December 31, 2010

Where are they Now?

As we find ourselves on the last day of 2010 you're probably thinking back on the past year & wondering where it's gone.  Let's go a step further.  Many steps further, actually.  Let's look back to the 80's (of course) and see where they've gone.  You'll remember that on the 88 blog, I've featured long gone & forgotten celebs from our 70's & 80's childhood.  Today I found this fun look at even more folks from our 80's.

If the names Michael Anthony Hall or Molly Ringwald make your ears perk up, then you remember those great John Hughes films.  Find out where many of those 80's stars are now.

Or what about Run D.M.C., Debbie Gibson, Duran Duran or Devo?  Did you know one of these groups has a new album coming out soon?  Find out who & much more here

And if all this makes you regret selling all your cassettes in your mom's garage sale, you can find some great 80's albums here and John Hughes movies here.

December 21, 2010

Just Hear those Sleigh Bells Ringing

Re-posted from last year:

Here are four songs from the 1983 Junior (middle school) Band Christmas Concert. We were in the 8th grade, so this would be our last year in junior band. If you listen to the first song, you'll hear just a bit of Mr. Ed Grissom introducing the songs.

What Child is This?
Of course, there are no lyrics sung to any of these band performances - you'll have to find some archived choir recordings for that - but did you know that there are two "missing" verses to "What Child is This?" that you've probably never sung in church - or anywhere else for that matter? If you can endure these four songs, I'll show you the two missing verses at the end of the post.

RIGHT CLICK to Download

Title Unknown
That first song wasn't too bad, was it? This next song is fun to listen to, but I don't know the title. A special prize goes to any former Jr Band member who can tell me!
**UPDATE: I was just listening to this again & it hit me - the title is something like, "Santa's Toyshop".

RIGHT CLICK to Download

October 28, 2010

The Walkman is (officially) History

According to this article, the last batch of Sony Walkman's have been made and distributed. If you don't buy one now, you'll have to convert all your tapes.  You'll also have to explain to your children what a "cassette" is. 
And according to sales statistics, you'll soon have to explain to them what a "compact disc" is.

HT:  The Great 80s Blog

October 16, 2010

In Memory of Meliana Drake

Today marks the six year anniversary of the death of one of our classmates. Meliana Drake died suddenly due to complications of a brain aneurysm on Saturday, October 16, 2004.

Please visit her memorial page on the 88 site to read her obituary, see photos and leave your thoughts. If you are still in touch with the family, perhaps an encouraging card or phone call might be appropriate, just to let them know you were thinking about them.

My desire is to honor the rest of our deceased classmates throughout the year on the date of each of their deaths to keep their memory fresh in our minds & give us all a reminder to number our days.

July 22, 2010

80's Links

Here's another round of retro related fun I've recently found out on the web:
  • School supplies are stacking the racks at Walmart & prompted this retro writer to remember a new back-to-school invention from 1980:  Erasermates.
  • Hot enough for ya?  Here's some pics of an old school water slide from the 70's.  The main reason I link it here is because it reminds me of the one at Willow Springs, which was was a summer haven to many of us Sheridan & East End-ers before the days of Magic Springs.
  • I've found a new retro-blog that any child of the 70's & 80's would love:  The Retroist.  I've also been listening to some of their podcasts.  Pretty good stuff.
  • Does the name Toru Iwatani ring a bell?  Well, the legend tells that game designer, Toru Iwatani's eureka moment came when he removed a slice of pizza from a pie, creating the visual inspiration for his next idea. It was in this moment that, according to Iwatani, Pac-Man was officially born. Now that he had the look, he needed that special something to attract his target audience. After listening to girls talk to one another, Iwatani determined that food and eating would be the way to get the girls in the arcade halls.
    But wait - there's more - a Pac-Man Museum to celebrate the game's 30th birthday this year.

June 28, 2010

Olan Mills

Ok - I'm taking one for the team here.

For the sake of a good 80's blog post I'm risking any last shred of respect I might have and I'm going out on a limb to display - for the whole wide web world to see - my Olan Mills photo. If there's one thing that a wiry, dorky, Casio-watch-that-plays-Dixie-wearing, breakdancer-shirt-sporting kid doesn't want to see during his awkward middle school years, it's the Olan Mills photographer.  I don't think I've ever seen a flattering Olan Mills picture - of anybody!  Or maybe it's just a guy thing.  Or maybe it's just a me thing.  Maybe I'm just realizing that me & the O.M. just don't work.

