Bob & Betty’s Home Movies



We began making movies in 1959 during our second summer in Jacksonville, Florida.  The first camera was a regular 8mm Bell & Howell with a three position turret lens.  The film quality has deteriorated over the years.  We used this camera up to our leaving Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1968.  On Guam we switched over to a super 8mm Cannon camera which greatly improved the picture quality.  This was used through 1984 when film media gave way to 8mm video.

The films over the years were edited, spliced, and generally catalogued.  It was past time to convert them to digital media, and our procrastination has produced mixed results.  On the plus side, technology now allows us to use the DVD-R formatting which is far superior to video tape.  On the negative side, the film is older.

        We chose Magic Lantern Films to make the conversion as there aren’t many sources for this work.  Jim turned out to be an artistic sort with ideas of his own, so while the transfer work is excellent, we find his editing to have jumbled the order a little.  We will attempt to identify when this happens, and also to explain who and what is appearing as the show progresses. 


Part l


Begin with a humorous silent film, (don’t all shows?), “Please Arrest Me”.


First scene with the new camera is taken at Jacksonville, (Jax) Beach.


The moonshine still is in Okefenokee Swamp, located northwest of Jacksonville, in Georgia. The waterway seen looking down from the observation tower was created by the Seminole Indians who once lived there.


Betty Wells (hereafter – Mom) is working on the laundry at the back of our second floor apartment in Jacksonville.


The Methodist Church in the neighborhood is where we attended Sunday services.  The duck pond is across the street.


Grotto stone art was the work of one man.  We stopped there on our trip back to Freeport at the end of the summer.


We came across this train wreck on that same trip.  The Illinois Central passenger train had run into railroad weed spraying equipment which apparently didn’t get off the tracks in time.  The fire was out and no one was hurt.


We stopped by 421 Oak Street and enjoyed horseshoes with Peter Wells (hereafter – Pete).  John Wells (hereafter – Gmpa) is seen relaxing on his newly constructed west porch.  Pete is entertaining Mom with a shrunken head.  Bob Wells’ (hereafter – Dad) dog’s name was Murphee.  The Lakeview Club (hereafter - Club House) at the mouth of Cheney Creek at the Mississippi River had steel rowboats, which replaced the earlier leaky wooden ones, and much nature was appreciated.  Pete is whipping by in the kayak which is reported in detail at


Mom looks through the binoculars at the Club House and spies her parents in Freeport.  After leaving her in Freeport, Dad headed for Mayport, Florida to board the USS Saratoga.  On board the carrier we are looking across the flight deck at the USS Essex which happened to be the ship we headed back to the Med on when the Sara’s propulsion shaft warped and needed repair.  The Coast Guard cutter is moving down the St John’s River towards the ocean.  Navy Unit Band 193 is providing music for the crew of the Essex as we take on underway fueling from the oiler.  The porpoise are playing along side the ship as we move into the Mediterranean Sea past the Rock of Gibraltar.  The white patches are not snow, but concrete to prevent further erosion.  The planes taking off from the Essex were filmed through a porthole in the secondary control room just under the flight deck.  We used this area as a temporary band room.


Portici, Italy is the location of Casa Materna, where Dad spent much of his free time while the ship was in Naples.  


Cannes, France, on the French Riviera has sandy beaches.  The Sara, (all fixed), is anchored off shore and we came ashore in utility, (liberty) boats.  Nice, France is further east where the beach was pebbles.  Traveling the upper road (highest of three possible routes) up the coast we visited the principality of Monaco, (Prince Rainier and Princess Grace (Kelly)).  This is also the location of the Monte Carlo casino (break the bank at) which is seen from both the front and the seaward sides.


When Dad transferred from Unit Band 193, he was catapulted from the carrier in the COD aircraft, (mail plane), and flew over the island of Sicily on the way to Naples and ultimately, Chicago.


Squirrel is getting a drink on Clinton Street, (brick before it caved in and was patched with concrete).


