It did not feel that long ago

Only a kid in the eighties knew the feeling.
On
July 07, 2008
This is a look back on some of the times in my past. I tried to keep it as fresh and original as possible without sounding too cliche and similar to other peoples articles. BTW, this is my first submission. All criticism is cool.

I was born in 1981 in Norfolk, Virginia which was 15 minutes from Virginia Beach and was where I experienced some of my fondest memories in the so called "Hampton Roads" area.



Raised in Chesapeake in a middle class suburb I had the life most contributers might be familiar with. However, I am an only child so my imagination had to work twice as hard to stay sane. Like playing down the street at the local creek in the rain, having an intense battle between "M.A.S.K." and "G.I. JOE".



Wow, I was stylin' with my "Vision Street Wear" and "Airwalks"....hahaha. The clothes we wore those days looked like vomit on a white canvas. Alas, those skate shoes, jams and surf wear were standard back then. Hyper color, acid-washed, baggy, long, printed, neon, courduroy, it was all a safe bet. Remember those "Batman" and "Joker" "Converse"? Those were tough!



Living in my neighborhood I never had a shortage of friends because I had a lot of toys and a dope swing. Yet my cousin was like my brother and we were the same age and hung out all the time, so most of my good times were spent with him in the mid eighties.

On a typical weekend I would wake up and head straight for the TV to absorb as much cartoonage as humanly possible because I had baseball early every saturday morning. "Captain N"!!!



My choice cereal was usually "Frosted Flakes" because my mom wouldn't let me get the good shit aka "Cookie Crisp", "Cocoa Pebbles", etc. I could only get that if I stayed with my cousin at his house in Portsmouth. Damn it! Looking back though, I swear "Frosted Flakes" had as much sugar as the others, but all my mom saw was chocolate cereal as cocaine for kids.



For some reason I played ball every year from 6-17 years and I hated it and loved it all the same. Anyways, baseball was fun for a bit especially if I hit a foul ball. When my cousin would come to the games if he or whomever retrieved the ball they could take it to the concession stand for a free soda.



Kicking little kids asses for sport. Gimme that ball!!!



Yea, it might not be new or even that great in retrospect, however as a kid, free sugar and caffeine was like black tar heroin to a NY street whore. (sorry "Madonna" fans)



Some of the other crap I enjoyed were "Snow Cones", "Lemonheads", "Cherry Clans", "Mike and Ikes", "Chik O' Stiks", "Sour Punch Straws" and "Boston Baked Beans".



Around noon I was usually full from soda, "Fruitstripe" gum, sunflower seeds and candy yet I always found room for a hot dog at the local place up the street. They had two arcade fixtures. A pinball machine which was called "F-14 Tomcat" and an arcade cabinet that changed over the years from "Frenzy" to "Kung Fu Heroes" to "Shinobi".




I'll touch lightly on the NES because we all know how paramount it was to first generation gamers so I will say this. The most vivid thing I recall about the NES was how cheap it was to rent games back then. We used to get them from the local "Movieland" or "Erol's Video"; this was before "Blockbuster", and play videogames for days. Hell, I recall when you could rent movies and games from "7-11" and "Tiny Giant". No one remembers it but me though. I swear I am not crazy.



We beat every one, usually, except for a few choice titles like "Legacy of the Wizard" and "Golgo 13". We played some real shitty games back then. Freaking "Nintendo Power" only told so much!



My most vivid memory was this pizzaria with an arcade in it that could only rival the games at the "Putt Putt Miniature Golf" down the road.

It had pizza, games and beer? What!? Is that legal? So your parents can lovingly dish out money while getting a buzz watching you rock out on the "Castlevania" tabletop. This place might have been an east coast only franchise; it closed in the late eighties.

Oh yea, this place was called "Peter Piper Pizza".



They had a plethora of classics like the NES "Player's Choice", "AfterBurner", "Contra", "Fighting Street" (SF1), "Altered Beast", "Ikari Warriors" etc. It also had all the common ones too like "Gauntlet", "Strider", and "Rush N' Attack"! I could do a whole article on all the ones I did not mention.



My cousin, who looked and acted like "Problem Child", stuck to skeeball and cheated to max out tickets while my dad and me hogged the "Double Dragon" unit with a $10 roll of quarters.



