Feeling old


News about the Van Halen reunion have me feeling really nostalgic for the 1980s. Ah, those were good days. But I suppose everyone thinks that about the decade when they were teenagers. It probably has more to do with have just the right amount of responsibility … a car and a job, but the only bills being a car payment and insurance. No house payments, no orthodontist bills, no worrying about retirement savings, no worrying about boys like yourself wanting to do things to your daughter like you’re wanting to do to the daughters of those old people.

That was bordering on not making any sense. Yesterday I listened to Van Halen. Right now I’m listening to REO Speedwagon’s A Decade of Rock-n-Roll: 1970 to 1980. Hey, I didn’t discover this one until after Hi Infidelity, so it’s like an ’80s album to me. Later I’ll move on to Styx and Journey, finishing out the holy trinity of the early 1980s for me.

Van Halen. I never saw them in concert. The last time the real lineup was in Oklahoma, I was still living with my parents, and they wouldn’t let me drive to OKC for a concert. I remember friends who saw them on the Diver Down and 1984 tours. Nobody represented the excess of the ’80s more than Van Halen with Diamond David Lee Roth. I know it won’t be the same, but if the reunion tour comes anywhere near Oklahoma, I’ll be there.

I still need to see Iron Maiden and Ozzy, other big acts from the ’80s I’ve never gotten to see in concert. I did see Styx with the classic lineup on the Kilroy was Here tour. My dad took me and Kim to OKC for that. We didn’t see another major concert until Motley Crue’s Theatre of Pain tour. Fortunately, we had Oliver Magnum playing in Enid quite a bit, at least.

We can’t forget the movies of the ’80s. Fast Times at Ridgemont High School had all the guys wearing those checkered shoes and talking like Spicoli … though everyone’s favorite scene was Phoebe’s boobs. The Breakfast Club is the defining movie of the time, of course. Which character were you most like? One of my favorites, and one that isn’t available on DVD, is Hardbodies. Yeah, it was a dumb T&A movie, but I loved it. I have it on VHS. <sigh> I’m now at the age of the old geezers in the film. How about The Last American Virgin, with the very cute Diane Franklin. Remember that? Jason was still killing dozens of horny teens just about every year and the Cold War was dealt with in movies like War Games and Red Dawn. Plus we had Conan the Barbarian and the only good Terminator movie.

I drove a 1976 Monte Carlo in high school, and Kim had a 1970 Mustang. Today she drives a minivan and I have a 1998 Kia Sephia that’ll do 0-60 in 30 minutes. I remember my car payments were $78 a month on that Monte Carlo. I worked at T.G. & Y. in the early ’80s, under the worst manager I’ve ever had. Later I worked for Wal-Mart, a Chevrolet dealer’s body shop, Safeway, and then began my machine shop career.

Well, enough reliving the past. There are kids to check on, papers to grade, groceries to buy, and a surprise quiz to write up for students who didn’t do their assigned reading.

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