Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Going Down Memory Lane: Recollecting the 1980s

As part of our unit on contemporary America in the 1980s, I thought I would be fun to see what some of my friends and colleagues remember about the 1980s. A few weeks ago I circulated a questionairre and here are some of the answers I got. Compare and contrast these answers with what you found on the 1980s scavenger hunt.

I've also included pictures of yours truly in the 1980s, with captions at the bottom of the blogpost.

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Nathan Barber, writer, educator, school administrator

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
Top Gun, Breakfast Club, Highlander, Back to the Future, Labyrinth, Karate Kid, Rocky IV

What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?
U2, Hair Bands (especially Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Poison), .38 Special, Journey (all of which were played on my cassettes in my boom box)

What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
Jeans rolled up tight at the bottom of the legs, Denim jackets, Swatch watches, Air Jordans, RayBan aviator sunglasses

What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
Reagan (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall”), Iran/Contra Affair

















If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
I don’t know that I can

Additional comments/thoughts/observations?
Because I graduated from high school in 1989, the decade of the 1980s was the decade of my coming of age. Innumerable moments and memories from that time in my life are inextricably tied to particular songs, movies and cars from the 80s. Nearly every popular 80s song and movie evoke memories that are as clear today as they were in 1989.

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Troy Karcher, educator, coach

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
Goonies, Platoon, Amadeus, Raiders of the lost Ark, Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi MY FAVORITE TRON!

What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?
Van Halen, Bill Cosby…

What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?

The pant roll of the jeans, side pony tail, Polos collard flipped up….swatches I really liked Air Jordans where very popular
















What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
WHAT? Was I supposed to be paying attention??? Reagan helped shape the economics for the US

If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
RADICAL (awesome), WHERE’S THE BEEF?(commercial) GAG me with a spoon (gross), Bite me! hahaha

Additional comments/thoughts/observations?
Computers were starting a new trend..no more type writers!!! And computer games ATARI!!! PONG!

CDs

Fall of the Berlin Wall

SPACE SHUTTLE TAKE OFFS were the highlights and the disaster

AIDS…

Can’t forget about Saturday cartoons…SMURFS!

RAP!

USA boycott of the 1980 Olympics

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Felipe Hinojosa, educators, activist, scholar

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Top Gun, Electric Boogalo (break dancing flick), Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire (basically anything that was produced/directed by John Hughes).


What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of
the 1980s?
Poison ("Every Rose has its Thorn"), Tears for Fears ("Everybody Wants to Rule the World"), The Cure (lots of their tunes), Def Leopard, and of course Michael Jackson. I was (am) a big Jackson fan
















What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which
trends did you most enjoy?
I remember "Break Dancing," (and those pants with all the zippers), El Copete (hairstyle that girls wore where they would style their bangs like a sky scraper), tapered jeans (we would role them up at our ankles nice and tight), long hair...


What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
I didn't follow politics all that much, but I will never forget the Iran-Contra affair (it was all over the news). I also remember the Central American refugees that our church provided shelter for. Since we lived near the church, I played lots of basketball with these folks. Of course, looking back I can't even imagine what they must have been feeling. I do remember that they were all very nice and some could play ball!


If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
One word? "hair" and "heavy metal" and "MTV"
Why? Just look at the music videos from that time period and the crazy hairstyles, the spandex pants, and the electric guitar. MTV revolutionized the way we think about music and rock bands. We followed their fashions and listened to what they had to say. It brought pop culture into our homes and perhaps for the first time we all could sing "Jump" (with Van Halen's David Lee Roth) and everyone (from central Kansas to South Texas) could relate in sometimes strange ways.

Additional comments/thoughts/observations?
Go Kansas Jayhawks! The Jayhwaks won the national title in 1988 under the leadership of forward Danny Manning. We lived in Kansas while my dad was on sabbatical and I became a Jayhawk fan. My friends in South Texas remember (to this day) how I wore a jayhawk t-shirt M-F for school.

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Lauran Kerr, educator, activist, artist, scholar

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
Haha I wasn't really allowed to watch TV so I missed out on the classics... In the '80s I watched Little Mermaid a lot. :)

What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?
rs of the 1980sNew Kids on the Block (although I wasn't really supposed to listen to them!) and various Christian artists










< What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
Side ponytails, big hair (even in Wyoming, where I grew up), bright colors, shoulder pads, big sweaters, stirrup pants


What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
I was born the day Reagan was elected, and my parents were very excited his presidency. My tiny northern town was pretty conservative, so everyone seemed to like Reagan. I was mostly interested in world politics, even at an early age, particularly the situation in the Middle East.

