New post on the my other blog
New post on the my other blog
NaNoWriMo is merely three days away, and in the spirit of preparation I revamped my Writing Rules again. This time when I went back to review them I realized that they were a hodgepodge of thoughts with no form. So I organized them and revamped them and added some new content. As always I am open to suggestion if you see something wrong or something that needs clarified or plain just doesn’t make sense.
This is kind of long and I have it posted as it’s own page here.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 15th installment.
In 1978 the Dow closes at 805
Inflation was at 7.62%
Average cost of a new house: $54,800
Average income: $17,000
Gasoline: $0.63 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50
The Hugo is won by Frederik Pohl for Gateway.
The Campbell Award Orson Scott Card for best new SF Writer.
Worst year for fashion ever! Leisure Suits, Silk shirts, open collars, gold chains, moon shoes. Disco is sweeping the world.
The Galaxy 2000 is opened in South Charleston. It’s a dance club with lighted floor just like Saturday Night Fever. The Bee Gees tear up Billboard and I actually notice. I like their music. It will be years before I start liking heavier stuff. It will be a few years before I set foot in the place and by then the Disco craze is past.
Fantasy Island premieres and pairs with Love Boat. I love both of these shows as a kid.
Elvis impersonators start coming out of the woodwork.
The first ever radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC radio 4.
Dallas premieres on CBS as a miniseries.
Carl Sagan wins Pulitzer for “Dragons of Eden.”
The first ever SPAM email is sent to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the U.S.
Grease premieres. Travolta is the hottest thing on the planet.
The Sony Walkman is released.
Space Invaders is released.
First test tube baby is born.
I get my first turntable/8-track player. The first albums are Dire Straits, Foreigner, the Partridge Family and I can’t remember the 4th. My brother and I start collecting 8-track tapes. We both like Cheap Trick.
This is the year my mother’s parents move to Madeira Beach, Florida. The 8-tracks come in handy during our 18 hour road trips to Florida.
I went to camp this summer and experience my first real kiss with a girl I barely know. I’d kissed lots of girls prior to this, but no tongues. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. She was ready to go behind the bushes with me, and although I wasn’t exactly sure what she had in mind, I wasn’t quite ready for that yet. Six months later my answer would have been completely different. Puberty is such a strange animal.
I also remember drawing a lot at this age. I did a pretty good imitation of the Dr. Smock cartoon. I’m also elected Governor in our WV Studies class, much to the chagrin of my teacher, although I never really figured out what she had against me.
This is the era when I start lifting weights. Mark Moss, Bill Shamblin and I used to go to Carl Hundley’s house several times a week and try to put on some muscle. I weigh right around 100 pounds and could bench 120, but despite my efforts I can’t seem to get any bigger. Carl seemed to be the only one of us that was gaining any muscle. My metabolism is ridiculous at this age. I could eat anything and not gain a pound. Oh, how I miss those days.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 14th installment.
In 1977 the Dow closes at 831
Inflation was at 6.5%
Average cost of a new house: $49,300
Average income: $15,000, this is the 1st year it’s gone down in a very long time
Gasoline: $0.65 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50
C.J. Cherryh wins the Campbell for best new SF writer.
President Carter pardons draft evaders.
Radio Shack releases the TRS-80. I managed to get my hands on one years later. Two months later the Apple II goes on sale.
Star Wars is released in May.
Elvis does his last concert in Indianapolis June 26th. Elvis dies at Graceland at the age of 42.
Bill Rogers wins the NYC Marathon. Long distance running is becoming a fad.
The first three nodes of ARPAnet are connected. The Internet is born.
What a great year for pop culture.
Movies: Star Wars, Wizards, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, Saturday Night Fever, A Star is Born, Capricorn One
TV: Roots, Three’s Company, Soap, The New Mickey Mouse Club, The Love Boat, ChiPs, The Man from Atlantis
Music: Rumors by Fleetwood Mac released, The Sex Pistols release Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols, The Clash release their first album, The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack goes nuts and Disco takes over the world (briefly) but not until 1978.