Anyhow, I'd never just post a ugly picture of myself if I didn't have something to go with it.  And I do.  Thanks to a stash of memorabilia I just received from my mom (perhaps she's my archiving inspiration), I have not just the Olan Mills photo, but the actual order form we used to throw away my dad's hard-earned cash so my mom could immortalize my awkwardness in an 8x10 matte finish.

For some reason, I don't think it's necessary to include "Click on any image to enlarge."

June 11, 2010

Retro Can

Here are three magazine ads featuring soft drinks in those retro cans with the pull tab that came completely off of the can (it's interesting that the only ads were for diet drinks).  Remember those tabs?  The top of the can had instructions:  "Dispose of properly."  I remember Trent Allen telling me that as a child he always thought that tab was called a "properly."

These cans are just another piece of our culture that have received enough packaging and often logo redesign, that seeing the vintage pop cans fizzes up memories.  Wanna shake up some more?  The Retro Soda Pop website has some good info about vintage pop & some fun soda commercials from the 70's & 80's, including this jingle, "I wanna pop (pop) (pop) I wanna shhhhhhhasta!"

The first two ads came out of a 1980 Good Housekeeping magazine and the third ad came out of an early 80's Rolling Stone Mag.

Click on any image for supersized view.
Also interesting is the superhero theme in two of these three ads. Wonder Woman above, Superman below.
And speaking of retro drinks... Mello Yellow is coming out with a throw-back packaging design similar to the 1979 logo complete with a groovy new website.  Here's a pic of three of their can designs:

And here's the new packaging:
The reason I'm even including this in a blog post is that in this new re-design you have three of my favorite things combined into one:  1) my favorite soda as a kid, 2) logo design, and 3)... retro!  What could be better?  I know - a trip down the clay hill to the Mad Butcher during summer vacation with my quarter in hand to buy me a Mello Yello in a glass bottle (and usually a Whatchamacallit to wash it down).  After popping the cap off with the bottle opener built into the coke machine, I could chug the whole thing just standing there - probably because it was so good, but more likely so I wouldn't have to pay a nickel for the bottle deposit if I left the store.  Remember that - paying deposits on glass bottles!?  It worked both ways though... I'd often take a sack full of bottles that I had collected from the neighborhood down to the store & they'd pay me a nickel apiece.  Some easy coin.

That's all I got.  Another post in the can.

June 9, 2010

Gary Coleman | 1968 - 2010

I was involved with my grandmothers memorial service the week Gary "Whatch-you-talkin-bout" Coleman died from a severe head injury and I completely missed the announcement in the news.  Coleman and both of his TV siblings (Dana Plato and Todd Bridges) all had many troubles & rough lives after Diff'rent Strokes went off the air.  But during the show's run we all certainly enjoyed their characters (all only a few years older than us 88ers) and never would've imagined that their futures would have turned out so sad, including Plato's suicide in 1999.  Unfortunately, many child stars that we grew up with ended in disappointing and dreadful lives.

Here's a nice tribute to Arnold Drummond from a fellow 80's fan, including a couple of video compilations of his finest moments.

And below is the CBS news video of Coleman's death.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

June 4, 2010

Big Red

No doubt you've seen the Verizon commercial that parodies the classic Big Red chewing gum commercial from the 80's.  Ever since I first saw the Verizon ad, I've wanted to find the original and compare the two.  So, where do you go when you want to relive a tv memory from your childhood?  Why... YouTube, of course!!
Here's the current Verizon commercial:

And now a couple of originals:

There's a few obvious differences necessary to advertise the current product (using a chewing gum commercial to sell 3G wireless phones must've been quite a challenge), and it took me a while to realize they used several different commercials to pull from.  I'm still not sure where the concept of the couple on a horse came from, but the line in the jingle is epic, "You'll watch YouTube on a horse...!"  Kudos to the creators of this ad.
Wanna see more classic commercials?  Check out this YouTube channel.

May 23, 2010

In Memory of Melissa Williams

Today marks the 15 year anniversary of the death of our classmate, Melissa Williams (Fuell). She died in an automobile accident in 1995.

Please visit her memorial page at our 88 website to read her obituary and leave your thoughts. If you are still in touch with the family, perhaps an encouraging card or phone call might be appropriate, just to let them know you were thinking about them. Melissa's family still resides in Sheridan.