If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
Material culture

Additional comments/thoughts/observations?
When 80's fashion sort of made a come-back in the past 5 years or so, I think it was an attempt to recapture the utter excess of the decade. There may be no correlation, but as the war has carried on and tragedies like Katrina have occurred, fashion has become more sleek. The emphasis has turned from excess to conservation in our material culture, and now being "green" is trendy. The 80's represented a boom of security, and now that we feel insecure as a society, we're grasping to remember a simpler ethic. Just a thought.

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Janell Luce, educator, entrepreneur

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
Foot Loose, breakfast club, st elmos fire….Anything with the brat pack. Do you need to know who the brat pack was? The early Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies were also huge hits and great movies.

What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?
Journey and Lionel Richie/ Earth Wind and fire…later 80s was the Brit invasion with the MTV techno sound


What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
PREPPIE with a double pop! The Madonna/flashdance look was big, but if you were preppie, it wasn’t you.


What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
Reaganomics and everything Reaganesque


If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why? MTV…..started a whole new trend and change in media..videos, cell phones, computers and all of the new gadgets started with the beginning of MTV


Additional comments/thoughts/observations? Huge time of transitioning from a way of life with technology. The beginning of the 80s was one way and the 10 years later it was totally different with computers, the beginning of cell phones, and other techno gadgets. It was also the end of some really good music styles that transitioned into a lot of flash but no substance due to the techno influence.

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Toni LaZurs-White, educator

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s? Return of the Jedi/Star Wars Trilogy













What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s? The Commodores, Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson


What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
Ditto jeans, Levi 501’s and Afro Puffs


What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
Reagan!!!! What else was there?


If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
A decade of change. The effects of the civil rights movement could be seen.

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Ashlie Cook, educator

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
Adventures in Babysitting, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Uncle Buck, Coming to America, Goonies

What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?
Journey, Heart, Pat Benatar, Van Halen, Def Leopard

What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
French rolled jeans, scrunchy socks, side ponytails, loud colors, big hair/bangs, too many accessories. My hair was naturally big so that was easy! I loved the layered perfectly scrunched socks because I couldn’t get in on the French rolled jeans—they didn’t make long jeans back then and I was always tall, so my pants were already high waters so with the roll I just looked dorky with Capri-length pants (which were NOT in at the time). J

What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
I was a little young, but I remember big news of an actor becoming president

If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
“fabulously tacky”. Everything was to the extreme and over the top, but that’s what makes it endearing now.

Additional comments/thoughts/observations?
Individualism was embraced and encouraged so the weird and awkward were not noticed as much.

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Tammy Holder, educator

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?

Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Top Gun, ET, Gremlins, Karate Kid, War Games, Breakfast Club, Beverly Hills Cop, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, all the Indiana Jones movies









What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?










Huey Lewis & The News, Van Halen, Prince, Erasure, Depeche Mode, The Cars, Bon Jovi, Police, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran


What fashion trends do you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
Parachute pants, Polo for men, Guess jeans, NEON EVERYTHING! Madonna wannabes with lace, rhinestones & Gummi bracelets, Jelly shoes, Swatch watches, Girbaud jeans, Units (remember those cotton outfits? Loved those!)

What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
The Iran/Contra scandal of 1986, The Oliver North trial, a female making a bid for the White House— Geraldine Ferraro, The Cold War, Ronald Reagan highs, Tammy Faye & Jim Baker lows (not really politics, but who can forget the public mascara running!), Gary Hart and his “lover”, and what about “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!”


If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
Positive - After two decades of turmoil during the 60's and 70's, for the first time there were positive changes and calm in both domestic politics and international relations

Additional comments/thoughts/observations?
Black Monday in the stock market, Challenger Space Shuttle explosion - I still remember where I was. Electronics: Disc Cameras, Walkmen and boomboxes, and my parents got the first “car phone” that was literally installed into the car! Did anyone say VCRs vs. Betamax? The “New Coke” disaster, toy store riots for Cabbage Patch Kids, Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 Olympics.. Video Games were just coming out, cable TV was making its way into most homes. MTV actually played videos and had no TV shows, just VJ's who introduced the next video! Phones were all still attached to the walls and most literally had to still be "dialed" and we looked everything up in the LIBRARY J

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Geoff Brooks, educator, scientist, coach, political scientist

1. What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?

Only the classics – Top Gun (first movie I saw in a theater), and the Dark Crystal (I think from the 80s)
Didn’t see the following until the 90s - Good Morning Vietnam, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – I was a little kid in the 80s

