June 30, 2009

Air Pudding and Wind Sauce

If the title of this reader from our elementary days doesn't ring a bell, perhaps one glimpse of the beautiful red & purple cover will reveal a whole new corner of memories that have been supressed in your mind. It certainly did for me when I saw this book in our local Goodwill store for $1.00.

In all of our grade school classes we were divided up into reading groups according to our individual reading levels. I'm not sure what group I was in, but I distinctly remember this book. "Air Pudding and Wind Sauce"... who could forget a title like that? Do you remember any others? How about Green Feet, Blue Dilly Dilly or Cloverleaf. I had a copy of Cloverleaf - with the milk carton-shaped holstein cow on the front - until one of my kids left it out in the rain.

The next couple of posts will feature this great book - both it's contents and it's cover. Speaking of the cover...

The red & purple analogic color scheme, the inconsistent checkered tablecloth and hand-drawn fonts on the cover only hint at the great & groovy, psychadelic-seventies style illustrations awaiting the young reader within the book's pages.

Is this table of contents too inticing for you? Just wait - next week I'll post some of the incredible artwork filling this volume and then we'll get to read a story together!
My favorite from APWS... "Any Old Junk Today," featuring this great illustration.

June 29, 2009

And the World Mourns...

From Los Angeles to London, fans all over the world mourn the passing of the King of Pop. Here's an interesting photo essay showing the obsessive nature of a society mourning a pop star.
Visitors pay their respects as news crews record a sidewalk shrine of mementos, flowers, candles and notes adorning the star of Michael Jackson on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles Friday, June 26. AP / Reed Saxon

Last week I offerd a very brief post reflecting on the death of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, from strictly a cultural perspective. However there is much more that could be said about the way we react and respond to such trajedy from a biblical perspective. If you're interested, here are a few sobering considerations of the death of MJ from some trusted sources. And at this blog, my friend Jeff suggests some ways you can talk to your children about celebrities, stardom, death and other related topics.

June 26, 2009

The Death of a Pop Icon

What's sadder than losing one of our pop-culture icons - even sadder than losing three in one week - is the way the media will use the latest and the greatest to trump the other. For example, you've probably already forgotten that Carson's late night co-host Ed McMahon died three days ago, haven't you? And - you can quote me on this - Farrah Fawcett's death yesterday morning will soon fade into the shadow of Michael Jackson's sudden death last evening. It's just the method of the media. (Case in point, when I linked this website's coverage of Farrah, MJ's death was headlined at the top of the page)

All three of these entertainment personalities had their own special places in shaping the lives of our generation. Ed McMahon was among those remaining who brought the last bit of dignity and (mostly) tasteful humor to late night television. Farrah Fawcett Majors (remember her marriage to the 6 Million Dollar Man?) graced our weeknight tv time with a few other angels. And Michael Jackson... well it goes without saying that he was in a league of his own.

As I prepared this post last night at 11pm, I knew there would be plenty of internet buzz this morning all saying the same things. So I'm not going to try to compete. Just do your own google search for Ed, Farrah or MJ and you can find your own reading material. But I did want to post a couple of videos here for you to enjoy.

Though she was only on for one season, Farrah is most likely everyone's favorite angel.

Watch Michael's other videos here.

And heeeeeeere's a CBS recap of Ed McMahon's career.

My choice to feature these three people on this blog was primarily because of their contribution to our 70's & 80's entertainment culture. I haven't kept up with any of these three in any detail for many years, and certainly do not condone many of their lifestyle choices. As with anyone's death, my hope for them is that their hope was in Jesus Christ - the only Hope. If so, then and only then may they rest in peace.

June 25, 2009

The Book Brigade

Let's go back a few more years for this post. We'll move beyond 1988 - in fact, we're going 45 years back! The year is 1964, when many of our own parents were still walking the halls of their own high school (our middle school bldg) - which was brand new. The building was finished just a year earlier and the new library had yet to be filled with books.

I'm not sure who came up with the answer, but the $64,000 question had to be something like, "Just HOW IN THE WORLD are we going to transfer 4,000 books from the old library on one end of the campus to new library on the other end?" The answer? See below.

Do you know where the old library was located? Only if you were in band would you have had any reason to go around back & beneath the band hall, as your musty, polyester band uniform (complete with blue velvet cowboy hat & white plume) was issued from this dungeon. The spooky place we knew as uniform storage, was the old library.