That was when games only cost 1 token or a quarter to play, but he sucked, hence the roll. Kids were always pissed because we never got off any machine till we beat it. Screw them! This was father son bonding at its best and I wasn't gonna be Abobo's bitch!



My dad is real cool and before work every morning he would go up the street to the local "7-11" to get coffee and he would buy me comic books. "Wolverine", "Uncanny X-men", "Spiderman", etc all for my enjoyment on the bus. I was mostly into "Marvel" but I got into a little "DC", mostly "Dark Knight". Now that I am older the graphic novels coming out from "DC" and its sister companies and rivals are really good. So good that Hollywood must make movies out of them? Who would have thought? I'm still surprised Glenn Danzig never took the role of "Wolverine". His hair and height would have been perfect for the role.



I love(d) comics and I still have them in case they are worth anything. Yet, with everything in the eighties they were all overproduced so they will never garner any real value. First appearance "Sabertooth" will never be $1000.00. *Tear*




In the summers I spent most of my time at the beach in NC or VA; swimming, surfing or fishing.



Nothing fancy, I had a pretty normal life. In closing I will say that we all who were born in or around the early eighties got to experience the aftermath of big businesses realizing that kids were THE target demographic to make quick money.

As a result WE got all the rad cartoons, toys, games and amusements before the nineties hit.




We were oversaturated and loving it, all at the same time. So as we age and look down our noses at the new generations sub par entertainment and quietly laugh....deep down, we all know who got the best.

The End.

For now.


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Comments
11 years, 10 months ago
awesome... the flashbacks this caused are some of the best i have had on this site...
    12 years, 10 months ago
    Dude, love the article! I am also an 80's child of Virginia AND I remember when 7-11 used to rent movies and videogames. A dollar or two easily bought a weekend's worth of enjoyment. I too remember things that many forget or would consider obscure. Great article!!
      13 years, 2 months ago
      Hey now.... I loved Golgo 13 and had beaten it..lol and I still do play that game.. I wish someone would do a new one with the systems and technology we have now.. Golgo 13 would look and be soooo awesome!!!