Elvis dies at Graceland at the age of 42.
Farrah Fawcett posters. I had one on my wall.
Digital watches. Skateboarding is making a comeback.
In 1977 I had hair down to my shoulders and was skateboarding and playing board games, like APBA Baseball, Football and Golf, Strat-o-matic Baseball, and Negamco Basketball and Golf. I even invented my own boxing and golf game. I started playing golf with my dad that year and quit playing baseball.
But the huge game changer was Star Wars. I distinctly remember going downtown to Charleston watch it at the Kearse Theater and the line went all the way around the block. Unheard of back then. I knew kids at school that had seen it a dozen times. My mom let us get the soundtrack. It was the first movie soundtrack I ever owned. I became obsessed with Science Fiction and wanted to be Han Solo. I started buying Starlog and comics and Omni Magazine when it came out the following year. I started reading everything I could get my hands on. It literally changed my life. I would not be a pilot today if not for that movie. I am still a huge Star Wars fan and even though I was deployed in 1999, when Episode 1 came out, I managed to see it in Germany. I still love Science Fiction as well and plan on writing in that genre for the foreseeable future.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 13th installment.
In 1976 the Dow closes at 1004
Inflation was at 5.75%
Average cost of a new house: $43,400
Average income: $16,000
Gasoline: $0.59 a gallon, back up fifteen cents
Movie ticket: $1.50
Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Joe Haldeman for The Forever War
My sixth grade class goes to Washington DC, via bus for our Patrol trip. This marks the first time I am away from home by myself for any length of time. It is an inspiring trip to the Nation’s Capital and we see all the memorials, the Capitol building, Monticello and the Smithsonian.
Frampton Comes Alive is released by Peter Frampton and goes platinum. I know it was big among many of my friends, but not with me. I still didn’t really care much about music. Mind boggling.
U.S. Bicentennial is celebrated.
NASA unveils the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Reds win the World Series again. Yay!
Jimmy Carter wins Presidential election. Some say he was the “smartest” by IQ of any President we ever had. He was a Naval Academy graduate after all. But from all accounts he was a micromanager with too many pie-in-the-sky ideals. Not the type of decisive leader the country needed and he was out in one term.
Apple is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Chuck Wendig is born. I was going to release a second version of Wendigisms, but I’ll wait until this blog challenge is over. The original Wendigisms is here.
Both my father and my mother remarried (different people) that year. We attended both weddings, which were even in the same month. That marriage took for both of them, as they are both still married. I now had four sets of grandparents and new extended families. It made them both happy, so it was a very good thing, and I love my step-parents. It wasn’t always easy navigating as a kid, but on the whole it was a gain.
That was the year I played Midget League Football. I think it was actually called that back then. I’m sure they’ve changed the name by now, since it’s not really politically correct in today’s world. (I vehemently dislike political correctness) Anyway, I had the same coach for football that I had for baseball, and as I said before, I wasn’t all that great at baseball, but football was another story altogether. I think he was shocked at how skilled I was, despite my small stature. We used to play “Kill the Quarterback” all the time in my neighborhood and I could run all day with the ball. I was the second fastest kid on the team; the fastest was lightning in a bottle, but stick thin. His older brother ended up playing defensive back for my beloved Minnesota Vikings, so he had some good athletic genes.
I loved playing football. Love, love, loved it. Even practice. Our team was horrible, but I didn’t care. I found something that I really enjoyed and couldn’t wait for the following season. But, in the interim the city started a soccer league for the first time. I went out for the team and my speed was a big plus, and I ended up playing center forward. Our team was pretty good, but near the end of the season my left knee gave out. I had a bone come out of place and I was unable to run for several years because of it.
It was a course change for me. No more football, no more sports, period. And that was all I cared about at the time. To top it off I had started junior high school. My focus switched to academics. Bleh. I had Mr. Hamilton for math and science, so I had been getting As in those classes, but now I got As in all my classes. It put me on the path to become an Air Force Pilot.
It would be several years before I was able to run again, but the speed never came back. It wasn’t meant to be, but I used to think about how different my life might have been if I had not injured my knee. It might have been a much sadder tale in the end.
