Jim's Original Post Sharing TyRe's Family's Home Video
While in a Goodwill store in Texas several months ago, filmmaker Jim McKay made a discovery that would lead to an incredible meeting — he found a used VHS tape in an old machine of a baby taking his first steps in 1994. A dad himself, Jim knew how special a video like that would be to the family in question, so he set out to find them by posting the home video to Facebook on Jan. 4 and asking his followers to share it and pass along any information they might have about the family. In just over 24 hours, Jim's post went viral, and ultimately led him to now 26-year-old TyRe Alexander, an educator in Austin, TX, who took his first steps in the video Jim found.
"My mom called me while I was out saying, 'Hey you're on the news right now, you're walking as a baby!" TyRe told Today of his mom seeing the now-viral home video on the news, something she doesn't normally watch often. "Her first reaction was 'I know that house, I know that living room,' because she's the one who set the camera up. She was like, 'Those are my cubs,' because she's mama bear. She instantly called me, that was her first instinct to call me and give me that memory."
In the video, TyRe can be seeing taking his first wobbly steps toward his father, while his older brother, Symari, claps for him in the background. "There's a point in there that really warmed my heart because he's like clapping so hard. That's my big brother," TyRe said. After seeing the video for the first time, he immediately reached out to Jim on Instagram, grateful that the filmmaker would even try to find his family after discovering what was on the tape.
Jim says that the whole experience has been very heartwarming for him. "I think it's a really touching story," he said. "The odds of it happening and working out as well as it did are just incredible. It's sweet, it's heartwarming, it's a reunion, and bringing back something that was lost under such interesting circumstances. . . I'm a dad myself and it just made my heart just swell," Jim told Today of the home video. "People didn't film everything like they do now, it was a big moment. They set up that camera, hoping they would catch that and they did."
TyRe and Jim are now working together to get the tape digitized for the Alexander family. "I haven't seen me, my dad, and brother in a room for a long time," TyRe said, adding what this video means to him: "To see that and to see all that love and everything, that took me back to a place I could never go without having that tape."