      Great Article none the less..r
        13 years, 4 months ago
        Sk8 or Die Dude!!! That game was da bomb!!! Skating T&C was okay, but I loved the joust in Sk8 or Die! My friends would play that for hours. Oh, and Turbo Grafx 16 was a good idea gone bad.....thank God for Genesis.
          13 years, 4 months ago
          the skating in t&c was pretty good and the surfing was definetly suspect. i remember renting that game from a local video store called west coast video. i couldnt even get past the first level of the surfing part it was hard as hell.
            13 years, 4 months ago
            Awesome article! Woo-hoo! I was born in the late 70's so I definitely remember the 80's. Ahh, what a time that was. People wanna give grief to the music and fashion, but there were some awesome cartoons, TV shows, and toys during that decade. I grew up in a suburb of Houston, TX and we had Peter Piper Pizza, as well. That one closed in the early 2000's. Before it was Peter Piper Pizza, it was called Pistol Pete's Pizza. I remember going there for my 10th birthday. It was just my folks and I (I'm an only child as well so I know what you mean about having an active imagination), but I kicked ass on the arcades and skeeball. I got so many tickets, I redeemed them for a little plushy soccer ball...which I still have! lol. I loved reading your article and would love to read more. Great first submission.
              13 years, 4 months ago
              Your article emits not just scents of nostalgia, but permeates the air with it. The "80s were my childhood as well, and my ignorance during this time was bliss. Everything was so simple, America personified all that was good, while the USSR was portrayed the epitome of evil. If only things today were so black and white. Yo Joe!
                13 years, 4 months ago
                yeah, the NES T&C game was dope. The skating was far better than "sk8 or die". the surfing was suspect though. does it even have an ending?? i think it just keeps looping levels?!
                  13 years, 4 months ago
                  Nothing beats the 80's era. we're so lucky enough to be born on that era. :)
                    13 years, 4 months ago
                    damn right we got the best. my nephew whos 5 is all over the transformers but its total crap compared to what we watched. the 80s was the greatest decade to be a kid no doubt. as for your article it was awesome. i forgot all about those batman and joker converse. and dont even get me started on the town and country pics....remember the nes game?
                      13 years, 4 months ago
                      waaaaaa!!!!! I was born in 95 and I wish i was born in the 80s because i love the 80s. just playing my NES and watching 80s TV shows and movies and hearing stories from my 20 yo brother make me love the 80s so much
                        13 years, 4 months ago
                        I loved going to Peter Piper Pizza. Some of them are gone but a few still exist out west where I live.
                        Interesting read. Sabertooth's first appearance was in Iron Fist 14 back in 1977 but I agree it is pretty sad that most of the really cool books from the eighties will never be worth much because of overproduction.
                          13 years, 4 months ago
                          Has it really been that long since the childhood days? Feels like it just rushed by and got replaced with the days of bills, peer pressure and the misery of adulthood.
                          Days of school, some cartoon time and playing outside. Hard to believe it's long since past by.
                            13 years, 4 months ago
                            Cool article, in England Frosted Fakes are known as Frosties and they're Grrrrrrrrreat! Looking forward to your next article.
                              13 years, 4 months ago
                              This article was great. I believe you about being able to rent from 7-11 at one point because by me you could rent movies/games from Shoprite. And I noticed the little picture of Secret Wars at the end. I loved those! I rarely run into anyone else who remembers those!
                                13 years, 4 months ago
                                Hey, Knites, I share your pain with the bum Voltron leg. I had the toy too, but I lost all the Lions so all I had was the torso and eventually I broke off the the head and tale. So I took the head of this weird Fu-Manchu kung-fu doll and hot glue gunned it on with the legs and arms from my broken Soundwave Transformer and created Vol-Wave-Chu-tron aka "Karate-Man-Man Robo".
                                  13 years, 4 months ago
                                  Man I had a lot of those mr men book when I was young.
                                    13 years, 4 months ago
                                    Now this is what an article should be. As Knites said it "an organized stream of consciousness". You could literally romove some names and places here and there, replace them with others and VOLA, my life as a "Regan Era" kid. I'm also sure you could have made this article go on for an entire decade too. Not that that's a bad thing. These revolve arround your personal expierences. And that makes for a damn good article. Personal expierences. I just have one tip for your next article though: more cursing and drug refrences. That way I won't feel like an ass when MY next article reads like R. Lee Ermy chewing out Private Pyle :-)
                                      13 years, 4 months ago
                                      wow, you got me on the serious retro high with this article. everything from flicks, comics, candy, baseball, vid games, etc. and i remember nintendo power held in higher regard than the bible. kickass article.
                                        13 years, 5 months ago
                                        Awesome article. it makes me wanting to jump in a Time machine.l
                                          13 years, 5 months ago
                                          shinobi!!!!
                                            13 years, 5 months ago
                                            I used to wear those fruity surf-wear clothes back then! I miss arcades. It was so much fun making Abobo my bizitch in Double Dragon.
                                              13 years, 5 months ago
                                              awesome article! i myself was not a kid of the 80s, but i always wished i could have been one, and this article is the reason why.
                                              besides the swearing and drug references, this was a good article.
                                                13 years, 5 months ago
                                                Yeah, I did a little research after the article was pending and I saw that PPP was still very much a fixture in the Western US. Sweet! That place was a institution back then....a VG training ground if you will.
                                                  13 years, 5 months ago
                                                  He has an awesome article he was born 1981 I was born hell of a lot earlier. If he was and 80's child so am I and in his article he has a lot of cool 1980's toys his got more M.A.S.K and G.I.JOE toys more than anybody I ever know. This Dude is awesome and his article is cool.
                                                    13 years, 5 months ago
                                                    Cool article, I grew up in the early 90's.

                                                    I miss the cartoons along with toys that were in the 80' and 90's.
                                                      13 years, 5 months ago
                                                      great article, really captured the times.
                                                        13 years, 5 months ago
                                                        Oh man you have the same taste in candy as me.
                                                          13 years, 5 months ago
                                                          by the way, there is STILL a Peter Piper Pizza in the quiet town outside of Ft. Hauchuca. The town is called Sierra Vista. And as a child with a birthdate in 1981, you took me back with almost everything you talked about. Props
                                                            13 years, 5 months ago
                                                            That's my cousin. "Ginger Kid". HAHAHAHAHA. Welcome Adam.
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