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life in the 1980s

1980s

If you are between the ages of 37 and 42, then you remember how glorious it was to grow up in the 1980s. I was 8 in 1980 and 18 in 1990, so my formidable years were spent in the 1980s. I remember how life was in the early 1980s before there were cds or cassettes. We used to bring our record player outside and listen to Xanadu while roller skating round and round the carport – complete with ribbon barrettes just like Olivia Newton-John. images

I remember how life was in the early 1980s before there were microwaves. I would heat up my leftover pizza in the oven. Actually, you had to heat up all leftovers in the oven – or just finish all of your dinner. 550px-Cook-Pizza-in-a-Gas-Oven-Step-4

I remember how life was in the early 1980s before there was cable tv or remote controls.  I used to sit on the floor close to the television so it was easier to change the channels. There were only a few, so it didn’t take that long. old-tv

I remember how life was in the early 1980s before there was dvr or dvds, or even vhs recorders. I used to record my favorite movie Grease on my beta recorder every time it was played on tv.

Sony_SL-C6E_Beta_Recorder

For more 1980s memories, follow my blog and keep in touch with me on Twitter @DeenasDays

where were you on 9/11/01?

Today is the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the horrific attacks that killed over 3000 Americans when four airliners were hijacked and intentionally crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, into the Pentagon in Washington, DC and into a field in Pennsylvania.

Super Bowl XXXVI - Halftime Show

It was a bright, clear Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001. I was selling greeting cards at the time and working from home when I wasn’t out at my accounts. The day before I had just visited my account in the Pentagon. The night before I watched the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football and saw one of my favorites Ed McCaffery brake his leg during the game. The next morning on 9/11 I was in my bedroom with the tv on and saw the news of a plane crash into one of the World Trade Center buildings. I thought this is a horrible accident. Then I watched as a second plane crashed into the other building of the World Trade Center. I thought to myself, this is no accident if two planes crashed into both buildings of the World Trade Center. But I really didn’t get scared until I saw the report that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon, where I had just been less than 24 hours prior. I thought to myself our entire country, not just New York City, is under attack. I worried what city would be attacked next and when it would end. Then I learned about the plane crash in Pennsylvania.

We lived in fear for a quite a while, but in the end came together as a nation. Where were you on 9/11/01?

remember when MTV played videos?

mtv

I used to love MTV, or Music Television. I remember when MTV actually played music videos. Heck, I even remember when MTV first started in the summer of 1981 when I was almost 9. My music life, along with everyone else’s, changed forever. We were now able to actually see all of our favorite bands. Some videos were of bands performing and some videos were like mini-movies. My favorite example of this was Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach, which actually had an entire story line unfold within the time it took the song to play.

I wish MTV today was the MTV of the 1980s and actually played music videos. I loved the original VJs Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, and JJ Jackson. They were adults who appreciated music as much as I did. They were the cool adults who showed us you never have to grow up when it comes to music. Do you remember the first music video played on MTV? 

K is for Kennedys – my favorite family

A favorite of mine that begins with K is the Kennedys. I’ve had a great interest in the Kennedy family over the years, but recently I’ve been quite obsessed. I have watched and re-watched The Kennedys 8-hour miniseries on tv, as well as The Women of Camelot , Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis, and Robert Kennedy and His Times miniseries. I have also been reading Ted Kennedy’s memoir True Compass. When I’m finished with Teddy’s memoir, I’m going to read Bobby’s and Jack’s biographies. Bobby Kennedy is the one with whom I am most interested.

I have a love and passion for history, especially post World War 2 American history. It is what I studied in college earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Kennedys were a huge part of that post-WW2 American history that I adore so much. Also being an only child, I’ve always been fascinated with huge families. I thought it would have been great to be a Kennedy until I learned in Teddy’s memoir that each child was only allowed one napkin per week for dinner. I practically use one napkin per bite. No, I wouldn’t have made it as a Kennedy.

Of all the Kennedys, Jack has always gotten most of the publicity. I guess being President of the United States will do that, but it was his younger brother Bobby, Attorney General, who was behind most of Jack’s critical presidential decisions – including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights legislation. Jack was also interesting to the public because of his playful ways and playboy image, whereas Bobby was the more serious religious husband and father. Jack had Frank Sinatra, but Bobby had Bobby Darin – one of of my favorites! What I admire most about Bobby was his sense of right and wrong and speaking his mind no matter who he was talking to and no matter what it might have done to his political career. Bobby stood up for what was right, even when it wasn’t popular. And he loved dogs!

The world would have been a different place, a much better place, had both brothers not been assassinated within 5 years of each other. I truly believe the United States would not have endured all those horrible years in the Vietnam War had Jack and Bobby lived. Jack’s assassination in 1963 ended the seemingly carefree prosperous post-war era. Bobby’s assassination in 1968 ended America’s era of hope and, along with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr two months earlier, began an era of disillusionment and cynicism that is unfortunately still with us today.

What are your thoughts about the Kennedys?

This blog post is part of my A to Z April Challenge – 26 of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by. I am also blogging the A to Z Challenge on my other blog On the Road with U2.

MLK – they took his life, they could not take his pride

Yesterday January 15 was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, but we celebrate it on the third Monday of January. I am celebrating Dr King’s birthday by remembering all the great things he did for us and sacrifices he made. Dr. King wanted equal rights for everyone, and he was committed to gaining that equality peacefully – no matter what. I have been watching documentaries, biographies and movies about Dr. King and the civil rights movement all day. I know the history. I know what happened, but it’s good to be watch all of these programs and be reminded and inspired that one person can truly make a difference if they truly believe. And I am trying to share Dr. King’s message by posting on Twitter, Facebook and writing this post on my blog.

my MLK Pride shirt

I have been a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr since I learned about him in high school. I may have learned about him earlier, but I don’t remember. I do remember that when I learned about U2 in my freshman year of high school with the release of The Joshua Tree, I realized they were the same group that had sang that song Pride I remembered hearing a few years earlier. Pride, about MLK, was one of my favorite songs back then and still remains one of my favorites today, especially live in concert.

When I moved to Memphis in 2008, I worked at the National Civil Rights Museum. I toured the museum the day after Barack Obama was elected President. It was amazing and incredibly touching to be standing where Dr. King was assassinated 40 years later on the day after a black man was elected president of the US. That day I ran into a friend who worked at the museum and he arranged an interview for me. I worked as a visitor service representative and had a great time teaching people about the civil rights movement. The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The hotel was gutted for the museum, but the front remains and room 306 where Dr. King stayed is still in tact.

The Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis

In 2009 when U2 played their 360 concert in Atlanta, I arrived a day early so I could visit the Martin Luther King Jr sites including the MLK National Historic Site, the house Dr. King was born in, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and MLK’s grave. I was sick that day in Atlanta but I had always wanted to visit Dr. King’s hometown and nothing was going to stop me.

MLK site

MLK birth house

Ebenezer Baptist Church

MLK grave

Dr Martin Luther King Jr gave many great speeches in his life, but my favorite was his last. It has been dubbed the ‘Mountain Top’ speech, which he gave in Memphis the night before he was assassinated.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss
Early evening, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love? – U2 Pride (in the name of love)

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