Mom is stepping lively across the stream at Powell Park in Waukegan, Illinois.  Later, snow is seen from our West and Julian Streets apartment in Waukegan where we lived in 1960.


Rick (Dicky) Witters is in the back yard at 918 E. Clinton Street, Freeport, Illinois.  Mark Witters is running around.  Mom and her sister, Ruth Witters.  Viola Feld (hereafter – Grandma), Dick Witters, and John Feld (hereafter – Grandpa)


Barbara Blair’s (hereafter - Barb) house where we find Mary, Duane, the twins – Douglas and David, and Thurlow.  Barb is sweeping up broken glass.


Gma Helen and Ed Glinki are seen at their home in German Valley, east of Freeport.  (Helen was the second wife of Arthur Smith, {father of Viola}, and after he died, married Ed).


In Addison, Illinois at the Timmer house we see Billy Reed, Edith Timmer, Bob Timmer, Linda Reed and friend.


In Oak Park, Illinois at the Grinnell apartment we see Don and Dorothy, and occasionally Grandma, and Mom.


1959 Blair Christmas:  (Ends with Mom opening matching cigarette lighter and ashtray gift.)


1959 Clinton Street Christmas:  Left to right; Don, Thurlow, Johnny, Barb, Edith (sitting), Dorothy, Grandma, Mom, and Linda.  Johnny is holding Mark.  Grandpa is in doorway.


Summer in front of 918 E. Clinton:  Barb, Grandma, Mom, Ed, Helen, Johnny, Grandpa, twins.  Dick is changing flat tire.


Addison:  Palm Sunday when the Timmers left for the coast in their new Rambler.  Duane is on the monkey bars; Billy on the bike and Dicky is on the swings.  Scene continued later…


Our friends, Manuel and Judy Hernandez, upstairs on West Street in Waukegan.  We moved into their attic apartment when they left.  (That’s their baby).


Another friend, Ruby Robertson visits in our apartment with her son, Scotty.


Continuation…  Back at Addison


Visiting with fellow band member, Ron & Judy Caldwell in their trailer, on our anniversary.  I remember going to the Rustic Manor in Gurnee to eat.


Mom cooking the chili and showing us around our attic apartment.


Dennis Grinnell


Feld Family picnic in Krape Park, Freeport, Illinois.  Karen Witters was born in June of 1960.


Hamilton - Dorris Wells (hereafter – Gma) was the photographer, Gpa was mowing, and Murphee was my dog.  The raccoon was wild but showed up for food.  Pete shows up again.


…more of Dennis.  Grandpa is napping, but Dennis is awake.


Soo-Son the cat with her litter.  Dorothy holding Dennis.


Me-Too, our canary finds us in our Navy quarters at Forrestal Village.  Skit is based on “What will we watch on TV tonight”.  Check out the brand new Government Issue furniture.  The dinette set was ours.


Hail fell somewhere.


Unit Band 15, Great Lakes:  Dad fed the squirrels from his office window in the basement of Ross Auditorium.


Parade is in Lake Bluff, Illinois.


…continuation completed:  The Timmers are leaving.  (It looks like the DVD editor moved some things around a bit.)  Linda with friend.


Forrestal Village (Flintstones):  Mom, then Sally, then Dicky, Wells.  Down at Lake Michigan in Lake Bluff we see Mom, Sally, Judy, and Dickie at the beach.  Marine Band and Drill Team on Ross Field at Great Lakes.


Esther, Gmpa, and David Nichols are shooting baskets at 421 Oak Street.  Great Gma Bessie McMains gets her picture taken.  Cameo appearances by Gma and Pete.


Gma and Gpa visiting Dick’s duplex on Ravine Avenue, Lake Bluff.  Dick’s kids at Lake Bluff.


Dad was ordered to the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C. as a student.  Mom is holding Bobby at Mt. Vernon, Virginia along the Potomac River.


