never had one come back. Not one! So they're good quality dye. We put 100 year warranty on all the ones that we sell. If you go to the MDisk, and they actually engrave the information on the polycarbonate, so that's even more secure. And you can also go to what's called a replicated disk, which when you're a replicated disk, which would be like a Disney DVD that you’d buy in a store, they actually do what's called a glass master or a glass mother. They make a mould, and the disks are actually stamped out, so there's no dye, there's no ons and offs in the dye. There's actually pits that are actually in the disk that tell it whether it’s an on or an off like the dye does, so the only way you're going to damage one of those is to actually crack your disk or break the disk.

Fisher: Tom is there a better disk for, say, videos or home movies and then a different one that you would use for photograph storage?

Tom: No, not really. But that is a good question. I would always use Taiyo Yuden disks, the best quality, but that brings up a very interesting thing. What people have to be careful with is, when you buy a disk, they think, "This is a DVD disk, this is a data disk, this is a ROM disk, this is a game disk." They're really all the same thing. It’s the way that you actually format the disk what it’s going to be. For instance, we had a lady come in the store just last week and she brought in this disk and she says, "Hey, I have this video DVD and it won't play on my DVD players." So we pop it into one of ours, it won't play on ours either. I pop it into my Mac, and then I can actually see the format of the disk. If it says "TS Video" and "TS Audio", it’s a video DVD. It’s still a DVD, but it’s been formatted to play video. Hers didn't have this. Hers had executable files, which as soon as I saw that, I thought, "Oh, this is a PC. Somebody has made this disk to play on a PC. It won't play on a Mac. It’s got to play on a PC." So you pop it in, and generally, it will start automatically and play this lady's video. And that's how she saw it at her brother's house, because he had a PC. So we had to take this disk and turn it into a video DVD, so then she could play it on a normal DVD. So whether you're talking about data disks, whether you're talking about DVD ROMs, which is usually computer programs, they're basically the same thing, it’s just the way you tell that disk to be. Like we talked about a few weeks ago, you have a big roll of steel, you can turn that into scalpels for a surgeon or you can turn it into paper clips, it’s the same steel. When you're looking at DVDs or CDs or whatever, CDs are small. They're the smaller box we talked about, usually about 700 megabytes on them. So if you have a few photographs that you're scanning or some small music or things like that, those are great, because it’s the size of it. It doesn't need anything bigger than that. If you want to put a whole bunch of photos, like high resolution photos, film, videotapes, you generally want to use a DVD, because it holds 4.5 gigabytes, so you get quite a bit more information on that. When we scan photos for people in one of our facilities, we generally put them on DVDs. BluRays, you can get 25 gigs, 50 gigs, 128 gigabytes, and also, as we've talked about before, next summer, Sony and Panasonic is coming out with a 1 terabyte!

Fisher: Wow, that's great stuff! Thanks so much, Tom Perry our Preservation Authority. Thanks also to Valerie Atkisson, the family history artist who gave some great advice about helping kids to get into family history through art, and to Steve Young, producer of “Our American Family.” You can see it on PBS. Find out more on our website. Don't forget to subscribe to us on iTunes and iHeart Radio. Give us a like on Facebook. And we'll talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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