Wednesday, February 20, 2008

circa 1985

Nothing places a generation in time and space quite like popular culture. Coming of age among certain music, movies and art certainly plays a role in our development as young people, even if only to a small degree. With that in mind, I give you a snapshot of the year I graduated high school, 1985.

Best Picture
Out of Africa

Best Actor
William Hurt in Kiss of the Spider Woman

Best Actress
Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful

Best Album
Phil Collins
No Jacket Required

Best Song, Billboard
Careless Whisper

Drama Emmy
Cagney and Lacey

Comedy Emmy
The Cosby Show

The following are awards that were assessed only by yours truly as a teenager:

Best Comedy
Real Genius

Best Romance
Better Off Dead

Best Sci Fi
Back to the Future

Best Teen Angst Picture
The Breakfast Club

1985 saw the birth of Guns N Roses, Pixies, Jane's Addiction, and Hootie and the Blowfish. We drank New Coke under protest and watched Live Aid. We watched Meg Tilly in the unlikely role of a Catholic nun. Angelica Huston and Kathleen Turner strutted through Prizzi's Honor, Jessica Lange sang Sweet Dreams, and Whoopi Goldberg bared her dramatic chops with amazing results in The Color Purple. Harrison Ford lived among the Amish, James Garner wooed Sally Field, and Robert Loggia appeared in what may possibly be one of my favorite films ever. There was a foreign film from France that year with the English title of Three Men and a Cradle. I think you know what came next. America, country of the remake.

That was the year that OJ married Nicole. The car company, Saturn, was founded, and Reagan began serving his second term. Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned, the FDA began screening blood donations for AIDS, Route 66 was officially decommissioned, and the wreck of the Titanic was discovered. Calvin and Hobbes debuted that year along with the Nintendo Entertainment System (stateside, anyway).

On my cassette deck in heavy rotation that year (many of the albums are pre-1985):

Prince, 1999, Purple Rain, and Around the World in a Day
Helix, Deep Cuts the Knife
Scorpions, Love at First Sting
Def Leppard, High and Dry and Pyromania
Van Halen, Van Halen, Diver Down, and 1984
Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath
Mötley Crüe, Shout at the Devil
Foreigner, 4, Rumours
Pat Benatar, Get Nervous
Bryan Adams, Reckless
Night Ranger, Dawn Patrol and Midnight Madness
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Long After Dark and Southern Accents
Loverboy, Get Lucky
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall
John Lennon and she-who-will-not-be-named, Double Fantasy
Styx, Pieces of Eight, Cornerstone, most frequently, Paradise Theater, and Kilroy Was Here
Michael Jackson, Off the Wall and Thriller
Jean-Pierre Rampal, Telemann's Suite in A Minor

In 1985, it was still legal to purchase and drink 3.2 beer over the state line in Kansas. I wasn't a drinker, but I did buy beer for friends. Once. Then it occurred to me that I was breaking the law, even if they drank it in Kansas. Sometime that year, Kansas voted to raise the drinking age to 21. I don't remember exactly when it went into effect, though, as it was kind of a non event for me.

Last, but not least, I do have to admit to growing up in a redneck county. Being the daughter of a farmer and rancher, a member of the local 4-H club, and a regular on main street, I knew my share of cowboys, rodeo types, and outright rednecks. I learned to square dance and do the cotton-eyed joe while in high school. I can sing along to songs by Don Williams, Alabama, George Strait, The Oak Ridge Boys, and my personal favorite, Bocephus. I was still singing along in a countrified fashion in 1985. As I've said many times before, it is indeed possible to take the country out of the girl. As long as she wasn't too into country to begin with.

The picture was taken in the spring of 1985 by an amateur photographer friend of my parents in Tulsa's Woodward Park.


Faye said...

Ah, Don Williams and his lovely duet with the great EmmyLou Harris "If I Needed You. . ." What a great memory.

This is a great look back at a significant time in your life Kaycie. I don't think I could do high school graduation year--it has been a FEW years past. There are other years though that are quite vivid. Why is that?

Now you got me thinking about college sophomore year--that was memorable!

willowtree said...

I didn't realise you graduated from Farrah Fawcett High.

Kim said...

You're an ass, Peter. But it did make me laugh. I even thought "Farrah Flip" when I posted the photo, but I put it up anyway.

