Remember the 80’s?

Every time I go to the library to look at women spin some microfilm, I am always enthralled with the simple details of daily life – ads, job section, headlines – the things I routinely overlook in today’s newspaper paint a captivating picture of the recent and not so recent past.

I didn’t live here in the 80’s, so it’s even more interesting to me, but I am sure for many of you some of these random clips of the Kansas City Star from July 19th, 1981 may feel nostalgic, curious or funny. It’s amazing how much has changed in 30 years and, at the same time, many things are still the same.

Some headlines may still be recognizable…

…but your clothing is not…

…do they still call it aerobics?…

…good thing you bought the Betamax…

…wireless remote, remember when you had to send your kid to change the channel?…

…and electronics that needed a special shelf…..

…or when “portable” video recoders didn’t fit into your hand…

…at least two people were needed to move a TV…

…uniperm?…

…or not…

…or whatever that is…

…Captain D’s is still around…

…but not too many of these places, especially the Forbidden City with live entertainment at the buffet…

…or this…

…”executive” pay started at $20K…

…and “senior” typist didn’t mean “old”…

…working in the cafeteria offered “fantastic” rewards…

…fuel costs were stable…

…people knew what COBOL is…

…before they invented “staycations” there was this…

…paid long-distance?…

…9%!!!!….

…your self-help books…

…furniture still looks the same but the Levitz is gone…

…movies. still the same, but Zorro, the Gay Blade will probably never again appear on a poster…

…is this on Netflix?…

…or this?…

…remember the 80’s?

  • Jo Co

    LOL … bannister mall before the africans ruined it all

  • mark nunya

    That Tom Petty concert lists Tiger records as a ticket outlet. The owner Tiger Cardarella (sic?) ended up dead in a car trunk. Mob guy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_J._Cardarella
    On a sadder note, I remember most of those now outdated ads.

  • Great stuff.  If anyone doubts how far KC has come in terms of food, just check those “dining out” options.  Gah.

    • but what about the Forbidden City? With live entertainment…

    • Bob

      Somebody, please, explain to me why Captain D- is still in business.

      • same reason why McRib never dies

      • same reason why McRib never dies

  • Rick in PV

    Great stuff, Meesha! I, too, love looking at the ads, etc., in old newspapers. It serves to remind one how ephemeral life is.

  • Lea Zeltserman

    These are great! I was in the library last summer doing microfiche research, and had some similar thoughts: http://leazeltserman.com/2010/09/retro-research/.

    It’s amazing how far removed it’s all become, and in so little time too. Though I don’t know about your library, but ours was surprisingly busy in the microfiche area.

    • There is usually one more person using the microfilm when I am there. I go during the day, maybe it gets crowded later. I go with a specific subject in mind but then get stuck reading car dealership ads and restaurant ads. There are few posts here with the old scans like this http://kcmeesha.com/2011/04/20/old-newspapers-cuban-missile-crisis/ and some from the Soviet Krokodil, which seem to be only interesting to me.

  • SKC Observer

    I really enjoyed this post :).  I moved to Kansas City in 1989 and have always lived in the southland/Grandview area.  The Bannister Mall loss didn’t feel real until I realized during a trip to recycle that all the lights on Hillcrest north of Bannister were gone.  As to the fun of old stuff, I actually started a blog to deal with how much I was enjoying looking at old magazines and seeing old technology and styles at estate sales and thrift stores.  I feel a little guilty enjoying this stuff.  If you want to visit:  http://skcobserveroldads.blogspot.com/  I just started it, so there are only a few posts.