These are the steps & sidewalk that lead back behind Mitchell Hall and under the band/choir halls.

I think that's my dad in the middle of the line wearing the dark shirt & horn rimmed specs as the books pass in front of Kelly-Williams Gym. Kinda looks like Annette Funicello there about 5 people on down the line. Well... I guess all those girls looked like her back then.

I wonder what they were singing?
Those are probably the football players in the back wearing the white shirts & ties. This tradition continued through our high school days. One of those football players is Rick Balwanz, who signed this photo out of my dad's yearbook.

For some reason - even in high school - life seemed so much more innocent back then.

June 22, 2009

Senior Favorites

From the Yellowjacket, Friday, May 27, 1988:

Senior Favorites

TeacherMr. Ausbrooks
RestaurantCasa Bonita
HangoutGeyer Springs
MovieDirty Dancing
ActorPatrick Swayze
ActressDemi Moore
TV ShowAlf
CommercialCalifornia Raisins
SongPour Some Sugar on Me
SingerDef Leppard
VideoGirls Girls Girls
CarPorsche 911

June 19, 2009

It's Like, a Rolling Stone

During a recent visit to Sheridan, I stopped by Resurrection's Antique Mall on the town square (located in the old ABC Bookstore building). In the back of the store I found these first three Rolling Stone mags from the 80's for just a couple of bucks each (The last three I snagged on Ebay). You won't believe all the retro-culture treasure that is to be found in the pages of these periodicals!

Issue No. 436 December 6, 1984
Cover: Bruce Springsteen

Issue No. 508 September 10, 1987
Cover: Madonna

Issue No. 443 March 14, 1983
Cover: U2

Issue No. 493 February 12, 1987
Cover: Pee Wee Herman

Issue No. 474 May 22, 1986
Cover: Michael J. Fox

Issue No. 471 April 10, 1986
Cover: Stevie Wonder

And here's a sneak peek at one of the articles contained in these pop-culture time vaults - a write up of the production of "We Are the World". Notice the subtitle, "Record could raise millions for hungry." The final total was over $60 million dollars. By the way, USA for Africa is still going strong today.

Stay tuned for many more excerpts from these 80's magazines -including trendy fashion ads, cutting-edge 80's electronics, Hollywood scoops and much more!

June 17, 2009

Sheridan Middle School

Way back in November, I posted this pic & asked where it was. There were a couple of guesses, but none got it right. These water fountains are located in the front hall of our middle school - right across from Mrs. Allen's 8th grade English class & next to the boys bathroom.

Below are a few more pics from our middle school, taken in October 2008 by Kathy Flynt. I've also tried to find an older picture of the same area for comparison.

Here is the front hall of the middle school, looking north. If you went out the double doors way down at the end of this hall, you'd be heading towards the gym. You can see the set of water fountains on the right. The open door in the foreground is most likely Mrs. Rhoden's old room. I only have one memory of this room: spitwads.

circa mid-1960's

Similar hall, 2008

The main hall. Who had lockers in this hall? The retro-odd-shaped windows on the right look into the library.

You can see the Alltel dude guarding the Library door and asking for old cell phones for recycling. Crazy... we didn't have cell phones in middle school. We didn't have cell phones in HIGH SCHOOL! Heck - recycling wasn't even invented yet, was it?

Below is the same trophy case next to the library entrance (above). I can't remember what we put in the trophy case during our four years in middle school, but FORTY years ago, some of our parents displayed championship trophies for their high school sports teams.

circa mid-1960's

Above was our 5th grade hall bathrooms - you remember? They were between the end of the 5th grade hall and the cafeteria. This photo is looking back down the fifth grade hall (Mr. Hope's class on the left & Mrs. Rash across the hall). I don't know about the girls, but could I get some guy to back me on this one: this boys bathroom was the grossest thing I've ever seen in my life. This place was so nasty, you dared not even breathe the air. And the walls - covered with snot hockers, green, yellow, slimy snot hockers.

This place would rival any outdoor Citgo Station restroom in Jefferson County.

Recognize this place? I didn't either, because the sidewalk cover is gone. This is the blacktop parking lot between the middle school and the old gym. The door on the left goes into the front hall and the door in the background takes you into the cafeteria - where I ate my salami sandwich, cheetos and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls out of my Tupperware lunch box. EVERY STINKIN' DAY. Well, except for the time I actually ate cafeteria food while on the free lunch program when my dad was out of work when the West Bend Company shut down. [enter sad violin music]

Here's a view of the sidewalk turning 90 degrees from the previous photo, taken in the 60's. Notice the area on either side hasn't been black-topped yet.