Snow at our apartment in Congress Heights, Washington, DC.  New ‘63½ Mercury Comet.


We moved to another apartment complex overlooking Bolling AFB.  Bobby and Mom play badminton.  Other boy is a friend, Mark Rogers.


Bobby’s 1st birthday is followed by Christmas, etc.  Girl is a neighbor.  Bobby’s pictures are somewhat jumbled.  At one point we see Navy friends, Ed and Norma Rogers and their son Mark with Bobby.


Bobby takes a bath with his clothes on.  More Christmas. 


We moved to Little Creek, Virginia into a rented duplex near the Bay.  Gma and Gpa came to visit us in their VW camper.


We stop by our brand new home at 3644 Starlighter Drive in the Windsor Woods subdivision of Virginia Beach, Virginia.  With no lawn and unpaved street, this was a new subdivision known as Lamplight Manor.  Kite flying is back at the duplex by the Bay.


Christmas:  The meal was prepared in our new all electric kitchen.  Backyard fun in the summer of 1965.  Washing car with Bobby and neighbor kids.  Bobby enjoys the park.


Susan’s 1st birthday.  Christmas (includes a neighbor and her son).


Visiting 918 E. Clinton Street and 421 Oak Street


Visiting Dick Wells in Painesville, Ohio, Kitty and Bobby parade with flags, and we catch a glimpse of Sally and Judy.


Bobby and Susan on Driveway.  Christmas.  Neighbors with the cat…


Deteriorating film segments…   Inside tour of Gpa’s See-Horse.







There is a map of Guam at to give an idea where the scenes were shot.


Cub Scouts on Guam.  Sightseeing at Two Lover’s Point.  First day of school – Susan getting off bus in Piti.  View of Agaña features black smoke rising from the Navy fuel dump in the distance, which chose to burn off sludge on the first-ever Earth Day.


Bobby is climbing in the Flame Tree in the front yard, joined by Susan.


Kristin arrives.


The band performance at Merizo’s fiesta day ends with the fiesta.  Boy that Susan is chasing is Wade Mall, son of Dad’s band’s piano player.


End of Part 1




GUAM – Continued…


Bobby, holding Kris


Christmas – Navy housing – Lockwood Terrace, Naval Station


Grove of bamboo:  The “clicking” sound produced by the bamboo in the wind made the dark “cave” scary.  Susan wouldn’t go in there.


Mom is cleaning up the ’64 Impala 4dr hardtop, (which all but rusted out on Guam.)  The car port was called a “lanai”.


Parachute team performing at Inarajan’s fiesta on east side of island.  Water landing was intentional.  Baseball cap in lower part of scene is worn by Little Joe Quintanilla.  He was the band’s PWC bus driver of choice.  A great guy, as will be seen.


Caribou racing through the streets of town:  The band performed at all the fiestas.  The greased pig winner shows his prize.  Susan and friend run across the field.  Caribou baseball, (a Navy chief tries his luck).


Dad enjoys telling (anyone who will listen) about our Guamanian house where we find Mom, Kristin, and Susan.


With Bobby giving the orders, Susan climbs the cocoanut tree after Wade Mall.


Kristin spends time in her crib at our quarters.


Bobby is climbing another palm tree down by the beach.


Authentic palm frond hats are skillfully made at another fiesta.


The kids’ musical group was very entertaining at the annual Magellan Day Fiesta at Umatac.  The two boys won the longest hair contest.  The local high school band performed, as monies raised in the contests went toward the support of their music program.  The beard growing contest drew many entries.  Dad wins in the category of “Newly Rooted Black Beard” and gets a gift certificate at the local diver supply shop.  He got several swimming floats, a diving knife, a shelling knife, and a neat bag to keep it all in.  The best beard was announced by one of the organizers.  He won the right to play the part of “Magellan” in the pageant the following year, “If he could speak en Españole”.  The Navy Band always found a shady spot to perform.  The Magellan Pageant should send you to the history books.  His arrival in 1521 didn’t go well on Guam as he burned the village after one of his ship’s boats disappeared.  He then named the island, “Isla de los Ladrones.”


