Everyone has a story of spending an evening being bored by someone else's home movies of not-very-interesting stuff. "Oh really? You filmed a static shot of the Empire State Building for fifteen whole minutes? What? No, I'm not falling asleep. Can I have some more booze, please?"
Normally, the home movies of strangers are dull (unless the stranger turns out to be Pamela Anderson - eh, lads?) but this little gem... this is something else. During five summers from 1957 to 1961, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield CT set out to visit all 48 of the then United States of America on a series of month-long camping trips. Contained within is not your average "this is Uncle Ted at the front of the house" home movies, this is the combination of National Geographic, The History Channel and a jam-packed scrapbook. Narrated half a century on by the affable patriarch who neither waffles, over-emphasises nor sugarcoats the details, the Barstows' five year plan to cross the country is a heartwarming little bubble in time, chock-a-block full of awesomely clunky cars, landmarks-a-plenty and - maybe most importantly - what seems to be a blissfully happy family. Who wouldn't want to be a Barstow in the late 1950s?
For some reason, the archive.org embed code makes Posterous choke, so here is the direct link instead: http://www.archive.org/details/barstow_americas_history
From there, you will be able to watch the movie in an embedded player, or download it for future viewing. Part two of this epic adventure will be posted soon.