It was the end of the New South and Ronald Reagan was now in charge. We were going through a recession and the union jobs are fathers had were starting to fade away. It was the beginning of trickledown economics and birth of the information age. The cobblestone steps were slick and steep as we stepped into 1980’s, an underage gang of Miami Vice wannabes heading down River Street.
We watched the drinking age go from 18 to 19 and then to 21. Thinking how unfair it was that we could vote but couldn’t drink. But on Friday and Saturday night that never seemed to matter. For cocktails flowed while we acted out our grown-up fantasies. The days of protest were over, the Disco daze had given way to New Wave and preppy fashion. Tie-dye lost out to Izod, while Gloria Vanderbilt was sewn on everyone’s jeans.
Yeah that was me with my mullet hair and skinny tie. Spreading what little I had on a cool car and parties. I never quite fitting in, but at least I looked the part. Thinking these were the best of times, when under the surface they really were not. Drowning my insecurities in Long Island Ice Teas and a joint brought from Yamacraw Village. This was me; this was us, trying to be our dads in an ever-changing world, while dragging our baby sisters along for the ride.
Some of us still think these were the glory days. I’d rather think of it as just another phase. Another cobblestone step in a life nearly wasted. Thinking I knew everything when in reality I knew nothing. Fortunately for most life offers second chances. To right the wrongs and finally get things straight. Call it wisdom or just old age, but now some 40 years later I see things a little bit clearer. That’s because learning to live in the moment offers prospective and with that comes peace of mind.