Sunday, February 20, 2005


Why do I begin this blog with 1980? Well, it's on my mind tonight. ESPN showed a 25th anniversary repeat of the USA hockey team victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics. The now famous "Miracle on Ice". That was a very precious moment and I remember it well. I was already a hockey fan. I grew up just outside of Philly and I was a rabid Flyers fan. Our Olympic hockey team in 1980 was amazing. The game was actually played in the afternoon but not broadcast until prime time that night. Since there wasn't any internet in those days, if you avoided the evening news and anyone who might already know the outcome, you had no idea what the final outcome was. I was still living at home and I can remember sitting in the family room with my dad and crying when that game ended. I still have the details of that room in my mind - the hideous foil wallpaper, the green "early american" style couch... and my dad had a fire going in the fireplace. Real wood - not gas which is what I have now in my Texas home.

Yes, 1980 was a good year. That June, I turned 21. Turning 21 was a huge deal in those days. It meant that I no longer had to drive 20 mins to Delaware to a dive called Stanley's Horse and Buggy Tavern to legally buy a beer. Drinking age was 20 in Delaware at that time. Before that, we would sometimes drive over to Jersey because their drinking age was 18. That was just a little further drive - maybe 1/2 hour. Now that I am a 45 year old mother of two teenagers, I would NEVER want to see my kids doing that shit! We were insane. It's funny how you feel immortal when you are young. Nothing bad can ever happen to you. Everything was so innocent.

My parents had a swimming pool in the backyard. On my 21st birthday, my best friend Betty, and my fiance (now husband) Jim and other friends showed up at our house was a quarter keg. That was a helluva party. Jim also brought me a bottle of champagne and a dozen red roses. When my parents came home from work, the party was in full swing. Even though I had very uptight parents, they were amazingly cool about it.

That summer, I was getting ready for my wedding. That happened in September. Wow - this will be our 25th anniversary this year. That's a fuckin' long time! So in September, Jim and I got married and we packed up my stuff and went to New York. That's where he had been living and working for over a year. The Catskill Mountains, Kingston, to be exact. Beautiful place. Mountains and lots of snow in the winter. We had a great apartment a few blocks from IBM (where he worked). I can still see the parking lot view from my window. I can still almost smell the hallways when everyone was cooking something different for dinner. It was so exciting for us to have our own place..... it was so cool! I didn't have to live with my mother's furniture and wallpaper and stuff anymore. I was four hours away and I finally felt like a grown up.

October 1980 the Phillies won the World Series. I loved the Phillies. My dad used to take me to the Vet to see Sunday doubleheaders..... They were always such an awful team but they had their highlights. Like the year Steve Carlton won 27 games AND the Cy Young Award. I think the team only won about 50 games that year total, so Carlton was responsible for more than half of their wins. But I didn't care if they didn't win much because I was a devoted and loyal fan no matter what. When they went to the World Series, I was so excited. Jim was working second shift in those days, so I was by myself in the apartment. The last game of the series, Tug McGraw pitching. Last inning. One more out. I was on the floor in front of our 19 inch television with a glass of wine in my hand...... I remember crying when it finally ended. I was so happy and yet so sad. I was so far away - I wanted to be in Philly for the parties and the parades and the excitement. Instead I was alone in my apartment........ but it was still great!

Damn....... 1980 was a very good year!

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