Tuesday, June 17, 2008

1980 and the End of the 70s

Unearthed some fun stuff from the late 70s and 1980. Here, "REGULAR" gas goes for seventy cents a gallon; "NO LEAD" for seventy-three cents. A GULF station. I don't remember where or why this picture was snapped.

By the end of 1980, prices shot up sort of like today in relative terms. 1980: The Iranian Revolution, Iran-Iraq War, The Carter Doctrine, Soviet War in Afghanistan, the Moscow Olympics boycott, the emergence of Ronald Reagan and George Bush and "voodoo economics."

I signed up for Selective Service on August 15, 1980, or at least that's the official government "Date of Record."

Visited my sister Linda (and Aunt Sue) in Atlanta several times in 1980. Here, Linda is doing archaeological fieldwork during MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) construction.

An example of stuff unearthed during construction. Lots of stuff remains underground. Let's not forget artifacts from the American Civil War and the great fires of 1864 and 1917.

The Kinks, Fox Theatre, Atlanta, October 20, 1980. Jim came along for this trip.

So much happened in 1980, I'll probably create a separate Virtual Archives link to house pertinent images and text.

Writing Prompt: For those thirty-three and above, what do you remember about 1980?

Today's Rune: Signals.


Lisa said...


wishing i had a pair of cool new jordache jeans like all the other girls.... thinking i'd never grow and wear anything over a kids size 6 so i wouldn't get teased anymore because i was too small to wear the jr high gym issue outfit... wondering if any boy other than the stinky one with greasy hair would ever notice me... thinking i'd never get boobs like all the other girls... plotting ways to dismember the person who thought it wasn't a big deal to be naked and share a shower room with your peers... wanting to poke out the eyeballs of the gym teacher who stood in the doorway to same shower...

yep, that's what i remember about 1980. aren't you glad you asked?


Charles Gramlich said...

I remember when gas went to 35 cents a galleon.

Sidney said...

Yeah, I remember signing up for selective service too. Had a beard and long hair and the guy at the post office was smoking a cigarette as he checked my card. Long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Graduated from undergraduate school, saw some amazing concerts: Stevie Wonder in Montreal, Bo Didley playng in a small pub with no more than 35 people in it Montreal. 70's Pink Floyd, Detroit, Debut "Dark Side of The Moon," Elton John, Detroit, And all Jethro Tull concerts Cobo Arena, and Led Zepplin. Gas at 70cents a gallon was a considered a ripoff. Enjoyed the post. MW

the walking man said...

In 1980 I was relatively clear headed having just finished the road dog years, got married for the first time in the September before and was going to get to drive like hell to the hospital on whatever night my first kid was born. The water broke in the wee hours of December '80 and I shot out of bed and of course waited for the wife to get her shit together to go on said wild ride. Looking up I took note of Orion's belt and since, have ever marked Joseph's birthday as it approached. I never did get to make that wild ride because the damn 0330 train cut across 8 mile bringing it to a halt.

1980 was the year I went to trade school, no small affair for one who was more used to the rhythms of being away when I wanted to. But I did finish the program a year or thereabouts later and then stayed on to work at the school.

I watched Reagan and the republican party come to Detroit for their convention, most likely the last one that will ever happen here. Detroit still had many abandoned buildings downtown where the convention was held and as a solution for the eye of the nation to not see the economic development failures. The city administration of Coleman A Young put new awnings on the properties. That was also the year said mayor Young called Ronald Reagan "Old Pruneface." History will debate for awhile yet the ramifications of that singular remark.

White flight from the city had been in full swing for 15 years but the population of the city remained well above 1.3 million people and Detroit was still in the top ten city's as far as population was concerned but it was wearing, with a somehow fierce pride, the sobriquet of Murder Capital. No one could have thought that Detroit would never fall in line with other rust belt cities that had remade themselves.

Life had settled into a routine, a boring one at that. But hey I was young then, not quite detoxed of the life that had come before it.

Johnny Yen said...

I remember signing up for selective service around the same time; I'd considered not doing it as a protest, but figured I could do more out of jail than in jail.

I remember as a very young kid in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago walking to my kindergarten class in 1966 and, as I learned my numbers, seeing 27 or 28 cent a gallon gas.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all for the comments! I've got a long class this eve and will try to respond more fully by tomorrow. The 1980 link is up, some text so far.

Cheers in 2008!

Anonymous said...

Yup, I remember that concert too, at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. In fact, I still have the t-shirt! Was that the "you boys need some 'company'?" trip? Overall, 1980 wasn't a bad year to be college-aged. Got to be among the few, the cool, the non-baggers... The non-mainstream music was great. -J