On hindsight, that was a lot to deal with in one year, but I came through it mostly intact.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 12th installment.
In 1975 the Dow closes at 858
Inflation was at 9.2%, it has doubled in consecutive years
Average cost of a new house: $39,300
Average income: $14,100
Gasoline: $0.44 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50
Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Ursula K. Le Guin for The Dispossessed.
Fran Tarkington and my Vikings lost the Super Bowl to Pittsburg. I could have named almost the entire roster for Minnesota back then.
Betamax and VHS video machines are created and begin to slug it out for supremacy.
Digital Cameras and Laser printers are invented.
You might recall that I mentioned Mrs. Anderson substituted for Mr. Hamilton on occasion in my last post. Well, the night prior was the famous M*A*S*H episode where Henry Blake dies on his way home in a helicopter crash. We watched that show religiously, and that episode really hit us hard. When I got to school the following day, it was all everyone was talking about, and thank God Mr. Hamilton wasn’t there that day, he didn’t strike me as the sentimental sort. Mrs. Anderson had the crazy idea to write to the producers of the show and tell them how distressed we were by what happened. The most wonderful thing happened. Larry Gelbart, the director of the episode, sent each one of us a handwritten letter in response, on M*A*S*H stationary with green felt pen. He explained that bad things happened in war, and it was often a sad ending for a lot of people. Not the response I was looking for, but it was incredible that he took the time to answer a bunch of ten and eleven year olds.
Michael Shaara won the Pulitzer for Killer Angels.
Jaws was released, and scares the crap out of me. I struggle with swimming in the ocean forever more. And where do I go right after this moving comes out? The beach.
My Dad drove me and my brother to Florida that summer and we started at Disney World, staying on the property at the Howard Johnsons hotel. It had a wonderful glass elevator in the center courtyard. It’s not there anymore, but it was a cool place to stay. I also remember standing in line in 90+ degree heat for more than an hour and half to ride Space Mountain, which just opened in January. We saw all the sights and after a couple of days there, we went to Sea World and then to Daytona Beach and up the coast to St. Augustine Beach. It was a wonderful trip and a great time to bond with Dad.
The Big Red Machine won the World Series. Dad and Papaw (my Mom’s dad) took us to Riverfront that fall, so I got to see them in person. Earlier that year, Dad took us to see the Pirates play at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburg, and Willie Stargell hit 3 home runs. While I was growing up our local AAA baseball team, the Charleston Charlies was a farm club for the Pirates and I knew a lot of these players from those days. Dad took my brother and me to Charlies’ games often. Thinking back to this, I am almost the same age now that he was then.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 11th installment.
In 1974 the Dow closes at 616
Inflation was at 11.3%, it has doubled in consecutive years
Average cost of a new house: $34,900
Average income: $13,900
Gasoline: $0.55 a gallon, back up fifteen cents
Movie ticket: $1.50
Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Arthur C. Clarke for Rendezvous with Rama.
The Loch Ness Monster is photographed.
Six Million Dollar Man premieres. I remember watching this every week with my Dad and brother. The Rockford Files also started this year, and it was one of the few shows I ever remember my Dad saying he liked.
Gold goes from a record high of $121.25 an ounce to $197 by April. In August congress authorized citizens to own gold. I guess I never realized we didn’t always have the right to own gold.
The Streak by Ray Stevens hits #1. Streaking was a thing back then. I still don’t get it.
The Watergate Grand jury concludes that Nixon is involved in the cover-up. He resigns rather than be impeached.
The Man with the Golden Gun premieres and my Mom took my brother and me to this, our first James Bond movie. Awesome is not a big enough word to describe it.
I started 5th Grade. Mr. Hamilton is a New York native and he had a different style of teaching than any I had been accustomed to before. He was loud and ruled the classroom with an iron fist. He expected us to do our homework and be well-mannered in class. If he asked you to do something he expected it done, and right now. His style of teaching would get him fired today but he turned my academic life around. He seemed larger than life and I was literally afraid of not having my homework done.
