Yesterday I was driving around, doing the various errands that needed to be done, when this song came on Classic Rewind. I thought about the events this was chronicling It was a time in history when everything changed, and it was almost unreal as we watched it happening.
We had been afraid of Russia for so long in the Cold War. Living near New York City, I knew if there ever was a nuclear war, we would be one of the first ones obliterated as they would target the financial infrastructure on Wall Street. Between the Berlin Wall coming down and the Eastern European nations coming out from behind the Iron Curtain, followed by an allegedly “free” Russian state, it finally felt like we could breathe a sigh of relief.
This meme came up a few days before and I posted it on my Facebook feed. We had some discussion about it, and during that discussion I pointed out that we are now as far from 1980 as 1980 was from 1940.
My parents were both born in the 1920s so were in their teens in 1940 – about the same age I would be in 1980. I heard stories of what it was like around that time. They usually lived in cold-water flats and it was a luxury to have hot water heat in their apartments. I think about it being a time just in between the worst of The Great Depression and entering World War II. That seemed ancient to me when I was growing up.
Just like 1980 seems to kids nowadays.
I think about when I was young. We didn’t even have a color TV at first. We had a decent-sized black and white in our living room until sometime in the early 1970’s. The first microwave we had was in 1984, as was the first video cassette recorder. We watched television over the air with rabbit-ear antennas. Living near New York City, we were lucky and actually had 6 networks plus a PBS and a few UHF channels to watch. The first car I can remember was a Buick Special. It didn’t even have air conditioning or seat belts in the back seat.
In 1980, my parents had a Chevrolet Nova. I actually figured out how to replace the radio in it because when they bought it, it only got AM stations. As much as I liked WABC growing up by 1980 I was looking for the FM stations. I never won the battle to get cable television, though. It wasn’t until I was working a regular job that I paid for Cable TV in the house.
The winds of change were brewing in 1980. None of us realized it then, but they were.
I wonder in 2060 what kids will look back on from our time. I wonder if they will absorb the fact that the “ancient history” they grew up hearing from their grandparents about the 1980s is now the time they remember from their youth.
And so it goes….
Categories: Personal Stories