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    Posted August 16, 2013 by
    Hughesville, Maryland
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Life in the early 1980s: Style and politics

    More from Ryn

    In My Life 1980's


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Ryn shares her recollections from the 1980s, when she lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, raising five children. Her daughter Jennie was enthralled with E.T. and wanted to have an alien of her own. 'She even invented a pretend ET of her own and would play for hours.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    I grew up a teen in the mid sixties' to 1972 and a young married adult in the 70's and 80's. 1980 saw the birth of my fifth and final child, four daughter's and one son. I was 28 years old. By the time she was born I had re-organized my way of thinking in politics and style. A working Mother with five little stair steps ages 8, 6, 4, 3, the new born and a military husband. Life was full indeed.
    My thoughts on political issues pretty much settled into watching and listening to the news . I did my best to keep up. The growing concern over the Iranian Hostage Crisis and Middle East threats weighed heavy on this young Mom's mind. The failure of the rescue effort by President Carter was frightening.
    CNN had become the first all news network and gave a new perspective on getting the news first hand.
    1980 ended with the election of Ronald Reagan for President and the death of Beatle John Lennon.


    1981 arrives as Ronald Reagan takes the Presidential Office. Within minutes the Iran Hostages were released. I was relieved and happy that he had been elected, having very high hopes for the next four years. Little did we know only a few months later an assassination attempt would be made on his life. On another note, MTV came to be and Prince Charles married Princess Diana.


    1982 arrives and my home town of Knoxville Tennessee was preparing for the 1982 World's Fair. Many were adding rooms on to their homes or re-decorating, hoping to rent out to out of town or international tourists. Unfortunatly this did not happen.
    Our family had season passes to the fair and went almost every week. The Rubik's Cube became the rage and Deely Boppers. The poor Rubik's Cube was left behind after the fair and suffered through seasons of harsh weather until someone rescued and repaired it. Today it is housed in the Holiday Inn on the World's Fair Park Site. 1982 also saw the release of the movie ET. My little five year old was enthralled with the whole idea and had to have everything ET. Thriller was released on MTV. I would not allow my children to watch but I loved it.. The Vietnam Memorial was erected in Washington DC. I vowed to get there some day. These of course are only a few high lights that stand out in my mind.


    1983 gave us the first American Woman in space. Sally Ride opened new ideas and hopes for girls of all ages.
    We were all in awe.
    83 was also the year of the Cabbage Patch Christmas craziness.Two of my girls wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll in 1982. We were in love with the first soft sculpture ones. We had a local crafter that agreed to help Santa out and made a couple for the girls. They were not real Cabbage Patch but the kids loved them just the same. Lucky for me by the 1983 Christmas knock out war , my girls had gone on to other things.


    1984 Ronald Reagan was elected for a second term in office. I was pleased even though things were rough. I felt like we needed him to complete what he set out to accomplish.
    The Aid's Virus was discovered leaving all of us to feel hopeless and very frightened. The news was almost impossible to watch. The fear and panic caused people to react thoughtlessly and often very unkind even to the youngest. .......


    1985, 1986, 1987 and 88 were sort of a blur now that I think back. We moved to Andrew's AFB in January of 1987. Living in base housing for nine years, my children became real "military brats". Although we missed our native Tennessee we would not give up the diversity, history and culture we have experienced.
    A lot happening all over the world in those years both tragic and joyous occasions.

    The  space shuttle Challenger disaster and the loss of seven people on the flight that tragic January 28 1986 was for all to see, happening before our eyes. Chernobyl, USSR, Iran Contra Scandal, Return of Haley's Comet and The first celebration of the Martin Luther King Holiday to name a few.


    1989 and the end of a decade saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Exon Valdez Oil Disaster and President and Mrs. Reagan leave the White House for the last time.
    We often would go to the tarmac of Air Force One to watch the comings and goings of VIP's. The hangar was right across the street from our house. It was always exciting. We did not want to miss saying goodbye to the Reagan's. I was fortunate to capture a few images. Too bad digital was not the norm back then.


    Spring forward to 2013: How have I changed? I am now a grandmother of six. Although we call the metropolitan DC area home, East Tennessee is still number one. I find that I have returned to my thoughts and beliefs of the late 60's and 70's. Now that my children are grown and I have the time to research matters and listen to all sides, I lean a little more left, not always, I admit. My style , what style? I would say earthy and nature loving, comfortable, back to jeans and t-shirts now to my grave. What did I think of the 80's trends and fashion. Not again! Politics.....We will see.


    1980 Birth of 5th child
    1982 World's Fair Park then and now
    Rubik's Cube housed in the Holiday Inn WFP
    Five year old with ET
    Daughter with handmade soft sculpture Cabbage Patch like doll
    Christmas 1984 featuring 80's fads
    Get Along Gang Dolls,Rainbow Brite sleep shirt and treasured Davis Handbag
    1989 80's Big Hair Bands, Debbie Gibson look,Top Gun and new curly perm
    President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan leaving Andrew's AFB Jan 20 1989
    Reagan's leaving

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