I distinctly recall one episode where one of the students was having a very hard time with his math homework and had even enlisted the help of his older sister and it was still wrong. Mr. Hamilton was flabbergasted, but Scott Anderson started laughing at his tirade. Big mistake. We used the one piece metal desks with a wood top, and Mr. Hamilton kicked Scott’s desk over, with Scott in it, for laughing at the other student. Holy Crap! I mean he launched it! As far as I know nothing ever happened to him for doing that, and in fact Scott’s mother ended up substitute teaching for Mr. Hamilton when he was out. So I guess she was cool with it.
He had a huge paddle that he wielded like a broadsword. If you got out of line, you got whacked. I was arm-wrestling with another student on our break time, but when break ended we were still locked in an epic battle and neither of us was giving in, until suddenly we were both grabbed by the shoulder and put into the leaning position against the back counter to be paddled for not getting back to our seats on time.
I was a lousy student until I had him for a teacher. I went from below average grades to As. He changed my life. I know I would not be where I am now if not for him. His style was unorthodox and would not be tolerated by today’s standards but he demanded perfection and his students performed. I went back several years later to see him and was surprised to find that I towered over him. He was maybe 5’ 4”, but my God, he seemed so much bigger when I was 10.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 10th installment.
In 1973 the Dow closes at 850
Inflation was at 6.16%
Average cost of a new house: $32,500
Average income: $12,900
Gasoline: $0.40 a gallon, back down fifteen cents
Movie ticket: $1.50
Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Isaac Asimov for The Gods Themselves.
Schoolhouse Rock appears, loved those little vignettes.
Watergate trial begins.
Offensive action against North Vietnam is suspended.
The first Designated Hitter is signed by the Red Sox. Boo!
Cease fire signed with North Vietnam. Draft ends.
Senate names members to investigate the Watergate scandal.
First POWs released from North Vietnam. All remaining troops leave South Vietnam.
Skylab is launched.
During Watergate hearings, Butterfield reveals existence of secret White House tapes, which Nixon refuses to release.
“Smoke on the Water” is released by Deep Purple. My friend Jonno, from up the hill, learned to play the opening chords to this song on his brother’s guitar and I thought that was super cool.
Star Trek-Animated premieres on TV. Loved this! I was watching reruns of the original series whenever I could find them.
Yom Kippur War begins with Syria and Egypt attacking Israel.
Spiro Agnew pleads no contest to tax evasion and resigns as Vice President, Gerald Ford replaces him.
OPEC decrees an oil embargo against countries supporting Israel, which lasts 5 months. It sparks a worldwide recession.
Israel is victorious in Yom Kippur War, fighting ends in late October.
Nixon finally releases Watergate tapes.
Alaska oil pipeline is authorized.
Nixon makes his infamous, “I am not a crook,” speech.
National Speed limit reduced to 55 MPH as an energy conservation measure.
The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is designed, but would not become the standard until 1983.
As you can see 1973 was busy, but was really a set-up for events that would cascade into the following year and create major problems. For me, it is the spring that I start playing Little League Baseball. I was never all that good, but I was lucky to be on some good teams. My team won the league for four consecutive years. I was afraid of the ball, and getting hit in the nose playing catch with my Mom’s boyfriend didn’t help any.
In the fall I start 4th Grade, and Mrs. Law is my teacher. I remember her for music. We had to learn the recorder that year, but we also learned the ukulele and she even got us booked onto a local television show to play live. We practiced a whole lot of Hawaiian stuff for the show, but I got sick and missed the performance. I think Mrs. Law had a minor in music and she played a Boogie song she wrote in college for the piano. It was pretty good from what I remember. Not following through with playing an instrument is one of my biggest regrets. I had very little interest in music back then, which I cannot fathom now.
Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is the 9th installment.
In 1972 the Dow closes at 1020, 1st time over 1000
Inflation was at 3.27%
Average cost of a new house: $27,550
Average income: $11,800
Gasoline: $0.55 a gallon, up fifteen cents, 3 times larger increase than last year
Movie ticket: $1.50