Remember The 80s? Placing Scenes in History in My Most Recent Novel

by | Mar 21, 2022 | Articles | 0 comments

Remember the 80s? How about the 70s, or even the 60s?

Of course, I know the old expression: if you remember the 60s, you weren’t there. But in my house, it was different.

I was born in the 60s, but in my house it was pretty much like the 50s. No discussion of the war in Vietnam, hippies, the Love generation… If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, that was my house: a cloud of cigarette smoke, but otherwise very much like Leave It To Beaver.

So being born in the 60s meant it was still the 50s in some sense. That led to growing up in the 70s, which thus felt like the 60s.

 

And Then Came the 80s

By the time we hit the 80s, the 70s officially kicked in. Remaining about a decade behind the real world, we experienced everything a little bit late…not only the cultural changes, but also the styles.

If you lived where I grew up, Bristol, Connecticut, that meant you saw plenty of 1970s cars around well into the 1980s. Like the car in the picture in today’s post. That’s a Dodge Charger, circa 1970. In 1983, you still saw plenty of cars like these all around town.

I’ve thought about this kind of thing a lot lately. The reason: revisiting Whizzers, my most recent novel, which has a scene or two that happen in the 20th century.

Some of those scenes take place before I was born. But a few, like the one that led me to the car photo above, take place during a time when I was already alive, though not necessarily an adult.

 

I Was There

The 1983 scene I allude to above involves me directly…or at least, a fictionalized version of me. I didn’t have to do much research for this time frame, because I lived through itthough I understand some of my younger readers might have to ask around, or do a little reading, to get there.

My memories of the late 70s and early 80s feel like pure 70s: The Rockford Files, Busch beer, and something we used to call herb. If you were there, you probably understood that whole sentence. It’s interesting jumping back to those times when I was a young man. Things looked different, felt different. Things were different.

What about you? Were you part of that generation, or a little younger? Or older? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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