When I think of good times, I think of the 1980s.
Why? Because the Seventies sucked.
Remember the 1970s? The Arab Oil Embargo. Gas lines. Doubling fuel prices. Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Continuing chaos, unrest and the overflow of the turbulent 1960s. The Vietnam conflict, outrage, and the fall of Saigon. Dysfunctional 8-Track tapes that interrupted our music from track to track. Really lousy automobile quality, the fall of the muscle car—and the Chevy Vega. The invasion of decidedly boring earth tone colors—a lackluster trend that has never really ended (where are the vibrant colors of the mid-20th Century today?). The New Right… Bellbottoms and leisure suits. Platform shoes. The Carter years. Labor strikes and outrageous expectations. The environmental revolution. The Iranian hostage crisis. Ever increasing self-absorption. And—disco—John Travolta strutting his package along a Brooklyn sidewalk in new shoes, lookin’ for opportunity with the opposite sex, with a gallon of fresh paint to the beat of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” pop hit.
By contrast, the 1980s was a period of emotional and economic recovery. The 1980s heralded a new exciting, energized attitude across the land. You could see it in commercials, in the movies, and in the masses. “Oh What A Feeling!!!” was Toyota’s slogan early in the 1980s. Ford and Chevy were back in the performance car business. It was a period of enormous energy.
The masses welcomed President Ronald Reagan, who kept us laughing with his incredible wit and one-liners although the news from Washington wasn’t always good. He understood the importance of acting presidential. Reagan and Tip always shared a couple of beers and found a path to compromise. They did what was good for the country because they genuinely cared. Fuel was plentiful and cheap again. Disco was replaced by awe-inspiring pop music. The factory muscle car returned. Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off the pad for that first nail-biting journey into space.
The 1980s demonstrated with great irony how cyclic society can be. High times that follows low times. It takes the low times to make us appreciate the high times. The 1980s enjoyed a euphoria—an energy—that followed the lackluster downright boring 1970s. Perhaps this is something we should embrace—especially now. This year has been one of the toughest in memory, especially if you’ve lost a loved one or been horribly sick with the virus yourself. Let us all look ahead to 2021 in hopes it will be the beginning of a new exciting era—much as 1980 was. In order for times to get better, we must each do better in our own lives in an effort to collectively make things better. And, remember…focus on the good as much as you can and be a tenacious tough survivor. Tough times will always challenge us. However—tough times never last.
Happy Holidays, Everyone, and May God Bless…