Friends, this is one of the best of all time. If you were born between 1965 and 1977 (give or take a year or two), you will certainly enjoy this as much as I did.
I am a child of the 70's and 80's. That is what I prefer to be called. The 90's can do without me. Grunge isn't here to stay, fashion is fickle, and "Generation X" is a myth created by some over-40 writer trying to figure out why people wear flannel in the summer. When I got home from school, I played on an Atari 2600 or a Commodore 64. I spent hours playing Pitfall, Combat, Breakout, or Frogger. I never did beat Asteroids. Then I watched Scooby-Doo. Daphne was a goddess and I thought Shaggy was smoking something synthetic in the back of the Mystery Machine. I HATED SCRAPPY.
I would sleep over at friend's houses on the weekends. We played army with G.I. Joe figures, and we set up galactic wars between the Autobots and the Decepticons. We never beat Rubik's Cube, unless you count taking off the stickers. I got up early on Saturday mornings to watch bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons like, "The Snorks", "Jabberjaws", "Captain Caveman", and "Space Ghost". In between I would watch Schoolhouse Rock ("Conjunction junction, what's your function?").
On Friday night, Daisy Duke was my future wife. Did your Dad turn from mild-mannered Bill Bixby into the Incredible Hulk when he got upset? At the movies, the Nerds got revenge on the Alpha Betas by teaming up with Omega Mus. I watched Indiana Jones save the Ark of the Covenant. I wondered what Yoda meant when he said, "No, there is another."
Ronald Reagan was cool. Gorbachev was the guy who built a McDonald's in Moscow. My family took vacations to South Florida (or Newfoundland) and collected Muppet Movie glasses along the way (we had the whole set). My siblings and I fought in the back seat. At the hotel, we found creative uses for Connect Four pieces. We listened to John Cougar Mellencamp sing about Pink Houses, and Jack & Diane. I was bewildered by Boy George. I was a "Wild Boy" for Duran Duran. MTV actually played music videos. Nickelodeon (and CTV) played "You Can't Do That On Television". HBO showed Mike Tyson pummel everybody except Robin Givens. I drank Dr. Pepper. I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too? Shasta was for losers. Tab was a laboratory accident. Capri Sun was a social statement. Orange Juice wasn't just for breakfast anymore. Bacon had to move over for something leaner. My Mom put thousands of Little Debbie (or Joe Louis) snack cakes in my Charlie Brown (Six Million Dollar Man) lunchbox and our world was the backyard and it was all you needed and you used it to build "forts".
With your portable tape player, Debbie Gibson sang backup to you. Everyone wanted a shirt like the Material Girl and a glove like Michael Jackson. Today, we are the ones who sing along with Bruce Springsteen adn the Bangles perfectly and have no idea why. We recite lines from Ghostbusters and still look to the Goonies for a great adventure. We flip through TV stations and stop at the "A-Team", "Knight Rider", "Fame", and laugh with "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties". "What are you talkin' about, Willis?"
We hold strong affection for the Muppets and Gummy Bears and why did they take the Smurfs off the air? Afterschool Specials were about cigarettes and step-families. The Polka Dot Door was nothing like Barney. Aren't the Power Rangers just Voltron reincarnated? We are the ones who still read Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume. Friendship bracelets were ties you wouldn't break and friendship pins went on shoes. Pegged jeans were in, as were unit belts, layered socks, jean jackets, JAMS, charm necklaces, and side ponytails.
Rave was a girl's best friend, braces with coloured rubberbands made you rad. The back door was always open and Mom served only the red Kool-Aid to the neighbourhood kids. You never drank the New Coke. Entertainment was cheap and lasted for hours. All you needed to be a princess were high heels and an apron. The Sit'n'Spin always made you dizzy, but never made you stop. Pogoballs were dangerous weapons, and Chinese jump ropes never failed to trip someone. In your Underoos, you were Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, or R2-D2.
In your treehouse you were king. In the 80's, nothing was wrong. Did you know the President was shot? Did you see the Challenger explode or feed a homeless person? We forgot Vietnam and watched Tiananmen Square on CNN. We didn't start the fire, Billy Joel. In the 80's, we redefined the American Dream, and those years defined us. We are the generation in between strife and facing strife and turning our backs.
The 80's may have made us idealistic, but it's that idealism that will push us and be passed to our children - the children of the 21st century. We had neighbourhoods where in the day we could play kick-the-can, ring-o-levio, guns, and all of the things that made us "grownup". There was always that one field that could be used for either baseball, football, or just a place to hang out. That was my field of dreams, Mr. Costner. At night, we would play flashlight tag and we could trick-or-treat at night without the fear of being killed.
We loved orange rack tracks. That is, until our mothers realized she could smack us with them. We collected Cabbage Patch Kids and their ugly offspring, Garbage Pail Kids. We collected football, baseball, and hockey cards, but it was because we wanted to be the first in the neighbourhood to have the complete set. We played with He-Man and Skelator. Going to get a Happy Meal on Saturday with Mom or Dad was worth waiting the other six days of the week.
Was Green Lantern the coolest superhero or Aquaman? "Wonder Twin powers activate!" "He, my Mom will take if your Mom picks up!" This is what growing up in the 70's and 80's was all about. So if you are reading this and it all hits home, then you do indeed have a heritage and a generation.
This is what makes us the most unique generation of all. Please pass this along to all who can relate.
I can't remember for the life of me who sent this but whoever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!