My desire is to remember our deceased classmates throughout the year on the date of each of their deaths to keep their memory fresh in our minds & give us all a reminder to number our days.

May 21, 2010

80's Links

It's been almost a year since I've done an "80's Links" post here on the 88 blog.  I'm afraid to think about all the gnarly news & totally tubular tidbits of radical retro culture out in cyber-space that you've missed because of my negligence.  Shame on me.

::  Bad news first.  The death of the floppy disc.  RIP.

::  Do you remember what your room looked like in the late 70's & early 80's?  Fellow 88er & Arkansan Kirk Demarais does & sends us on a "geek & find."  This is great!

::  Calling all Star Wars fans!  The second George Lucas blockbuster, now known as Episode V, "The Empire Strikes Back" is celebrating it's 30th birthday.  Neatocoolville begins a week-long blog tribute here and John Rozum has been forcing out the posts all month here.

::  Op is back (dunno if they ever left, actually).  If you don't like the new line of beach clothing, you can always buy the vintage.

:: has a nice selection of some of your favorite 70's & 80's television shows for free viewing!

May 17, 2010

I Love America :: 1976 Bicentennial Celebration

I think I've already posted several pics from this old, 1976 Bicentennial special edition of the Sheridan Headlight, and I've got more to come.  The photo & article below features a special choir performance by First Baptist Church's Youth Choir.  There were only a few names listed in the article, but perhaps taking a closer look at the image below (click to enlarge) might allow you to find some folks you know.  One of the soloists mentioned in the write-up is Phil Tygart, father of 88 grad, Bryan Tygart.

"WE LOVE AMERICA," says the First Baptist Church youth choir, who will be presenting the premier of their Bicentennial musical, "I Love America," tonight at McKenzie Hall.  They are the second feature of a special Bicentennial program beginning with the Arkansas Arts Center's production of "By George" at 8 p.m.
Click to enlarge this detail.

I was also surprised to find someone in this photo that I know very well - my friend, pastor & fellow colleague, Lance Quinn.  Lance attended SHS his sophomore year and part of his junior year before moving away.  We were recently sharing his vague & dusty Sheridan memories and he mentioned singing in the FBC choir.  I, of course, knew I had this newspaper write-up at home and we both wondered if we might find him in this very picture.  And... whah-lah:

Click to enlarge.

May 14, 2010

Totally Rad 80s Fads

Ladies, slip on your legwarmers, shoulder pads and fingerless gloves. Men, dig out your pastel t-shirts to throw on under your blazers and your acid-washed jeans. Gel your hair into a mullet. Go on, we'll wait here. In fact, while you're changing we'll go ahead and put our Appetite for Destruction tape in our ghetto blaster. OK, now that you're situated comfortably in the 80s, you're in the mindset to remember some of the biggest fads of the decade.

Take the Totally Rad 80's Fads quiz here.

May 6, 2010

Summer Wear

Summer is upon us and what better time is there for going to Dillard's at McCain Mall (remember, Park Plaza wasn't really cool in the 80's and University Mall is no more) to shop for your summer wardrobe.  We're all quick to point out that the girls did this frequently... but many guys - if they're honest - would have to admit that they, too, shopped for the summer wear.
In the 2-page layout below you'll see some sporty fashions that I'm sure every Grant County boy would want  hanging in his closet - just in case Cox Creek or Degray Lake opened a Yacht Club or something.  Ya never know.

click any image to enlarge

Speaking of malls... check out this blog dedicated to the memory of long-be-gone malls from the 50's, 60's & 70's.  And, for those of you who still have some Grant Co. red neck left in (I sure do!), I've got a nice collection of Cox Creek Lake photos just waiting to be posted.  Check back soon!

March 10, 2010

80's Child Star Corey Haim Dead at 38

I'm watching internet updates literally scroll down my Google search page for "corey haim" right now.  Any fan of 80's pop culture would want to know the breaking news.
Eighties-era teen actor Corey Haim was found dead Wednesday in what is being termed an accidental overdose. See a photo journal by the Washington Post here.

We all remember him from great movies like Lost Boys, Lucas, and Dream a Little Dream.  Here's a video compilation of Corey Haim & childhood friend Corey Feldman.

Read the USA Today write up here.  Fox News has a slide show here.  And MTV's write up and video tributes can be found here.

