As I have worked on revising and refining my latest manuscript set in the 1980s, I have often thought about my memories of this decade. For instance, I clearly remember in the kitchen of the home I lived in until halfway through fourth grade, a rotary phone hanging on a kitchen wall.
One beta reader asked me if this was correct or if push button or touch tone phones existed in the rotary phone’s place. I looked it up on online and found more than one listing that stated the touchtone phone was introduced in a film clip at the 1963 Seattle World’s Fair. I later read articles about the telephone from rotary to various types of touchtone phones on www.liketotaly80s.com to check and refresh my memory. I saw ones that enabled a kid could see the inner workings, football shapes ones, a Cabbage Patch phone and so on.
I also had instances where my memory proved incorrect. I thought every episode of Scooby Doo had been created and broadcasted in the 1980s; this turned out to be false. Some seasons of the show were made prior to my birth and aired in syndication when I was a minor. And two other shows – The Jetsons (early 60s) and F-Troop (1965-1966) -originally aired when my parents were in high school and college. Until I researched TV schedules and specific programs online, I had no idea this was the case. Quite frankly, given how many TV programs seem like they are in perpetual syndication, I should not have been as surprised as I was.
Then there were details about clothing I had forgotten. These included the fold over jeans, the bomber jackets, (whose days I thought were long past), and patterned shoelaces. Lastly, I did not know about such things as what Broadway shows played in the fall of 1983. I had to do digging through various Broadway show listing sites to find out.
All in all, it was a lot of fun to go down memory lane. Yes, I didn’t remember or know it all – how could I fit so much into my brain in what felt like a small number of years – eleven by 1989.