2. What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?

Michael W Smith, DC Talk, Beach Boys
Secret likes – Bon Jovi, White Snake, U2, Billy Joel, Eagles, Poison, Gensis, Chicago, REO Speedwagon
Fan of the Power Ballads
Soundtracks to any Brat Pack movie

3. What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?

Sweatbands, Hightops, Girbeaud Jeans, Mozzimo, Long White Socks

4. What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?

I remember sitting with my Dad (Captain in the Army) watching the Iran Contra Hearings with Oliver North.
President Reagan’s Second Election and Inauguration,
Gorbachev’s trip to the New York
George HW Bush Inauguration
Tearing Down of the Berlin Wall (bridging 80s and 90s)
Tiananmen Square
Toppling of Stalin and Lenin Statues (Tanks in Moscow) and my Dad explaining to me what was going on

5. If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?

I could go with “Tear down this wall” or maybe “Just say No” or “I was under orders” or “You Give Love a Bad Name” maybe “Trickle down economics” or “Reaganomics”
but I think I’ll go with

“Bueller, Bueller, Bueller, Bueller….”

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Phil Sinitiere, educator, author, scholar, baldguy

What were your favorite movies of the 1980s?
Top Gun is by far my favorite movie of the 1980s. I've watched it probably 50 times over the years, and one of the highlights of my childhood was receiving an F-14 Tomcat "Top Gun" model for my birthday. I flew it around the house for what now seems like months. I have vivid memories of E.T., the 1980s Star Wars movies, and of course Indiana Jones.

What were your favorite songs/bands/musicians/entertainers of the 1980s?
I loved music as a kid, and listened to bands such as Stryper, Poison, Mr. Mister, Run DMC, Bruce Springsteen, Public Enemy, Bon Jovi, and Metallica. And of course my recollections also consist of MTV music videos from these artists.

What fashion trends to you remember from the 1980s, and which trends did you most enjoy?
Rolled up pants, neon, Z Cavaricci and Girbaud jeans. I also mowed yards one summer and saved up for some Air Jordan tennis shoes--only to have them stolen when, like a dunce, I wore them to the swimming pool.

What are your memories of 1980s politics/politicians?
Of course Ronald Reagan comes to mind; I remember Gorbachev vividly, Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, as well as Oliver North and the Iran Contra hearings. I also remember watching the Senate hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Although not politicians, I also remember the televangelist scandals of the 1980s--Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. AIDS also became a critical political/social issue of the 1980s, and I remember following the life and times of Ryan White.

If you could sum up the 1980s in one word, or perhaps a phrase, what would it be and why?
Change.

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Here are captions for the pictures:

1. 1987. School picture from 4th grade at Berean Christian School, where I attended through 5th grade. It depicts my customary toothless smile/smirk, and yes, that is a lot of hair I have.


2. 1984. Little league Braves, after an illustrious t-ball career. I think I remember sitting on the bench part of that year, but got more playing time after my rookie season.


3. 1981. I was the waterboy for the youth football league team my dad coached. That's really about as far as my football career went.


4. 1984. Here I am, on a cold night in front of the White House during the Cold War. If you look closely, you can see Ronald Reagan on the porch of the White House. My dad took me to Washington, D.C. for my 7th birthday. The highlight of the trip, as I remember it, was visiting the Air & Space Museum--I loved airplanes.

5. 1984. And speaking of the Cold War, here I am with my F-14 Tomcat toy airplane. It took many flights around the house, and in the front yard.
6. 1983. Field day in kindergarten, with a female companion who I believe was my girlfriend at the time. It didn't work out. Also, I've traded in those shorts for more fashionable jogging shorts, and ankle socks instead of striped tube socks. For Eaglefest next year, however, I may have to pay tribute to my past by dressing 1980s.














2 comments:

Anonymous said...

reading through this was very interesting and its really fun to no what kinds of things our teachers were interested in back when they were growing up. Some of the things that all of them were interested are some of the things kids are still interested in... Alot of us still listen to those rockbands of the 80's like Whitesnake and Def Leppard and Poison.. and we still watch those movies.... i just thought that's pretty cool.

-Jason S. (the one and only*)-

Nikolas said...

Well call it a blast from the past this is a very fun set of pictures to look at. Well every era has it's own fashions I'm sure we're going to be made fun of by future generations because we wear Abercrombie and sag our pants. This was certainly a fun post I look forward to seeing more fun stuff like this in the future.

-Niko the Spaniard