Tag Archives: Videos

The Mysterious Rhoda Derry: Filming a Distant Twig on My Family Tree

30 Apr

Rhoda Derry.  My last name is not Derry, but by marriage I am distantly related to the Derry’s of Adams County, Illinois.

My paternal grandfather’s sister, Betty, married Del Derry, and she’s one of my best friends on Facebook.  In her mid-80’s, Betty not only has a Facebook page, but she also has a blog, and she travels as often as she can between her current home in Arcadia, CA to her hometown of Atlantic, IA (about both of which she has marvelous adventures and stories she writes about on her blog).  She’s cute as a button with a terrific sense of fae humor, and as she says on her Facebook info page, “I now find myself the only sibling left of 13 kids…am open for adoption!”  I get first dibs.

Her latest adventure is the part documentary/part feature film, “The Mysterious Rhoda Derry.”

The life of Rhoda Derry is at once fascinating and horribly tragic, heroic and distressing, real and unbelievable:  a love story tangled up with a witch’s curse.  All the ingredients for a fairytale — the real kind that do not end, “And they all lived happily ever after.”

Aunt Betty has written three posts as of today that contain bits of the odd, outrageous, miraculous and bittersweet history of Rhoda and her family from a book entitled “A Letter from Aunt Ethel” written by “Doc” Derry (a cousin Aunt Betty inherited through her marriage to his distant cousin, Del) that contains The Derry Family Genealogy Report which Joan Brown Derry (another cousin) helped to compile, as well as Aunt Betty’s not inconsiderable newswoman reporting abilities.

The five-minute video below is “a demo version of what will be a full length documentary film. This film chronicles the true story of Rhoda Derry, a severely mentally ill woman who spent 43 years of her life trapped in a box at the Adams County Alms House.  Finally, in 1904, she was discovered and freed by the iconic Dr. George Zeller of the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane.  Her case is one of the most important cases in U.S. history and helped change the face of mental health forever.  Starring: D.Doc Derry, April Cowgur, John Johnson, Patrick Thornton, Dr. Joseph Mehr, and Gary Lisman. Music By Mike Englebrecht.”

This is not Reality’s End Films first film; it will be their second when it is completed.  Here is the first, “Bookbinder” (and which led them to Rhoda’s story), where “the Central Illinois Ghost legend of A. Manual Bookbinder is finally brought to life through the eyes of Dr. Zeller. Based on a true story[, t]his is the film that started it all for [them]. Starring John Johnson, Steve Kurtz, and members of womcproductions.”

What a grand adventure, Aunt Betty!


31 Oct

I don’t think I took a single breath during this whole video — People Are Awesome — which I watched today on Douche.  She thinks these people are not just awesome, but also fearless and crazy.  I think she has a pretty valid viewpoint, and I betcha she held her breath, too!  Check it out:

Perfect music, eh?

Inspirational Vision and Technique

24 Dec

Gary sent me the link to this video, which had me in tears before the end.  It’s a “must see.”

Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

We who have lived in relative peace, prosperity and safety all our lives can’t possibly begin to understand how such tragic vision and beauty like this survives to emerge, but that it does is a testament to the existence of a force greater than ourselves.

Flight of the STS-129

4 Dec

Sometimes we Central Floridians take the proximity of NASA for granted and some of us may have lost our sense of amazement, being able to watch, in person, each and every launch.  Well, we don’t get to watch them up this close, I guarantee!

This video took me back to grade school, when NASA and I were both young, and I felt once again in total awe of what NASA has achieved.

[Vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/7852885%5D

Thanks, Gary, for sending this my way.

Because It Feels So Good

22 Sep

Watching this video alternately makes me feel refreshed and amused – and I owe it all to DrowseyMonkey, who is unfortunately not feeling very refreshed, but is always amusing!  Um, proponents of water conservation, please do not watch; I doubt you will be either amused or refreshed.


Horrific Realism Makes My Point

1 Sep

My friend Maddwitch posted the following video on her blog and it underscores what I’ve been saying about excessive communication.  It also brings up the now-time honored question of whether or not you should use your cell phone while driving – and I maintain (as does Maddy) that this includes hands-free electronics.  They are a distraction and we all just need to say NO!  Set an example for the young and, if you just can’t resist, turn the damned thing off right after you put your seatbelt on.


Spy Phones Are for Real

31 Aug

My friend Monica emailed me this video today, which is more comprehensive in revealing the vicious antics one can get up to (or down to) by turning someone’s phone against them than the one you’ll see below, but at least the one below provides us with the best* solution:  Common Sense.

In order to have your phone turned against you, the perpetrator has to have access to your phone in order to load the spyware, or you have to visit a website and download the spyware yourself.

Although this is not breaking news, it’s news worth mentioning for those of us who missed it the first time around (yep, that would be me and it could have been you, too).  Now we know.  Thanks, Monica!

*Granted, the video by Channel 13 on YouTube, which they ungraciously refuse to let anyone embed, has a blurb splashed across it that you can go to their website and find out how to protect yourself in a follow-up report, but I consider that to be crassless self-advertising and bitchy on top of keeping their video all to themselves; so eff you dudes, I can’t believe you think I would even bother.  I’m a heck of a lot bitchier than thou.


%d bloggers like this: