Another View on the Summer of 82

Thanks very much to HERC for his guest post earlier this week; it was a lot of fun for me to learn about his summer in Texas as well as some of the tunes he particularly associates with that point in his life. Today I’m going through a similar exercise.

My high school graduation was on Tuesday, June 1, and I left for college on Saturday, September 4; quite a few things happened in between. I’ll try to touch on what I can recall as I list twenty of the pop singles I enjoyed. You can generally, but not always, assume at least a modest connection between the song(s) listed and the event(s) described below them. Stuff is in something akin to chronological order. Let’s fire it up!


Motels, “Only the Lonely”

Patrice Rushen, “Forget Me Nots”

On one of the first couple of Saturday mornings in June, I competed in a 10K in Florence, one of only two I ever ran (the other came about a year later—all my other races were 5Ks). I think I was pleased enough with my time, and I’m fairly sure I ran for pleasure occasionally the rest of the summer.


.38 Special, “Caught Up in You”

Haircut One Hundred, “Love Plus One”

I talked a little earlier this month about having my wisdom teeth extracted that summer; that happened on June 23. Feel like I heard the .38 Special song in the car either going to or returning from the hospital.


J. Geils Band, “Angel in Blue”

There was an ice cream & hamburger place, the Dairy Delight, not too far from my house in Walton; the owner lived down the street from me. I think it was strictly walk-up when we moved to Walton but at some point they enclosed a few feet of space in front of the counters where you ordered. In the 80s they started keeping a video game or two in that area; I remember playing Centipede a fair amount there—would they still have had that one in summer of 82? Looks like it was closed for some period of time but re-opened under new ownership a few years ago and has expanded its menu greatly.


Genesis, “Paperlate”

Gary U.S. Bonds, “Out of Work”

In mid-July I went to Transy to sign up for my fall classes. An exchange of letters with Susan, my Student Orientation Leader, helped me decide among a couple of options (her advice on who to take for Calculus I was literally life-changing). I met with Dr. Miller, my advisor, for one of the first times, and chatted with a few of my soon-to-be classmates.


Kim Wilde, “Kids in America”

Men at Work, “Who Can It Be Now?”

That summer I rediscovered Cincinnati AM radio for just a bit.  WCLU, 1320 on the dial, played a much wider range of Top 40 music that I was used to–I think they were aggressively trying to break hits and perhaps focused on some of the more new-wavy stuff.  I have a few survey sheets of theirs from the summer of 83; I thought I had some from 82 as well, but if I ever did they appear to be lost to the dustbin of history.

Footnote: Looking at the link above, I was reminded that for a while in the late 80s, that station had an all-Elvis format.


Crosby, Stills and Nash, “Wasted on the Way”

In the last half of July, Frank and I took an overnight roadtrip to Stanford, to see some of the folks I knew from the early 70s (I’d re-established connections with a few of them toward the end of 81). Among other things, I got in a round of golf with the guy who had lived next door to me, on the course I first played with Dad when I was six.

Frank and I had been good friends since his family had moved to Walton at the beginning of our sophomore years, but that summer we were best friends in a way I haven’t experienced often. We both ran in that 10K. He dropped by a couple of times while I was recovering from my oral surgery. We shared lots of confidences. This trip was a bonding experience, too—several hours in the car together over a couple of days to talk about all kinds of stuff. Good times.


Steve Miller Band, “Abracadabra”
Chicago, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”

My relatives from Massachusetts came to KY for a two-week vacation at the beginning of August. Amy and I hung out a lot with my cousins Sandi and Jack the first week. This visit was the springboard for keeping in closer touch with that branch of my family.


Go-Go’s, “Vacation”

Missing Persons, “Words”
Melissa Manchester, “You Should Hear How She Talks About You”

My family’s vacation that summer, the third week of August, was Myrtle Beach. There I discovered a radio station that played what I think is called “beach” and/or “shag” music. Very interesting—and fun—stuff, not exactly oldies, that I don’t feel like I’ve heard anywhere else before or since.


Marshall Crenshaw, “Someday, Someway”

We stopped by Knoxville on the way home, to check out the World’s Fair. I recall enjoying our time there.  I’ve had the occasion to attend a couple of workshops/conferences at the University of Tennessee in the last decade or so; the Sunsphere, which we ascended back in the day, is still there, but it’s hard for me to believe now that they crammed all those pavilions in the surrounding space.


Elton John, “Blue Eyes”

The next day, Sunday, August 22, we went through Lexington to visit one of my mom’s best friends, who was dying of lung cancer. It was also move-in day for Frank at the University of Kentucky (he and I were the only two from our high school class going to college in Lexington). We drove by UK and found him; I introduced him to a friend I had met via FBLA who was living on his floor. After he was all settled in, I rode back to Walton with Frank’s father and sister Maria. I know my dad was a bit miffed at me for not completing the trip with the family.


Asia, “Only Time Will Tell”

Billy Idol, “Hot in the City”
Randy Meisner, “Never Been in Love”

From there it was less than two weeks before my own college voyage began. That remaining time was full of goodbyes to friends, shopping for stuff for my dorm room, etc. An eventful three months quickly came to a close.

HERC mentioned the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack toward the end of his post on Tuesday.  One of its songs that he referenced was definitely in my head right at the end of that August. I’d often whistle along to it, particularly that keyboard line right after the first line of each verse; I remember Mom taking note of how much she thought my efforts at that one part sounded pretty much just like the song.

4 thoughts on “Another View on the Summer of 82”

  1. We had a lot in common that summer. I graduated 8 days after you… Wednesday June 9… one week after my 18th birthday. I ran a 10K myself that June and went to The World’s Fair in Knoxville as part of a family vacation that summer. I was born and raised in Merritt Island, Fl. All these years later, I live about 15 miles away in Port. St. John, Fl.
    Been reading your blog for about a year or so now. Always love your posts. Was turned on to it by JB’s blog. Been reading his for about 2 years now. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and for letting me know you’re reading! It’s cool to hear how our lives were parallel in particular ways then. Please take care!

      Like

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