Kenny & Dolly

I grew up listening to Country music. My grandparents had it on the radio all the time. And my grandmother would talk about the singers as if they were family!

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton sound great to this day!

I remember watching this with my grandmother! Brings back a lot of memories with her…

No Whammy!

In 1983 a new game show appeared with a Whammy: Press Your Luck

Contestants answered trivia question to collect spins for cash and prizes in the first round. In the second round pictures of the prizes would randomly turn on and off as a highlighted frame would move around the board. The goal was to hit the button as the frame landed on the prize the contestant wanted. There was also a picture of a Whammy (a little red character) that, when the contestant landed on it, would take away all remaining spins ending the contestants turn. The contestants could also pass their turns to the next player if they reach a certain monetary level and were nervous about loosing it all.

The Whammy was a little red, animated character that appeared at the bottom of the TV screen and, through various acts of thievery, would take all the contestants winnings. I believe there were over 80 different animations. Most of the time the Whammy got itself blown up in the process.

I remember watching this during my Summer breaks. I think my favorite part was the trivia. The host, Peter Tomarkin, was great and he seemed like he was haveing a great time.

NO WHAMMY! NO WHAMMY!

Popping Pills & Eating Ghosts

I could not tell you how many quarters I plugged into Pac-Man – I had the fever!

I remember when the restaurant/pub, next door, had Pac-Man installed. I’m not sure how many people went in there for the food OR the game. But, the place was always packed on the weekends. Especially over where that single arcade game sat! The had a couple of pool tables – that collected dust for a couple of years!

Early on, Pac-Man was my favorite arced Game. I memorized the pattern for, I think, the first 6 -8 levels. Beyond that, the game was just too fast for me. A couple of my friends went on to higher levels, and simply amazed me by their quick reflexes. After a couple of years, the nostalgia wore off and newer games took it’s place.

But, you just couldn’t get away from it: Pac-Man cereal, a Saturday Morning cartoon, commercials and branding on almost everything.

The only place I know of that still has the original Pac-Man arcade is FUNSPOT located in Laconia, NH. I try to stop in there about once a year and I cannot walk by it without popping in a token and flashing back to my childhood neighborhood!

 

Where’s The Beef?!

In 1984 , Wendy’s came out with a iconic commercial featuring Clara Peller exclaiming , “Where’s the beef?!”

I remember when this first on TV. We all talked, and laughed, about it. My grandmother loved it as she said it was true of some restaurants .

To this day, that phrase is used to ask, “where’s the content?!”, of any given subject.

WarGames

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WarGames (1983) – Staring Dabney Coleman, Barry Corbin, Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy – is a story about a teen who finds a backdoor into a military computer which is simulating a global thermonuclear war. Although the computer “thinks” it is a game, it literal sends the US military into thinking we are on the brink of nuclear war with the USSR.

I remember the first time I watched this movie, thinking it would be really cool to have a computer that could do all that. A year later… I did! (Well, not exactly – I lacked the online capabilities.)

It may not be the best movie , as far as action. And the probability of this type of scenario was far-fetched even in 1983. However, it made me wonder if, someday, computers would control so much in our lives that they could start a global war.

Ah, the 80’s. A time when you had to take out a personal loan to buy a home PC, the threat of nuclear war with the USSR was very real and our favorite actors/actresses were so young.

Voltron / Voltron

Yes. VOLTRON. Defender of the Universe!

We are all familiar with Lion Force Voltron featuring 5 mechanical robot lions, with the team of 5 pilots that worked together, which would combine to form the Voltron warrior.

Did you know that there is ANOTHER Voltron?

Vehicle Team Voltron was my first introduction into the warrior robot universe. Three teams of five, Land, Sea and Air, for a total of 15, combined to form the mighty Voltron. However, this team could only assemble for 5 minutes! That’s all the stored energy each vehicle had to maintain Vehicle Team Voltron.

Both series are a lot of fun. I remember running home from school, abandoning my friends, just to watch this series. Friends?! Who need friends when you have Voltron defending the Universe!

Yes, I have seen a few episodes of the new Voltron series on Netflix. But, it just doesn’t have the same feel as it did in the 80s.