A Day in the ‘Tumultuous’ Life of a 16 Year Old Boy Circa 1978
Are you intrigued by the thought of time travel? I certainly am, I would count being able to bend time and travel through it as a really special superpower. But since we don’t have the luxury of such an outlandish device, we will have to do it the old-fashioned way. We will use our memories.
The year is 1978. I grew up in a small town in Mississippi. Our town had one thing that we were known for.
So, I’m a 16-year-old boy growing up in a college town. Not a large college town mind you, but a college town nonetheless.
Let me tell you about a typical day in June for me, I wonder if your recollection of being 16 years old compares similarly to mine. I wake up at about 8 am. I bolt out of bed. I head for the kitchen where there is a nice big pitcher of this waiting for me.
I guess my mom thought this was “healthy enough” and Carol Brady fed that stuff to her kids, so how bad could it be?
Being 16 I already have my driver's license. I don’t have a car. I am way too cool for four wheels. I have this.
Riding a motorcycle in small-town traffic will teach you how to quickly become a defensive driver. I crank up the bike and head out. Where am I going? Why work of course. I install car stereos as a part-time job.
It’s kind of funny I do this job because I actually do not know a thing about installing car stereos. But that’s okay because this is what is playing on the radio.
I never minded the Bee Gees. I actually liked their harmonies. I really liked this girl.
That's Olivia Newton-John. If you saw that movie Xanadu then you probably feel the same way I do that’s $3.50 that isn’t coming back to my pocket ever again. Although I still get misty-eyed when I hear this song.
After work, I ride my motorcycle back to the house to take a shower. I have a date tonight and we are going to Pizza Hut. It’s one of my town’s finest dining establishments.
You’d think being a college town there would be better food choices. There really aren’t, However, I do like this place a lot.
My date is the same age and our relationship is less about romance and more about a science project. I mean I do like her a lot. And she is the daughter of the math teacher for the grade at my school. Don’t you just love small towns?
The movie I have chosen for our evening out together as something more than lab partners is a time-honored classic.
Yes, I took a girl to see a sasquatch movie. Our town’s theater only had two screens and we were lucky. The other screen was showing an “R” rated movie and we followed the rules. Except when it came to our hair and our pants.
After my date, I return home to find my mom is still awake. She is playing solitaire with real cards and she always has a cancer stick fired up.
My sister and my mom are discussing this evening’s episode of The Love Boat. The producers of that show must have never gone on a real cruise before because that’s not the way it is.
I open up a Coke and sit down on the couch to watch this really cool new TV show.
Did he just say Jane you ignorant, what?
That’s “Saturday Night Live back when it was funny”. I believe every generation has uttered those words at some time in their lives since 1977. I head to my room. I share it with my two brothers. We sleep in these.
It’s all the rage. I climb into the bottom bunk and ask my brother to turn on the radio.
We listen to the hometown radio station until 11 pm. That’s when they sign off. There's nothing to do after 11 pm in our town anyway. They play a really cool song called American Trilogy. Nope, not by Elvis but by this guy.
As the radio fades to static so I fade to sleep. My dreams are filled with thoughts of my girlfriend/lab partner and what it must be like to kiss someone on the lips. My dreams feel all too real as I awake to pressure on my face. My older brother has pinned my arms beneath my blanket and he is now just farting on me.
I’m the one not holding the beer.
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