I’m going to tell three alarmingly short, totally true stories that I call Great Moments in Era Self-Awareness.
1. It’s June of 1982, and I’m barely fifteen years old, walking down the beach in Duck, NC with my classmate and great friend Hamp Tucker. I’m wearing pink, black and chartreuse Jams and a shirt that is dark blue on one side and light blue on the other and it says “17th Street Surf Shop”. Hamp is wearing cherry red culottes and a ripped rose-hued B.D. Baggies poplar button-down. “You know,” he suddenly says, “I think people are going to look back at this time and think it was all in incredibly poor taste.”
2. Some time in 1983, my brother Sean, my sister Michelle, and their friend Chip Davis were in our bedroom listening to the radio. “Jack and Diane” comes on, and all three stay silent for a while. Finally, Chip says, in all seriousness, “Man, it’s true. Life does go on long after the thrill is gone.” Sean puts down his Rubik’s Snake and says “Chip, we’re twelve.”
3. It’s spring of 1987, and I’m in Grimes Dorm at Carolina with Chris Chapman, Jon Vaden and the Budster. Bud has ordered Roman Wings, Jon is watching “Sanford and Son” reruns, and I’m lost in thought, skipping orchestra. During an ad, Jon mutes the television. Suddenly, I’m overcome to say “Is anything ever going to happen?” and the Budster says “No, we live during the most boring period of American history ever.”
I mention these things because one must really take stock of one’s era while one’s living it, and I have to ask… sea change in American government, first African American President, meltdown of capitalism, imminent environmental disasters, flu pandemic? Is it me, or does more happen in a week these days than happened in an entire decade while we were growing up?
me, Bud, Chip and Jon in boring times (1987) ↑ and batshit times (2008) ↓