A new website for Family Legacy Video!

Family Legacy Video’s website still has the same address, but as of August 18, 2011 it has a whole new look! The Family Legacy Video website team worked intensely over the past month to create a site that’s warm and inviting, informational, professional and user-friendly. The major goal was to create the most effective and informative video biography site possible. I think you’ll find that our new platform successfully shows off our custom legacy video services – as well as our range of do-it-yourself products and services, like guides, music and webinars. Have we succeeded? Please let us know!

Learn "Video Biography Basics" in January 2010

Get ready to dust off your headsets and double check your Internet connection – Family Legacy Video’s next Webinar series is on the calendar!

Family Legacy Video is proud to present “Video Biography Basics,” a six-session Webinar series led by award-winning video biographer and Family Legacy Video president Steve Pender. If you’ve been wondering what it takes to create a legacy video, this series will answer your questions and give you practical and professional tips and techniques you can apply to your own do-it-yourself video biography project. The sessions are designed for beginners and advanced beginners.

Choose from morning or evening sessions. The dates: January 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23. Individual sessions cost $40; sign up for the series and save 10%.

For more information and to register visit Family Legacy Video’s Workshops & Webinars page.

A pilgrimage to a very special eatery

Pizza, spaghetti with marinara sauce, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana – all standard items you’d expect to find on most Italian restaurant menus. But at Spirito’s, a neighborhood eatery in Elizabeth, New Jersey, these dishes are part of an on-going, inter-generational feast.

Spirito’s opened in 1932. Seventy-seven years later, the business is still run by the Spirito family, and descendants of the original customers continue to patronize the place. The restaurant occupies a nondescript stone building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and High Street, a neighborhood of busy, narrow streets and not nearly enough parking. The bar’s in front; dining room is in back. It’s a no-frills kind of place, clean enough and featuring wood paneling and green-painted booths. Hanging on the walls, framed photos and newspaper reviews and articles celebrate the histories of the Spirito family and the restaurant.

My maternal grandparents introduced me to Spirito’s when I was a youngster. We always started with a cold antipasto, featuring celery, peppers, olives, cheeses and meats. Next came the “pizza pie” (as Grandpa always called it), a cheese pie with lots of tomato sauce and a very thin, crispy crust (what Garden Staters call a “bar pie”). The main courses followed. I can still remember the ravioli – large plump pasta pillows with a feather-light and creamy cheese filling. And the eggplant – wow, my mouth is watering as I write this.

The restaurant does have it quirks. Plenty of bread, but no butter. Soda is served by the pitcher, but you can only buy beer by the bottle. No coffee. And if you want desert you can stroll on down to the Italian ice stand at the other end of the street. But hey, these are the things that give Spirito’s its charm – like the wait staff.

The waitresses were, and still are, fantastic. I’ve heard them described as gruff – but to me they’re pure “Jersey” – friendly, no-nonsense ladies who also happen to have great memories. They never write down an order and they never make a mistake. In fact, years after my grandfather and grandmother moved from Elizabeth and my grandfather had died, I remember going to Spirito’s with my grandmother and finding a waitress who remembered them both.

Memories, I think, even more than the food, are what make this place so special. On a recent trip to New Jersey, I returned to Spirito’s for the first time in two decades and enjoyed a meal with my mom, two of my brothers, my sister-in-law, two nieces and a nephew. Nothing about the place had changed – and that was a good thing. I was happy to see a new generation of our family enjoying the same dishes I savored as a kid. And as I worked my way through the antipasto, the “pizza pie” and my eggplant, the tastes brought with them memories of happy times with my mom, grandparents and brothers around these very same tables. We were all part of a wonderful continuity – a very tasty legacy, if you will.

As we got up to leave, I told my mom that, while we had three generations gathered around our table, I’d felt as if my Grandma and Grandpa had joined us as well. Mom nodded and smiled. She’d felt their presence, too.

Video biography Webinars continue this summer: Join the fun!

So, how can you take part in a series of fun, informative and inspirational video biography workshops without flying to Tucson, Arizona? Easy – just register for Family Legacy Video’s “Video Biography Summer Session” – a series of online Webinars offering professional tips and tricks for planning and producing legacy videos – and learn in the comfort of your own home!

The series is the result of May’s successful trial run of “Video Biography 101,” Family Legacy Video’s first Webinar. Thirty attendees participated in this trial run, which was very well received. Now, Family Legacy Video is expanding its Web offerings – and you’re invited to take part.

The online series offers six sessions. The first class, a repeat of “Video Biography 101,” kicks off on Tuesday, July 28. If you’ve already attended this Webinar, you can join the series starting with the second session on August 4. Register for individual sessions, or save some money by selecting either the six-part series (including “Video Biography 101”) or the five-part series (excluding “Video Biography 101”). Choose either a morning or evening session.

Afraid you might miss a class? Don’t worry – all the classes will be recorded. If you miss one, or just want to review, you’ll receive links to the archived recordings. The registration deadline for the six-part series is July 24. For the five-part series, you’ll need to sign up by July 31.

You’ll find complete information on Family Legacy Video’s Workshops & Webinars page. Register now and join us for some hot video biography fun in the summertime!