Experiencing the daily shower, this unknown lad seems to be headed home in Lockwood Terrace.  During the better parts of the day we would emerge for sightseeing.  This park is the site of Agaña’s fresh water supply and a part of the Chamorro legend about the giant carp that was eating the island in half until the women lulled it to sleep by singing.  (Look that one up!)


The tides were interesting when they receded and the reef was left exposed for exploring and great shelling possibilities, but look out for the deadly 2-step cone.  The coral could give nasty cuts that were difficult to heal.


The next storm was more than we wanted.  Although the typhoon missed Guam by sixty miles, the winds were fierce.  We prepared ahead by bringing in anything loose, (even the cocoanuts).  The quarters were fitted with aluminum jalousie windows that closed out the weather to make us typhoon proof. 


Later we find a gecko on the air conditioner.  They were welcomed into the house as they took care of the mosquitoes and bugs, and their “bark” was not objectionable.  This one had lost his tail and was growing a new one.


After a school concert the band loads up the van for the trip back to the band room.


We get a short glimpse of the typhoon damage near Inarajan, followed by some footage of the staff picnic at Nimitz Beach.  Here we enjoyed barbequed caribou as shot by the admiral and prepared by Little Joe and friends.


Susan and Bobby enjoy the “train” ride that was a part of the 4th of July celebrations at the Naval Station.


Kristin and Susan with a neighborhood girl.


Bobby up in the flame tree.


Susan with neighborhood friends.


The hills of southern Guam on the road to Umatac.


Little Joe prepared a going away picnic for us down at the beach.  That’s a roast pig on the spit and chicken on the grill.  A dentist and his wife carve the pig.  Mom feeds Kristin some rice.


The family is in downtown Agaña and Mom and Susan are in the old Spanish Chocolate House.  An ancient banyan tree “Nunu” is found on the same grounds.  Legend has; it is inhabited by “bihu”, or spirits of the dead.  Bobby and Susan have found “The Old Spanish Bridge in Agaña” of legend and song.


Mom and Kristin are standing in the doorway of a church in Inarajan, bearing the date of Mom’s birth.  It is recorded that a Japanese two-man submarine was either sunk or run aground in this bay, although no trace has been found.  It may be buried under the sand.


The band is performing here with its new leader as Dad has been ordered to San Diego at the end of the two year tour.  The admiral arrives on his barge.


We check out Marine Hole south of Pago Bay on the back (east) side of Guam.


The sun-sets were beautiful.  We visited with civilian friends in Dededo before we left.  We first met them while we both were living in bonnie housing in Agaña Heights before we moved into base housing.



End of Guam Segment



The Star of India docked in San Diego.


Bobby, Grandma, Karen Witters, Susan, Mom and Kristin are in the back yard of our home on Bantam Avenue in Mission Village, San Diego, California.


The backyard was about fifteen feet deep and dropped off into a canyon, which was fun to explore.


Don Grinnell, Karen Witters, and Dorothy Grinnell are sitting on the bench in the back yard.  Dennis Grinnell joins them.  Grandma at the airport is leaving to return to Freeport.  With her are Ruth and Dick Witters.


Kristin’s first birthday was in San Diego.


(Out of sequence) We find ourselves transported back to Guam.  This was a UN Day celebration on Siapan.  Dad enjoyed having kids direct the band and then presented them with the baton they had used.  He never had to justify to the Navy for using so many batons!  The band took a sightseeing tour of the island.  These suicide cliffs were where the defeated Japanese soldiers leapt to their death rather than face surrender.  Some of their cave fortifications have been maintained.  The band flew to numerous islands during the two years Dad was the leader and is seen loading back on the plane to return to Guam.


Bobby checks out the binoculars at our quarters.