February 18, 2010

In Memory of Belinda Reynolds

It has been over twenty years now since we lost our classmate, Belinda Carol Reynolds Ellis. She and her husband, Eddie and their 3-month-old son, Brian Keith, died in an automobile accident on this day in 1998.

Please visit her memorial page on our 88 website to read her obituary, see photos and leave your thoughts/comments. Anniversaries like these are always an opportunity to write or call the family, if you're still in touch with them (Belinda's parents are still living in Sheridan), to let them know you're thinking about them.

This is also a time to be thankful for life and family and to remember how our days are numbered.

February 13, 2010

In Memory of Detra McMurtrey

Today marks the 10th year of the death of our classmate, Detra McMurtrey. She died on Sunday, February 13, 2000.

Please visit her memorial page at our 88 website to read her obituary and leave your thoughts. If you are still in touch with the family, perhaps an encouraging card or phone call might be appropriate, just to let them know you were thinking about them.

My desire is to remember our deceased classmates throughout the year on the date of each of their deaths to keep their memory fresh in our minds & give us all a reminder to number our days.

February 2, 2010

We Are The World... The Remake

So I'm sitting here at the Crain Ford dealership waiting on the family wagon to get some recall work done and on the tv I hear a story that catches my all-things-80s ear.  It appears that, in an effort to raise funds for Haiti relief, a group of musicians and actors/actresses have gathered to record a new version of "We Are The World."

I only recognize a few of the names in this new cast, and frankly, of the names I do recognize, I couldn't tell you a single song they sing.  Perhaps as my children grow older I'll end up with some 'Lil Wayne or Jonas Brothers on my iPod.  But I doubt it.  Here's what I do know about the remake.

  1. The lyrics remain the same.
  2. The music, for the most part, remains the same (some 21st century liberties are taken, I'm sure).
  3. Not ONE of the original 1985 singers were invited back for this remake.  None.
  4. Many of those who did participate in the remake weren't even BORN when the original was recorded!  That'll make you feel old.
  5. The honor  of singing of the opening line was given to the pop-star... Justin Bieber from Canada.  Huh?  He's fifteen years old.
  6. The song was recorded in the same studio, with the same producer (Quincy Jones) and co-writer Lionel Richie - exactly 25 years later (well, give or take 3 days).

There are no public videos of the recording yet, but my guess is that they'll be popping up soon.  For now, here's rapper 'Lil Wayne commenting on the news that he would be singing Bob Dylan's line.  [SIGH]

January 29, 2010

Where Are They Now? 70's Stars

Have you ever wondered what might've happened to Laverne & Shirley... or Chachi... or the Partridge family?  Ok - maybe not the Partridge family.  Fox News has a fun slide show featuring over 20 then & now photos of some of our favorite stars from the 70's.

January 28, 2010

The Memories Ad Up

I found these simple ads from our high school newspaper that easily brought back lots of memories.

Many of the guys would order their prom tuxes here or flowers for their sweetheart. Toward the end of our high school years - or perhaps it was after our graduation - this florist was owned by Brand & Neal Moon's mother.

Owned by Kelley Erstine, the science teacher's husband (and now my cousin-in-law) and then owned & operated by Mandy Jester's family.

The Midget Market. What can you say?

January 26, 2010

Elementary Textbooks

On Wednesday morning, August 16th, 1978 I walked into the 2nd door on the third row of buildings on the Sheridan Elementary School campus to begin my third grade year.  Most of us had our moms in tow, to not only meet our new teacher (mine would be Mrs. Pyle), but to sign the card above legally binding them to pay for any damage their careless 8 year old kid might cause to the stack of books he/she was about to receive.
I have since begun a very small collection of some of our grade school books - mostly readers.  So now I'm really wishing we would've taken better care of them.  It's hard to find a 40 year old school book in decent shape.
By the way - I'd like to have a set of the old spelling books we had in grade school.  Remember those?  Each year's cover was a different color, but all of them had a pattern of letters on them something like this:

If you happen to find any of these - lemme know.

So anyways... I'm not sure what the process is now-a-days - if they even have to sign for textbooks at all.  I do know that in some high schools, they're moving from textbooks to MacBooks!  I doubt they even have a damage waiver like we did - because if you damage these hi-tech toys, you can just buy them at the end of the year - for a dollar.

January 9, 2010


Just saw the trailer for the new A-Team movie coming out in June.

You can watch some of the original episodes here and here.