Niña y la Familia

blank vhs tapeA recent trip to a thrift store in Garden Grove, CA, offered quite the bounty. Among the dozen VHS tapes I had to grab, I did find one unlabeled tape. It was about halfway in and not rewound. Clearly, not a blank tape, but was it just another taping of daytime television or my prized thrift store jewel: a discarded home movie?! Only one way to find out.

The unboxing video is available on our Instagram @thriftshopvids. It was a very exciting moment to see that it was, in fact, a home movie!

Now the fun begins! What were these videos?!

In high school, my mother told me I should study Spanish. Living in California, she said, will be useful. I took German. Other than understanding the Nazis in the Indiana Jones movies, that choice has not been as fruitful as I had hoped. It’s moments like this video where I wish I could speak Spanish. A couple words here and there I get, calling a woman crazy, for example. However, the majority of the first part of the video is in Spanish. The last couple chapters have some English, but nothing of great detective value. Hopefully, my legion of… fan… could translate and leave comments below as to what they are talking about.

What I believe is going on, however, are family gatherings centered around the little girl. She appears to grow quite rapidly between segments, so either I’ve uncovered the scientific documenting of a freakish growth hormone, or this video takes place of over a couple years. Songs are played in the background (on what appears to be a portable tape player that I had as a kid) and Shazam has tagged them to be from an album released in 1988, and later the Bobby Brown theme song from Ghostbusters 2 (proud to say I quickly identified that myself), from 1989.

What kind of car is that?! The front is longer than my entire car!
What kind of car is that?! The front is longer than my entire car!


The husband and wife gain some weight throughout the video, another indication time is passing. I’ll be honest. There’s some very unflattering shots in swim wear. God bless them and their inappropriate crotch grabbing for throwing caution to the wind! I believe a slightly more blonde woman is doing most of the filming (possibly a sister of the wife). However, when the camera zooms into boobs and crotches, it’s pretty clear the macho mustachio wearing swinger is on the job. At the end, they are driving around Anaheim, CA, and drive past Disneyland.

Do you remember Alpha Beta?
Do you remember Alpha Beta?

It’s amazing to see the cars on the road, but more impressive to see the lack of buildings around what is now a very built up section of properties around the mouse’s park. Amusingly, I was able to use Google Maps to find the street they turned on during one segment. Gilbert and Ball still has a 7-Eleven and McDonald’s on the corner.

I’m very tempted to see if I can retrace their path and film a modern version of their journey driving along the same streets. I’d love the see the two side-by-side to see how the area has built up.

Please enjoy a Garden Grove family from the late 1980’s in southern California.

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