Where Were You When…

The topic for this week’s Friday Flashback is What big cultural event occurred during your childhood/youth that you recall clearly? What was its impact on you?

Several “big” events immediately popped into my mind – the Challenger explosion (I was home sick from 6th grade watching the Price is Right- specifically, the yodeling mountain climber– when the show was interrupted by video images of the fiery explosion), Charles and Diana’s wedding (I watched it in my aunt’s basement in the wee hours of the morning, marveling at Diana’s train floating down the aisle and wishing to marry a prince one day), and Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt.

However, the most vivid memories I have as a child were pop culture and fashion-related. (C’mon. Does that surprise you? It’s WHOORL we’re talking about here.)

Do you all remember these events as well as I do?

Watching the birth of MTV, with the inaugural video being Video Killed The Radio Star.

Classifying myself as a Valley Girl. “Like, you are tubular to the max.”

Hiding behind a pillow while viewing Thriller for the first time.

Drinking my first Jolt Cola.

My first pair of Jellies shoes.

Wanting to mack down with Charlie Sheen in Lucas. (That makes me cringe a little.)

Mix and matching the “perfect” Units outfit while getting ready for school.

The Three Men And A Baby ghost hiding in the curtain rumor. Freaked my shit out.

Dude, one word. FROGGER. (Also, did any of you play River Raid on Atari? My dad scored the highest score ever. We had to take a photo of him standing next to the good ol’ RCA television to send in. I would KILL for that photo right now.)

I remember distinct details of the above mentioned. What about you, though? What events from your youth are emblazoned on your brain? Anything goes!

Don’t forget to check out these other participants, as I can promise their posts are way more poignant than my banter about Jolt Cola. (Although, that shit was WICKED COOL. Admit it.)

Her Bad Mother
Mrs. Flinger
Oh the Joys

  1. Dana

    March 21, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Holy cow, JELLIES. I remember those shoes and having to have several pairs in glittery, pastel colors. That took me back!

  2. Amy

    March 21, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I was in 5th grade when they announced the Challenger thing over the PA. And I remember being at violin practice later that afternoon.

    I have pictures of my high score on Pitfall! I put my guinea pig next to the TV so it was more interesting. I’ll have to find one of those and scan it. I loved River Raid and Frogger too.

  3. bethany actually

    March 21, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I was in 5th grade when the Challenger exploded. We were lining up to go to lunch when a 6th grader stuck his head in the door and told our teacher than it had exploded. She thought he was kidding at first, but when he insisted, she got serious and ran off to the office where the TV was, leaving us standing in line. She came back and told us what had happened.

    I remember the Statue of Liberty centennial…there was a large billboard in my elementary school across from the cafeteria, and I remember in 1983 or 1984 there being a big display about the Statue of Liberty and how much money was being raised for the restoration project.

    I remember the horrible flop that was New Coke.

    However, I have NO memory of Units. I don’t even know what that is. Off to google it now.

  4. Miss Virginia

    March 21, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Am I the only one who loved Madonna? Those silly black rubber band bracelets? The flashdance “look”. How about Forenza sweaters or Bermuda Bags w/ the changeable fabric. I loved my add-a-beads and reebok high tops!

    We had Atari, but i can’t remember any game other than pong. Actually, was donkey kong an atari game? I was far more into watching something i taped on our BETAMAX, and talking on the EXTENDA-phone!

    Last 3 things: Tickle roll-on, Daisy razors and Vita-Bath.
    AAAHHHHHH….the memories!

  5. Angella

    March 21, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    We are the same age, so I remember all that you wrote about! I was *ahem* bowling after school when the Chellenger exploded.

    And Atari! I loved Pong. I also remember when PacMan came out and it was SO COOL.

  6. glamgranola

    March 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Oh Sweet Jesus. I almost forgot about Units. I always wanted a strapless tube top but my parents wouldn’t let me. How mean were they? Instead my favorite was a one piece avocado green union suit with,of course, a bandeau belt that was printed. They didn’t last more than a couple of years, did they?

  7. JAB

    March 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Wow! I remember all of those things exactly as well (except I saw the Challenger footage when I got home from 6th grade), but I didn’t remember the Three Men & A Baby clip…thanks for the link…freaky!!!

    I also remember rushing home from school in junior high to watch MTVs daily top 10 countdown and lip-synching like a maniac to Bon Jovi’s “Shot Through The Heart.”

    My mom had a “Units” party at our house…kind of like a tupperware party? Where the lady came over with a ton of them and everyone tried them on and went crazy.

    And, I also remember when George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex” video debuted and it was such a big deal that my little brother and I sat with my parents in their room and watched it with them…mortifying!

  8. Catlin

    March 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    The BIRTH of MTV? Just how old are you??!

    I remember the wall in Berlin coming down and I didn’t have a clue what all the fuss was about but I didn’t dare to ask ’cause I was too embarrassed by my own dimness.

    And I also remember us going from betamax to VHS and nobody in our house cared about the betamax anymore but I had saved 3 betamax cassettes ’cause I thought they were so cute and small and I felt sorry for them. Again I didn’t tell anyone about this and hid them.

    I was (and still am) a bit of an idiot, I suppose!

  9. Jennifer

    March 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    HMOG Units! I had one jumpsuit and was too much of a dunce to figure out all of its configurations so that was the end of that.

    I was in math class in 5th grade when the Challenger exploded. Does anyone remember that “very special” episode of “Punky Brewster” where they talked about it? Gah.

    Fondly remembered: Mrs. Grossman’s stickers, all things Lisa Frank, paint pens, Poochie (for girls!), winning the “Lost Boys” soundtrack record (!) at a church bazaar, marathon sessions of playing “Dig Dug” with my brother and Electric Youth “perfume”

    Not-So-Fondly Remembered: an Enquirer story on how Cabbage Patch Kids were minions of satan (I slept with my parents for about a month), stirrup pants and perms – not necessarily in that order.

  10. gorillabuns

    March 21, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I’m not even going to “spout” my memories because I’m way older. Then ALL of your commenters. Let’s just say, I remember all of them and all these memories usually included a boy. Several of them.

  11. sunny

    March 22, 2008 at 5:27 am

    OP Corduroy Short Shorts! Oh yes!

  12. Clairebell

    March 22, 2008 at 6:48 am

    In class in the 4th grade, I think we’d been watching the launch on TV that day, because of McAuliffe. We talked for weeks after that about how they’d found a bone with a sock on it.

  13. Sue

    March 22, 2008 at 9:08 am

    One of my earliest “significant” memories is when my grandmother sat us down in front of the TV and told us “Remember this. This is history happening right now.” Richard Nixon was resigning. (I think I just dated myself :-)

  14. rebecca

    March 22, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Whoa. Our childhoods are mirror images! I had forgotten about Jellies shoes but MAN those were HOTT. Like, really hot. As in, make your feet sweat buckets hot. Ew!!

  15. Mrs. Flinger

    March 22, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Oh the memories! I remember wearing socks with my jellies. um. Who does that? Right. I did. Total dorkmess.