Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Invasion of Grenada: Operation, Urgent Fury, 1983

This is a pretty good documentary on the invasion of Grenada. I was only 10 years old at the time but I remember watching news footage about this. Although I didn't realize the historical significance at the time, this was a pivotal turning point in the battle against the international communist expansion.

The U.S. led forces along with the help of several Caribbean countries: Antigua and Babuda, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, invaded Grenada on October 25, 1983:

Baby Jessica

Today in 80's history Jessica McClure fell down a well in her back yard and was finally rescued 58 hours later. I thought that was interesting with all the news about the trapped Chilean miners who were rescued yesterday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Remember Cherry 7 Up? I used to really like that stuff! Check out this commercial with a young Matt LeBlanc, who went on to be a regular on Married With Children and then co-star on Friends.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

I remember my parents recalling where they were when President Kennedy was shot. I remember where I was January 28, 1986. I was in 7th grade at Huntley Middle School, and in English class.

My gymn Teacher Mr. Richot was a runner up to be on the Challenger as well. I guess they must've been taping the footage to show to the school when the disaster happened. Early on in the day there was an announcement on the P.A. that the shuttle had exploded and in the afternoon there was an assembly and they showed us video footage of the disaster. I still get a lump in my throat thinking about it.

Later that week there was a display made for the front lobby of the school in honor of those who lost their lives. There was a picture of Mr. Richot with his arm around Christa McAuliffe, just smiling. I found that to be particularly haunting.
Later that day President Reagan addressed the nation on the tragedy.

M.U.S.L.E. (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere)

These figures were my favorite! They came in packs of 4, packs of 10 (came in a transparent garbage can), and the big 28 box! I remember going to Toys R Us and getting a free promo poster that had every figure on it with a check box next to it. My brother bought the wrestling ring, but the pegs that held up the figures broke within a week or so.

These were a lot of fun to play with. I remember my friends and I came up with a paper and dice game based around the figures. We'd five them special power moves and attributes.

There was a NES game based on the characters, but I remember it was pretty terrible.

M.U.S.L.E. was originally based on a manga series called Kinnikuman!

Friday, October 8, 2010


This was a great action series! I remember watching this show with my family and then acting out scenes from the show with my brothers. This is definitely a product of the cold-war and it captures that era perfectly.

Here's a synopsis from Wikipedia.

The series' protagonist is Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent), a loner who lives in a cabin outside of Los Angeles, CA in a mountain resort area called Big Bear, accompanied only by his Bluetick Coonhound, "Tet", and the surrounding wildlife. Hawke is a recluse, spending most of his time alone with his priceless collection of paintings which he inherited from his grandfather (the art was a gift for his grandmother), and serenading eagles with his equally priceless Stradivarius cello. His only real friend and mentor is the older, eternally cheerful Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine) who raised Stringfellow and his brother Saint John (pronounced "sin-jin") after their parents died. Stringfellow's father and Dominic flew in World War II together.

Earlier, Hawke was a test pilot for Airwolf, an advanced supersonic helicopter with stealth capabilities and a formidable arsenal. Airwolf was built by the FIRM, a division of the CIA (a play on the term "the Company", a nickname for the CIA). Airwolf was stolen by its twisted creator, Dr. Charles Henry Moffet (David Hemmings). Michael Coldsmith Briggs III (Alex Cord), the FIRM's deputy director (codename Archangel), then asks Hawke to go to Libya to retrieve the helicopter. Archangel has a blind left eye and walks with a limp as a result of having been caught in the carnage Moffet unleashed when he stole Airwolf.

Fearing that Hawke would refuse the mission to recover Airwolf, the FIRM confiscates his art collection, leaving Gabrielle (Hawke's pilot-episode love-interest, played by Belinda Bauer) behind to brief him for his mission. A week later, after an undercover operative is killed in the line of duty, Gabrielle is sent in undercover with Hawke being sent in sooner than originally planned. With Santini's assistance, Hawke finds and recovers Airwolf but chooses not to return it. Instead, he and Santini hide Airwolf, booby trapped, in an extinct volcano Hawke calls "the Lair," located in the remote "Valley of the Gods," which is visually modeled on Monument Valley. Hawke refuses to return Airwolf until the FIRM can recover his brother, St. John, who has been missing in action since Vietnam. To get access to Airwolf, Archangel offers Hawke protection from other government agencies who will try to recover Airwolf in exchange for flying missions of national importance for the FIRM.

In the second season, to satisfy CBS executives who wanted to appeal to a wider female audience, the show introduced Caitlin O'Shannessy, played by Jean Bruce Scott. Caitlin is a feisty former Texas Highway Patrol helicopter pilot who eventually joins Airwolf's crew. In "Fallen Angel" Hawke confirms Caitlin's suspicions that he and Santini possess and operate a super helicopter as the three fly Airwolf into East Germany to recover Archangel.


Mighty Orbots

Japanese/American animated series about a group of 5 robots (Bo, Boo, Tor, Crunch and Bort) invented by a young Rob Simmons, member of the Galactic Patrol. Set out to defeat the evil Umbra (evil planet-sized bio-mechanical computer) of S.H.A.D.O.W., bent on controlling the universe.

I loved this show as a kid! Although it only lasted for one season mainly due to a lawsuit from the makers of Go Bots (not really sure why because the Orbots didn't even remotely resemble Go Bots), it remains one of my favorite shows from the 80's.

Ferris Bueller

The ultimate slacker comedy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of my favorite John Hughes movies of all time!

I remember seeing the movie posters at the theater when I was a kid but I didn't see the movie until a year or so later when it came out on video. Matthew Broderick helped create one of the most memorable characters of all time. I mean, what guy didn't want to be that loveable rogue, Ferris? He could do pretty much anything he wanted with little or no consequences. This is one of the most memorable Comedies from the 80's.

Art In The 80's

Patrick Nagel is an artistic icon of the 80's, even though he passed away in 1984 his work seems transfixed in the era. I loved his simple linear designs and his use of vibrant color transposed on muted colors. His stylish, post modern work really shaped the look and attitude of 80's graphic design and fashion. His work has been used for Playboy magazine, advertisements and album covers like Duran Duran's - Rio.

Music in the 80's

One of the great songs and videos of the decade. Sweden's A-ha - Take On Me!

Morning In America

There's no one way to sum up a decade. To me the greatest decade in America was the 80's. I loved the pop culture, historical figures, and the optimism of this era.

One image that sums up the 80's to me was this political commercial put out by the Ronald Reagan Presidential campaign. It sums up the optimism and the ability of the American people to overcome all odds, and to do it as a united country.