You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 24, 2008.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I have about 20 small reel-to-reel tapes that dad sent from basic training, specialist training, and Vietnam.  I’ve been researching the best way to transfer the audio to digital and post up on the blog here, but there have been some issues.

I’ve tried to track down an open deck to play the tapes hoping I could capture the output on my computer, but good decks have been hard to come by cheap.  I’ve looked for audio cards that could handle the input but they’re kinda spendy and it turns out that after all this the deck and the card are not the problem.

The problem is that these tapes are now forty years old and most likely in a fragile state.  After some lengthy discussions with a few people who are knowledgeable in this area, I’ve come to the conclusion that attempting to do it myself would be dangerous at best and cataclysmic at worst.  The simple act of playing them could end up destroying them beyond recovery.

To quote an expert I consulted: “What I’m trying to say is, if you are willing to take the chance to lose all the recording on those tapes… by all means, go ahead and try to play them. If they are really important enough as a memory of your father, [pay a professional].”

It seems to be the consensus that a professional transfer is the safest way to go and, as a result, for the first time since I left Cub Scouts, I’m accepting donations.

On the left hand side of the page there will now be a “donation” button that looks like this:

Anything you give will go exclusively towards the transfer of the audio and anything we get off the tapes will then be posted here for all to listen to and download.  Once the project is done the button will go away.  Deal?

To be honest asking for money makes me uncomfortable, but with the total potential cost of transfer being in excess of $500 I sincerely don’t see any other way to get this done, and with every year I wait the less of his voice there will be to recover.

So there we are.  I’m using PayPal so pretty much any way you care to give will be possible.  I’ll keep you all updated on how it goes.

Thank you,


Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


How it all works

We publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
For a quick rundown of the family, start by reading this post
Make sure you read the comments. People who are mentioned in the letters will sometimes expand on whatever is being discussed in the posts.


If you spot an error, broken link, or have a suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment.


You can always get back to this blog, no matter where it's parked, by heading to
November 2008