This Statue of Liberty replica, a fiberglass model, was destroyed in the 2002 typhoon.  It stood in Paseo Park in Agaña.  It will be replaced by an eight foot white jade replica carved in China.  The last scene finds Bobby and Mom on the seawall.


San Diego


The Witters, Grinnells, Timmers are filmed in what is possibly the Grinnell’s yard.


1971 - Christmas with everyone at Linda & Chuck Gerarden’s in Huntington Beach, California.  Around table from right to left:  Don, Ruth, Dorothy, Edith, Mom, and Linda.  Chuck plays pool with Rick Witters as Mark watches the action in Chuck’s converted garage space.


Short take of Karen – Kristin in our back yard.


1971 - Group – Dorothy, Mom, Kristin, Bud and Alice Harvey (Grandma’s friends), Ruth.


Susan rides her new bike on the front sidewalk.  Susan’s birthday party


Christmas:  New puppy named Arnold.


Back Yard Fun


Mom, Kris, and Ruth return from Grandpa’s funeral.


Bobby’s birthday


Susan is riding the old tortoise at the San Diego Zoo’s Children Zoo area.  Kris gets her turn, too.


We are in Tiajuana – the burro is striped like a zebra for photos.  There are lots of shopping opportunities.


Dad, Bobby, and Mark try camping at Lake Otay.  Mark and Bobby play catch.  The lake was low and a man invited the boys to fish.  The catfish they caught were left on the bank as there were too many in the lake.


Susan, Kris, neighbor friends Me-Me and her younger sister dance.


1972 - Trick or treat night.  Susan in her dancing dress, (as seen later), and Bobby has dark mask on while twirling the cap pistol.


1972 - Bobby controls the piñata at Susan’s birthday party.


Tracy, our cat spends time on the roof.


Mom, Kris, Barbara, and Ruth


Christmas 1972 on Bantam Avenue


San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park shortly after it opened.  The monorail was a great way to get around.


Karen’s birthday at Witter’s home


Dad graduates from Mesa College


Bantam Avenue – Mom and Kris on floor, Steve, Ruth, Dorothy, and Edith


Bobby’s 6th grade graduation from Juarez Elementary


Swimming at Mission Bay?


Bobby’s birthday


Susan – Art Linkletter’s tap dance recital


Bobby – Little League


Sue & Kris get haircuts from neighbor


Susan heading to Girl Scout camp


Family picnic at Lakeside (Dorothy and Don lived there) Gerardens, Witters, Grinnells, Wells


Kris third birthday


Family outing at Mt. Palomar with hang gliders as a bonus


Dorothy, Karen, Ruth, Susan, Mom, Kristin, Steve at Bantam Avenue.  Dick Witters and Don Grinnell.  (Probably Thanksgiving)


Christmas at Ruth’s house, Grandma


1972 - Disneyland


Young Tracy


Kristin 2nd birthday


1972 - Ocean near Scripps


Karen, Mark, and Steve standing, Rick, Ruth, and Dick seated in Bantam Avenue back yard.


Bobby, Dad, and Kris.  Family collage.


Bobby with Scout troop up around Julian in survival training and competition


Rescue of scuba swimmers in the Scripps area


Disneyland, featuring a fort in Frontierland


Tap dancing and baseball


There were some grand erosion effects at Torrey Pines – Fat Man’s squeeze.


Great Lakes


1974 - Kristin’s fourth birthday


Morton Arboretum with Pete, Chris, and Krystyn Wells


1974 - Christmas at Halsey Village, Great Lakes


Chris Wells with Krystyn.  Gma, Pete, Gpa at Halsey Village


Another Christmas at Halsey Village                                                               


End of Part 2


Part 3


Christmas 1975 - Great Lakes – Halsey Village.  Ice skating on rink we created in our front yard.


Summer family camping - Bobby’s birthday - Kristin on bike - Arnold running in the back yard - Mom and Kristin playing.  Spotty, our lizard was given to the Lincoln Park Zoo before we went on a vacation.


