1) The first half of 1978 was the second semester of my senior year in high school. Because I had already been accepted to college, I tried to sign up for Typing and Shop. Coach Hutchinson, who in addition to being my favorite teacher ever was the only teacher smart enough to do the schedules pre-computer, put me in Chemistry II and Physics II instead. At the time I thought it was 45% funny and 55% annoying, but it worked out (although these days I find that I need all the stuff I would have leaned in Shop much more than all the stuff I have forgotten about Chemistry and Physics).
My friends and I were into Thespians, the theater group. I was the president my senior year. We did a western comedy as our senior play, and my friend Karen and I decided to spice it up a little bit for our classmates (captured nicely in the above photo, which unsurprisingly didn’t make it into the yearbook). I was also president of the Key Club. Some cats tried unsuccessfully to impeach me because they said I wasn’t paying enough attention to my duties- only partially because I missed some meetings and whatnot while practicing for and emceeing the Miss Brave Pageant. My friend Sarah won. She later unfriended me twice on Facebook, which is the current record. There is a large group tied for second at once each.
2) I have always loved horror movies, and one of the best ones of all time was released in 1978. Halloween.
3) I started at Wake Forest that fall. The beer drinking age back then was 18, so you had to be 18 to get in the local bars. An October birthday meant I got left behind a lot the first couple of months. A bunch (I’m talking multiple carloads) of my friends from Clemson came up for the football game that fall. We had a wild and crazy time. I’ll just leave it at that.
My music of the era:
Here are two records (or 8-tracks) I listened to a lot that year.
1) You simply cannot mention 1977 without mentioning Star Wars. For a sci-fi fan like me, this was a before and after moment. It was a great film, and it was the beginning of the a great era in science fiction films. I can’t remember where I saw it. Probably in Florence, SC, as Cheraw had lost its movie theater by then. It occurs to me that young people will one day be able to search their social media feeds and figure out stuff like that.
2) I played a lot of pool at Johnny’s Red Door Lounge, which we all referred to as Funderburk’s.
Funderburk’s played a part in a bunch of my songs, including these two.
3) I spent the first part of my summer at South Carolina Boys State in Charleston. Here’s a newspaper story.
I spent the second part of the summer at Governor’s School, also in Charleston, which at the time was a summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors. I focused on math, and had my first experience with programming. In Fortran.
Here’s a newspaper article (complete with a typo in the title and my name misspelled), in which I eloquently sum up the experience.
My music of the era:
Much of my year was spent with two records (or 8-tracks) playing in the background.
I started the 11th grade at the new Cheraw High School.
1) I remember lots and lots of Bicentennial stuff. Ads, TV, coins, you name it. Once in a while, you can still find these quarters in circulation. I always keep them.
2) I remember Jimmy Carter! I haven’t been that excited about politics since. Even now, the words “My name is Jimmy Carter and I’m running for president” send a shiver down my spine. I actually raised the possibility of naming Luke James Carter Newsome. One of many awesome names Raina shot down.
3) I remember my then favorite team, the Portland Trailblazers, winning the 1976-77 NBA championship. I was a Portland fan because I was a huge Bill Walton fan. He seemed like a great combo of student, athlete, hippie. He later ruined all that for me by playing for the hated Celtics. Later, I got bored with pro sports altogether.
Assuming you were alive then, what do you remember about 1976?
I started the 10th grade. It was my only year at the old Cheraw High School. We moved into the new Cheraw High School, across town, at the beginning of my junior year.
1) During the summer, I attended the Boy Scout World Jamboree in Lillehammer, Norway. Here’s the newspaper article from my hometown paper.
Before that, I lived with a family in Copenhagen, Denmark. At some point during that visit, I ended up at a topless beach. It was a great trip all around, but that was probably the highlight, for a 14 year old kid from rural South Carolina.
2) I remember seeing the Saigon airlift on TV, with the helicopter taking off from the U.S. Embassy. Little did I know that I would one day have a close friend who left Vietnam and came to America at around that time. She and her family were refugees from North Vietnam, having left for the south with little but the clothes on their backs. Those of us born in America often forget just how lucky we were.
3) I also remember the Patty Hearst coverage on TV. I didn’t really understand the point of it all (this was before the internet, etc.), but I had some vague understanding that some rich kid got kidnapped and then went all urban guerilla. I think I had it just about right.
Assuming you were alive then, what do you remember about 1975?
Other than starting the 9th grade, here are 3 things I remember about 1974.
1) My sister was in her last year of graduate school at Vanderbilt, in Nashville, TN. I remember visiting with my mom. A few years later, I would follow her to graduate school at Vanderbilt.
2) I remember buying David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP and listening to it over and over and over. I’m not a huge Bowie fan, but that record was great then, and it’s great now.
3) I remember seeing all the Watergate coverage on the news. It was a different time then, with no internet and only a few television channels. We weren’t bombarded by information all day long, so we actually looked forward to the evening news. I haven’t watched the evening news in close to a decade.
Is there anyone else around old enough to remember 1974? If so, what do you remember the most?
2) I made Eagle Scout on November 26 of that year. I got a little press coverage since I was only 13 years and one month old. Say what you will about the Boy Scouts, but I learned a lot of stuff from scouting that I still apply on a regular basis.
3) I remember watching Secretariat win the Triple Crown, and wondering what a secretariat was. His Belmont win is simply the most dominating performance I have ever seen, in any sport. By far.
(1) I remember the Nixon/McGovern presidential election, primarily because my sister and the older kids I knew all had McGovern stickers and campaign buttons.
(2) The 1972 Summer Olympics were the first olympics that I really paid attention to, as a result of both the bad (the murder of some of the Israeli team members) and the good (Mark Spitz’s 7 gold medals).
(3) I went to see The Godfather with my sister and some boyfriend of hers at the beach. I thought the horse head in bed was cool, but the naked girl (my first time to see one in a movie) was cooler.