Children of the Eighties


Are you a child of the Eighties? That is the name I prefer over Generation-X, a term created by some old fart over the age of 50 trying to figure out how to describe us.

When I came home from school, I played Atari and watched Scooby Doo. Daphne was the gal all the guys loved and Shaggy looked like he had been smoking weed since breakfast. Everyone, of course, hated that annoying Scrappy. My siblings and I woke up at 6 a.m. to watch Saturday morning cartoons. We had only one TV in the house. Remember the “Smurfs”, “Captain Caveman” and “Space Ghost”. Remember “School House Rock?”

Do you remember pretending to be the Dukes of Hazard? What was the deal with them climbing out of the windows of the General Lee? Remember “Material Girl” and “Beat It!” We knew how to Moonwalk. We dreamed about being on StarSearch. You had a special place in my heart for Michael J. Fox and Back to the Future.

Do remember reciting lines from Ghostbusters? How about watching shows like the A Team and Knight Rider? Remember pretending to be Mr. T or Michael Knight? I had a crush on Dirk Benedict. Our favorite shows were Silver Spoons, The Cosby Show, Punky Brewster, and Family Ties. And we knew what “Willis” was “talking ‘bout.” Remember putting your homework aside to watch the Afterschool Special (I think it was on ABC). Remember when cable came out and Nickelodeon? Remember Charles in Charge girls? I still have a special place in my heart for Scott Baio.

We read Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Beverly Clearly and Judy Blume books. We loved friendship bracelets and Necklaces. (As a matter of fact, my best friend April still has both halves of the best friend necklace.) We wore Velcro Reeboks and pegged jeans. Remember our layered socks and our jean jackets? Hey girls, remember Rave?

Moms always served Kool-Aid and we never drank Coke or Pepsi. Our entertainment consisted of playing outside and we would play for hours. Remember Sit-n-Spin – it always made us dizzy, but we kept playing. Remember Pogo sticks and playing jump rope.

The eighties was news worthy as well. Do you remember what an admired president Ronald Reagan was? Star Wars wasn’t just a movie. The Challenger exploded. (I was in 4th grade and we were in the library watching it on television.) It was a very sad day. Remember the protests in China’s Tiananmen Square. Do you remember how amazing it felt when the Berlin Wall fell? We saw the end of the Soviet Union and Communism. We learned about AIDs. And we listened to Billy Joel and we weren’t the ones who started the fire.

The eighties was a decade that redefined what the American Dream was all about. Half of our parents got divorced. We actually said no to drugs. We remember a time when Saturday Night Live was funny and Chris Farley lived in a van by the lake. Partying like it was “1999” still was ten years away. And we believed that “By the Power of Greyskull, you had the power!” We knew the Artist Formally Known as Prince when he was just “Prince”

Remember Trapper Keepers and how you just had to have one? How about Molly Ringwald and the Facts of Life? Freddy Krouger? Kids Incorporated? Did you have a crush on one of the Coreys? Did you have the Pac Man high score? Did you own a t-shirt that said “I shot J.R.?” Who shoot J.R. anyway and how many times did he actually die? Did your parents let you watch Dallas or Dynasty? Remember the movie “The Day After,” and how it still scares the heck of you? How about playing Simon Says? The electronic game?

I could go and on about the eighties, but my lunch hour is nearly over. What are your 80s memories? Please feel free to comment and let us know.
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