1976 - Great Lakes Boy Scout Troop camping at Oak-Arrow campgrounds at the west side of Route 41 near Route 173.


1977 – Kristin’s birthday at 3715 Sherman Avenue, Gurnee.  We see Teresa Marsh, Rhonda and Allan Johnson – all neighbors. 


Susan’s birthday with a snowsuit for the coming winter and an old school desk.


Christmas 1977 - Yes that is a Magnavox Odyssey 300 video game.


Big snow hits Gurnee.


1978 – Ruth and Dick Witters’ 25th wedding anniversary party.  This was a general Feld family gathering – including everybody.  It was held at the Oakdale Nature Preserve near Freeport on S. Crane’s Grove Road.  Moving fast we find many gathering around the food in the kitchen.  At the first table, clockwise is Mom, Ruth, Don’s mother Esther Grinnell, Grandma, Thurlow, Karen, and Bobby.  The second table features Dee Ann, Susan, Kristin, Mary Gill and son Christopher, with Steve Witters in the foreground.  At table three we meet Kathy and Bill Reed, Don, young Billy, with Linda Gerarden standing behind.  Over at table four, Dennis, with Bob Simmons walking through the shot.  The fifth table has Vicky? Douglas? David? and Barbara.  Table number six seats Karen, Bobby, Mom, Ruth, Mrs. Grinnell, Grandma, and Thurlow.  At the seventh table sits Bonnie, Johnny and Cindy.  The eighth table seats Leory, Ruth, and Dorothy Smith.  George walks through the scene as the seniors line up.  Michelle Reed is seen with Grandma.  The line-up of the seniors: George Feld, Coralyn (George’s wife), Grandma, Kate (Katherine) and Lester Kraft, and Gert.  After the cake we find Mom talking to Harry Earnest.  Around the money tree gather Grandma, Dick and Mavis Clark, Karen, and Dick Witters.  Ruth and Karen had a mother/daughter discussion in the kitchen.


1978 – Kris’s birthday (featuring Rhonda) – then Susan’s birthday, followed by Christmas.


1979 – Another birthday for Kris.


1979? – Christmas


1979 - (The big snowstorm was in January of 1979, so this segment is probably out of sequence.)  We find Billy Marsh, Susan, Rhonda, and Kristin heading off to school on the school bus which managed to run that day.


1980 – Bobby’s birthdays.  (Some out of sequence.)


1980? – The family visit to Hannibal, Missouri included a visit to the Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn statue.


1980? – Bobby helping Gma clean out the gutters at 421 Oak Street.


1980 – Walking path at White Pines State Park.  It’s the Blackhawk statue overlooking the Rock River across from Oregon, Illinois, near Lowden State Park.


More birthdays are celebrated.


1982 – The Feld Picnic was held at Krape Park in Freeport.  Grandma was there as well as Linda and Chuck, Billy Reed and his family, Barbara, Joy Feld, and Thurlow.  The next scene shows John (Bud) Kohn and his wife, Joann (Kraft) Kohn, Esther Grinnell, Grandma, Coralyn, Joy, Grace Feld and George Feld.


1982 – Three more birthdays, and Christmas.


1983 – Bobby’s birthday and Mom’s birthday.


1984 – Christmas with Bobby, Missy, Grandma, Susan, Kristin, and Brute.


1985 – Sue’s birthday with Bobby, Lorraine, Missy, and Mom.


1985 – Susan packing the car to go off to college.


1985 – Fall and Christmas


1985 – Kris and Melissa


1986 – Christmas, followed by a house inventory


1987 – Summer with Sue, Kris, and Melissa


1987 – Sue birthday followed by Christmas


The End


PS:  Of course, this wasn’t the end of the Wells Family Movies. The format has changed, upgrading to home videos, which are fondly referred to as “Home Movies” by grandsons, Danny and Johnny.  Some day someone will create order for those also…


This commentary was prepared in MS Word format in December of 2003.  Updates may be added without fanfare.

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