What better way to weave yet another nostalgic tale than to participate in The League’s wonderful assignments. This week?

Grab Rufus and head to the phone booth, because this week, we’re going back in time! Dial up the year you turned 12, and revisit the last official year of your “childhood.”

Ah, 1982. The last year of innocence. Or so it seemed.

There are so many memories I have of being 12 years old. As my memory banks have begun to lose their sectors in my old age, I’ve had to take a look at this site to refresh it. Ahh. Feels better. Let us begin.

  • Michael Jackson released his second adult solo album, Thriller: I vividly remember listening to this album over and over at my friend’s house while we played his Atari VCS CX2600. And when this video came out, forget it.


    At that time, I didn’t know anybody who didn’t like Michael Jackson. Even my younger brother begged and begged my dad to get him the red zippered leather jacket from Fox Hills Mall (which was selling for $99.99 at the time, total hot item). Does anyone remember that the sleeves were actually removable so you could wear that freakin’ thing like a vest? My dad never gave in, but that’s one thing I wish my brother was able to acquire.

  • Poltergeist scared the living shit out of me: Dood. Nothing, absolutely nothing made me more scared of what could be under my bed at night than this movie. The infamous clown scene is listed as #80 in Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments (see video below), but the movie overall is creepy as hell and still resides in my Top 10 as far as horror movies are concerned. I agree with each and every testimony in the video.
  • Rocky III made me stand up cheering at a movie theater: If I can remember right, this was the first movie that my parents let me see alone with my friends at a movie theater in Marina Del Rey, CA. And boy oh boy was it worth it. The final round between Rocky and Mr. T had all of us leaping to our feet and spilling our popcorn, yelling “Get him, Rocky! Get him!” You can see the fight here, but Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger has got to be the best workout/fight/inspirational songs ever made. I never saw this video back in the day, but the song RULES.
  • I fell in love: After graduating from 6th Grade and entering junior high in September, I was introduced to a whole new world where the female species began to appeal to me as much as model airplanes and arcade games. Yet I was still undeniably a total geek/nerd and not one of the “cool” nor “cute” kids on campus (which both boys and girls seemed to figure out and nominate within the first week or two). Nevertheless, it was always nice to fantasize of heartbreak and love lost, even though I had yet to experience either (unless you consider getting glue on a Focke-Wulfe 190 cockpit one)—and Chicago was always the best way to do it, especially with this song:

Here’s some lesser known events which occured in 1982, that had lesser impact on my life, but were, nonetheless part of my 12-year-old existence:

  • Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands/Maldives on March 19th: I was too young to understand the politics of war, but I do remember the constant news coverage of this conflict, and the jokes that ensued afterwards which totally went over my head.
  • Disney Futuristic Park EPCOT (Experimental Community of Tomorrow) is opened: Ah, nothing said The Future more than the giant golf ball (aka Spaceship Earth that I wished I had in my backyard. To this day, I’ve never been to Disneyworld, but when I heard that opened in ’82, suddenly Disneyland seemed so bland in comparison. Funny, it’s only now through the magic of the internet that I realize what EPCOT stood for all this time.
  • Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide kill 7 in Chicago September 29th: I remember Halloween being a pretty big deal in Westchester, CA. In 1980 and ’81 I totally loaded up on candy by walking the blocks. But in 1982, this event totally had people super paranoid (even though it had nothing to do with candy), and I remember nobody was giving out candy that Halloween, and nobody was even going Trick or Treating, except for me, of course, who walked down the windy streets in my army fatigues and machine gun like a total dork. It was surreal.
  • Time Magazine nominates a computer as Man Of The Year: I don’t even remember this issue of Time magazine, but I’m not surprised. Computers had finally started to take over. Image property of Jeff Emanuel.

Now for some great trips down memory lane from other League members:

  • Michael at Memories of Toymorrow fondly recalls toys and collectibles, before Metallica turned him into solid metal!
  • Ashley of Life with Fandom remembers his craze over cheap neon plastic!
  • Dex at AEIOU and sometimes Why referenced the same site as I did to remember what was going on in 1982…and he rocked it!
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