Aaahhhh... the blacktop!

It's where we hung out before school in the AM and then during our lunch recess.
It's where we gathered in clicks.
It's where we swarmed in sadistic frenzies watching fist fights.
It's where we played four square against the Tompkins. And lost.
It's where I saw a pair of Nike's for the first time ever.
It's where we paired up on those white curbs and tried to pull our opponent off without losing our balance.
It's where several of us weaker ones got "pantsed."
It's where Jamey Black "two'd" Andy Mayberry.
It's where we passed origami-like folded notes with the fateful question "WILL YOU GO WITH ME?"

I wonder what kind of memories are being made on the blacktop today?

I wonder if they realize it?

June 15, 2009

Brett Michaels: Still Head Banging

Before it's old news, here's 80's glam rocker Brett Michaels getting owned by a stage prop after finishing a lip synch "performance" at the Tony Awards just over a week ago.

And, not seen in this clip is Tony's emcee & 80's icon Doogie Howser, poking fun afterwards saying that Brett "gave head banging a whole new meaning."

June 12, 2009


You can't possibly pick just one clip from this movie.

June 11, 2009

Red Dawn

Opening scene from the movie, Red Dawn (which, BTW, is up for a remake).

Trivia: Red Dawn holds the title as the first motion picture to have a ____ ___________?

June 10, 2009

Steve Vai vs. Karate Kid

Likely: Not
Enjoyable: Absolutely

And 2-in-a-row for Ralph Macchio in this short series of movie clips.

June 9, 2009

Stay tuned...

I'm a bit tied up with some other obligations right now that are keeping me from creating any new posts. The 88 blog should be back in a week or so. Until then, enjoy this clip from a classic 80's flick, and over the next few days even more 80's movie clips.

I walked into Leigh Shannon's house - full of friends watching this last scene from Karate Kid. I hadn't seen any other part of the movie and yet got chills watching Daniel-son kick blonde-preppy-boy in the face. I still enjoy watching this scene.

June 5, 2009

From "Others" to "Visitors"

Elizabeth Mitchell (aka, Juliet from "LOST") will star in the new ABC re-imaging of the 80's sci-fi mini-series, "V" (for "Visitors").

I don't remember watching this series, but I do remember, vividly, seeing the promotional spots & specifically the spray-painted "V" on the wall.

You can refresh yourself on the classic "V" series here, or watch the opening credits here:

Or find out the main plot of "V" in 10 seconds with this clip:

V on Variety
V on tV.com

(HT:The Great 80's)

PS: Speaking of "Lost" and the 80's, in case you were getting excited about NBC's new show this fall, "Lost in the 80's", according to this site, they deemed the 80's show a lost cause.

June 1, 2009

From Jeans to Life Dreams

Wednesday will mark 21 years to the day that we all received our diplomas, moved our tassels and tossed our caps into the air. I'll be re-posting our graduation program on that day, commemorating a milestone in our young lives and concluding this run of graduation-related posts. For today though, we'll get a bit out of chronological order and remember the events immediately after we graduated.

Do you remember how you celebrated your graduation? Did you do something or go somewhere afterwards?

I had a small "party" with my family & several friends. Nothing too exciting. Really. It was a kind of drop-in type of thing. In fact I still have some video footage of the wild & crazy event, but I'll spare you the boredom. My Mamaw was there if that tells you anything. Oh, and there was a cake. Nothing too exciting. Really.

I think Trent was the only other senior there. Friends Eric Hanson, Aaron Tygart, Jimbo Weser, Deana Brown and a few others came by, as well as a surprise appearance by a possum trapped beneath the junk stacked under my carport. Trying to catch the critter was the most adventuresome part of the evening. The rest just wasn't too exciting. Really.

But there was the cake that my mom had made for her new high school grad. "From Jeans to Life Dreams" was on the left side of the cake. The cake was made to look like the back of a pair of jeans. Not just any jeans, "Guess" jeans! Which, by the way, I never owned until my first year in college when I begged my parents to buy me a pair of Guess jean shorts from the Buckle.

While I'm complaining about jeans and my poor upbringing that caused me no small amount of humiliation in my own personal fashion world, may I attempt to evoke just an ounce of pity from you with just one word?


Yeah. That's right. Couldn't afford Jordache.