East Ridge will celebrate its 100th anniversary as an incorporated city in September at a big party down at Camp Jordan.
There’s gonna be something for everyone at the September 25 event, ranging from live bands to a variety of good food and beer from a number of area breweries.
For the history buffs in our city _ and organizers of the event believe there is more than a few _ there will be a video documentary of life and significant events that make East Ridge what it is.
Chris Braly, the man commissioned to produce the video, is looking for archival footage that is out there in the hands of private individuals. We know it exists, possibly on old 8 mm home movie reels boxed up and forgotten in the attics on Tombras Avenue or Waterhouse Street. He wants to incorporate this old footage into the video by digitizing it and bringing it into the 21st Century.
Could you imagine seeing old “moving pictures” of former County Commission Curtis Adams, singing in the church choir or having a sit down visit with legendary criminal defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook, a friend of Adams’. Or better yet, Tom Shaver, being sworn in as the city’s mayor back in the early 1960s when East Ridge got its full charter back from the state. Oh, how about some 1940s model Buicks ripping down a two-lane Ringgold Road, its driver determined to get to an old beer joint down on the east end of town to pick up some “bootleg” whiskey.
You must realize, it could be out there. The problem is finding it.
“This is an important project for East Ridge,” Braly said earlier this week in a telephone interview. “There’s no better time to collect all this stuff, salvage it and use it to tell the story of East Ridge.
“I’m a native son,” he said. “I want it to be something special and something nice.”
Braly said he’s not necessarily looking for old film of one’s family around the Christmas tree. But, if you’ve got film of the East Ridge Christmas Parade from the late 1900s, that might make the cut.
Braly is asking for anyone who may have film of something special in East Ridge to bring it to the East Ridge City Library. Patty Weaver, the director of the facility, will take it in for safekeeping and provide the owners of the film with a receipt. You can contact Weaver at 423-867-7323.
Braly will digitize the film and provide a copy of the film to its owners on a new media that is more user friendly. In addition, if one’s video is used in the documentary, that person will receive recognition in the credits of the documentary.
“You know, people may not even have projectors that they can view these images on,” Braly said.
If you or somebody you know was a “home movie buff” back in the day, spread the word about this project. You’ve got until the middle of the month to find these hidden jewels potentially packed into a corner of a closet behind the Halloween decorations.
Braly said he must put a deadline on getting old film footage into his hands by May 20.
Braly can be contacted through his email: [email protected].
Braly said the video serves a couple purposes; it will celebrate the centennial but also potentially persuade people considering relocating to East Ridge that we’ve got a good thing going on.
“I want this video to last longer than my grand kids,” Braly said. “I want them to go back when they are looking back at grand pappy’s archives, and when they watch it see that these people love this city and they love their history.
“At the end of it all, we love life and if we’ve got something to clap for and smile about and something that may bring a tear to the eye, that’s what brings us together.”