The Hunt for a 20 Year Old Video [6 Years Ago…]

Editors note: I wrote this back on 7 February 2015

The 1995-1996 school year I was a freshman at Sweet Home High School[a] and had participated in a trip to Walt Disney World to participate in a Band Performance with my peers (Disney Magic Music Days). This entire event, from the loading of the busses to the trip from Buffalo, New York to our destination and back had been recorded on an 8-hour EP video tape.

I had originally possessed this specific video tape as a teenager. Over the course of time, however, I had lost this amazing heirloom as I’m sure a lot of other have. I’m sure that there is a copy of this somewhere that I can acquire so I can digitize it and be able to enjoy it though the future times.

This iswas my tiny blog on my progress in locating this by working back 20 years in my brain.

Read More

Overwhelming Compassion

In my randomness of youtube videos that play in the background while I mindlessly work I found one that seemed harmless. Little did I know this would be another one of those difficult videos.

The first video is about Daniel Villegas who was incarcerated for 25 years, which started from a false confession at 16 years of age.

The second one turned me into tears. It was about the sentencing of Trey Alexander Relford who pled guilty to robbing and murdering Salahuddin Jitmoud, a 22 year old Pizza Delivery Driver. The father, Abdul-Munim, was able to make a statement before sentencing, and that statement is something that every person wants to say but has more trouble finding the justification:

“Trey Alexander Relford. I feel so, so sad for you that you have to be in this situation. I wish I could help you as I helped my son to be a good citizen. If Salahuddin were to be here, if he alive he would forgive you. That’s the way he was, that’s the way he is. I’m not angry at you for being part of hurting my son. I’m angry at the Devil. I blame the Devil (the Devil) who misguided you and misleading you to do such a horrible crime. No I don’t blame you. I’m not angry at you at all. I want you to know that. I forgive you on behalf of Salahuddin and his mother.”

Then Mr. Relford made a statement apologizing, admiring what a father could do and not comprehending the pain of losing his own 4 year old daughter. He thanks him for his forgiveness, and they proceed to openly shake hands, then embrace.

The third one is about James Roeder and his wife Ashley. Ashley was pregnant during the robbery, and the judge placed a no contact order. While they were separate Ashley gave birth, and the Judge allowed, contrary to the no-contact order, a temporary exception for James to meet his son. He was sentences to 4 years, and Ashley got probation.

The fourth and final is about a Justice of the Peace and the marriage of Dean Berkenhoff and Monica Morrison. There was an objection at the end, and it was because of the need to want Colton Berkenhoff present. Colton was their 11 year old son who passed away suddenly in 2012, and his organs were donated. The ceremony revealed the heart recipient, where mom and dad got to hear Colton’s heart again. Simply an overwhelmingly emotional event.

And there is where some of my tears went.

#allthefeels