Inspiring

Man finds tape of baby’s first steps in stranger’s VCR — takes to social media to find family

February 7th, 2020

With so many moms and dads working outside of the home, infants are left in the hands of a grandparent, friend, or professional daycare provider. Sadly, that means parents miss out on a lot of milestones. For instance, they often don’t get to hear their child’s first word or taking their first steps.

For a few lucky people, those precious moments are captured on film. That’s what happened when one family caught their baby walking for the very first time. But the problem was the VHS tape they used was left inside a VCR player without them realizing it.

Two for one

Back when people still used VCRs, a lot of television manufacturers included them in the overall design. That meant consumers could purchase a TV with a VCR as part of the system as opposed to buying a second device. In theory and practice, it worked out really well. At least it did for one family until they got rid of their television/VCR combo.

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Slippery Brick Source: Slippery Brick

What a great find

Trying to find a TV/VCR combination today is difficult. That’s why Jim McKay was excited to come across one. McKay, a professional filmmaker, visited a Goodwill store in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Initially, the television was to serve as a prop for one of his projects. But since he didn’t need to use it right away, it sat in his home for several months untouched.

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Vintage of Bayside Wisconsin Source: Vintage of Bayside Wisconsin

Does this thing even work?

One day out of curiosity, McKay decided to see if the television even worked. Not only did the screen come on but there was another surprise. Inside the VCR, someone left a VHS tape. For a full 18 minutes, a random family had videotaped their baby walking for the first time. The only information McKay could gather was the infant’s name was TyRe and the taping occurred on September 27, 1994.

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YouTube Screenshot/KVUE Source: YouTube Screenshot/KVUE

A touching video

Although this child wasn’t his, McKay was touched at what he watched. After all, this was a big day for that little tike and his family, something that would only happen once. Immediately, he felt a kinship to the family. At that point, he knew that somehow, he had to locate the rightful owner of the VHS tape…but how?

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Goodnews Network Source: Goodnews Network

The power of social media

There’s no better way to find a stranger than to turn to the biggest platform in the world…social media. And that’s what McKay did. After uploading the story and a brief version of the video, it was quickly shared thousands of times. Even the local news picked it up. By pure luck, or perhaps a higher power, TyRe’s mom saw it on the news. She was shocked as you might imagine.

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YouTube Screenshot/KVUE Source: YouTube Screenshot/KVUE

Reunited after all those years

Come to find out, the baby’s full name is Alexander TyRe. At last, McKay was able to hand the tape over to the family. But that wasn’t even the best aspect of this experience. He and Alexander became fast friends. Now a grown man, Alexander considers McKay part of the family. As he put it, “That was the best part, was just to hear that he was so excited.”

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YouTube Screenshot/KVUE Source: YouTube Screenshot/KVUE

It’s as though McKay and Alexander have known each other forever, and in a way, they have. Alexander summed it all up by saying, “To be able to share that memory in that moment finally with my family and for the first time…it’s a treasure.”

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Source: Goodnews Network, YouTube

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