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    Posted September 4, 2013 by
    Clarkdale, Arizona
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    30 years of 'Cosby' sweaters

    Chicago, 1985


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     EllenJo says her favorite thing about the 1980s was 'the music, for sure. I never tire of 1980s tunes. And the fond memories of being a kid in the big city, and learning how to navigate the world.'
    - katie, CNN iReport producer

    These were my best friends during the spring of 1985. I took a photo of them with my Kodak Hawkeye 110 camera on the playground at recess. We were 8th graders in a Chicago Public Schools gifted program, studying Latin, Logic and Philosophy and Literature in preparation for high school. We were nerds. Though, in our own way, we felt cool, different, magnetic, with our big, adult ideas.

    My favorite things in 1985 were: roller skating, the Chicago Cubs, drawing cartoons and writing stories, and going on city expeditions with my younger brother via public transportation.
    In the early '80s, and throughout much of the decade, nuclear war was a big concern. A TV movie called "The Day After" depicted life after a nuclear war and after it aired it was all any of us could talk about at school and on the bus (when we weren’t busy discussing the movie “Footloose”, and the latest “Saturday Night Live” highlights). I don’t remember devoting much energy towards politics, though. We all liked Reagan, though in my adult years I’m a registered Democrat.

    Generation X grew up with the threat of global thermal nuclear war and under the specter of AIDS. I like to joke now that the free-wheeling Baby Boomers, with their Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll got to have all the fun, leaving us with “Just Say No” and songs like Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off (to Have a Good Time).” However, we were lucky to be witness to new wave, the early days of beat-box and hip-hop and the earliest inkling of an environmental movement. Our 90s college daze were full of angst, war, grunge, slackers and hipsters. Now the Generation X kids are purveyors of "the Information Age" and raising kids of their own.

    I look back on the 1980s as a simpler time, when we weren’t always so plugged in or bombarded with data. I wouldn’t trade my ‘80s for anything.

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