Kim said...

Don Williams has a really beautiful voice. I could still sing you "Amanda". Not well, Faye, but I remember all the words. Another one I remember is "Lord, I Hope This Day is Good".

By sophomore year of college, I was a married woman. What can I say? I did grow up in small town Oklahoma.

Babaloo said...

This is a great idea, to look back that way. And you're so incredibly young in that photo! I might nick that idea for a post later on in the year. Maybe. IF you don't mind.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Ooooh what a trip down memory lane! I grew up with Don Williams played a lot in our house too....I think I might have to go buy one of his albums and take my own trip down memory lane!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I remember that year very well. I started off with an interview at a major daily that I didn't get, married a man I later divorced, moved to New York and started a job I truly despised. Ah, sweet memories!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Oh, and thank you very much for the award by the way.

Fire Byrd said...

I was expecting my first son in September that year, so it all passed me in a blur as I was so pre-occupied.

laurie said...

thanks for making me feel really old, there, kaycie.

laurie said...

(and did you know, back then, how pretty you were?)

Beth said...

Thanks for the new-post reminders, Kaycie. Great photo and quite the look back at those times - the music makes it pretty vivid. I should do the same for my last high school year but it was, um, a bit earlier!

Kim said...

Nick away, Babaloo. I was very young; I might still be 17. It was fun to look back at it. I think you'll enjoy it.

I've had Don Williams in my head since I woke up this morning, Angela. "Lord, I hope this day is good; I'm feeling angry and misunderstood." I hadn't thought about those songs in years.

That made me laugh, Coffee. Good to be in a better place now, isn't it!?!

I know what you mean, Pixie. I couldn't tell you anything about 1990 (other than Desert Storm) without lots of research. That's when I was preggers with lovely daughter.

Sorry, Laurie, an unintended side effect. Of course, it's okay, since we look the same age now. I always look at myself and see an ordinary looking girl. I do remember my mother taking my senior pictures to work with her (the elementary school) one day; when I walked in and greeted the ladies up front, they went on about my perfect profile. I thought they were crazy old ladies. My damn Delaware nose is wide as the Grand Canyon. So, yeah, I think the answer to your question is no.

I loved the piece you put up a while ago about when you were young, Beth; you were playing chess with a young man in the summer heat. The details were very evocative of the place in time you were writing about. The post was about chess and Bobby Fisher, but I came away with a better idea about you.

Jen said...

*tee-hee* I remember 1985 quite well, even if I was only in grade school at the time. You and my husband would get along quite well, his music play list looks alot like yours, and he was in 4-H as well!

And I don't care what Peter says, I wish my hair looked that good in 1985!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

The 80's were my favourite decade. I almost "grew up" in those years. Took a few steps back in the 90's but so be it.

Crystal xx

thefoodsnob said...

Nice picture.
I graduated in '86, so pretty close!


the rotten correspondent said...

That was a trip down memory lane. Yikes. Not sure my blood pressure was ready for that.

And, hey there! Bitch slap contest between kaycie and peter. I've got a twenty on kaycie to start.

The Robert Loggia link wouldn't work for me. What film?

Kim said...

I knew you were just a kid, Jen, but elementary school? Damn, I'm getting old.

Lovely daughter makes fun of the anything 1980s, but I kinda liked it, too, Crystal. At the time, anyway.

I thought we were around the same age, Lisa.

Oh, RC, Peter's harmless. Snarky but harmless. And sometimes, pretty damn funny. I fixed the movie link, RC, but it's "Jagged Edge". I saw it with my college roomie and best buddy at the theater.

Elizabethd said...

Thanks for allowing me to come and visit your blog. Very interesting.
1985..I have to think. Where was I? What was I doing? You are so very clear about all that was happening then! For me , it was the year in which 2 grandchildren were born, one in Canada, one in UK.

Kim said...

Thank you for visiting, Elizabeth!

elizabethm said...

This was weird to read Kaycie. I am a little older than you and English so my personal list would not be identical but so much of yours resonates with me too. My children were tiny then and so everything is blurred by motherhood but yes, had forgotten, but I was there too.

Kim said...

You were a mother in 1985, Elizabeth? I don't know why, but I thought we were around the same age.