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A Story of My Life, Part 17: 1982

Updated on October 25, 2011


A brief recap, of where we left off in 1982--

My ex-boyfriend Michael the Archangel and drug dealer and drug user had chased me out of the house with a shotgun cradled in his arms. I was on the street, barefoot on the hot summer sidewalk, in jeans and a t-shirt, clutching my purse, when Jan in the band van fortuitously picked me up.

I had my life to start over. I still had my purse, my job, the clothes I stood up in (sans shoes!), and, most fortunately, my music equipment was still in the band van from our last gig. It was much better than nothing at all. I left behind the rest of my clothes, my books (my precious books!), my jewelry, household things, bits and pieces of furniture...

I rescued my car in the dead of night, when I knew Michael would be at work. He worked the night shift as a machinist in a car factory. I sold my car--I really needed the money for a security deposit and first month's rent, and to start replacing things. I wanted to preserve my little safety-cushion-nest-egg in the savings account at the bank. It was my going-back-to-school money, should the opportunity ever arise. It was a small enough town (maybe 30,000 people) so that I could walk to everything. I was young and strong, and it was still summer, so I didn't mind too much. The band van would pick me up for gigs and practice.

I found a new apartment on Bank Street. I had virtually nothing to move into it. Nothing! I remember so clearly my first day and night there. I sat on the floor and ate a meatball sub, reading a 10-cent used paperback novel ('Salem's Lot, by Stephen King), by the natural light from the uncurtained windows.

When darkness fell I lay on the floor, wishing like anything for a pillow.

Floors make for hard seats, hard beds. I made a big, long list of everything I needed to be moderately comfortable. Things like a cot, a pillow, a blanket...lamps, a shower curtain...some augmentation of my wardrobe. I couldn't keep wearing the same clothes. A different pair of shoes. (I was wearing a cast-off pair donated by Jan's Mom, and they didn't fit--they left big blood blisters on my feet, with all the walking I was doing.) A table and chair. A few dishes, pots, pans...some supplies...the list went on and on, and it was all basic stuff.

I had to be very patient. My paycheck wasn't large, and rent and utilities had to come first. But week by week, item by item, I found the best and cheapest deals I could, getting replacements for my lost things, knocking down the list.

Summer turned to winter before I knew it, and I had delayed getting winter gear. There were too many other things on the list that came before such seasonal and expensive items.

My boss, Edward, the general manager of the winery where I worked as a Federal Government Compliance Records Keeper, came to work at the same time I did, and drove along the last lap of my hike to work every morning.

He started giving me rides back and forth to work every day in January of 1983. I'm sure it was just the simple kindness of his heart that made him do it. I had acquired a light raincoat, but I had no boots, and the snow was deep on the sidewalk.

The scuttlebutt at work, amongst my gossipy women friends, was just unbelievable! I found it quite entertaining, actually. I was 25, Ed was 41. He was married, had two kids, was my boss.

"Come on--get real," I said to my friends Milly the bookkeeper and Maureen the saleswoman, one day. "He doesn't think of me like that! He's just being kind because I'm still saving up for a winter coat and winter boots, that's ALL!"

They both just smiled...they did know better, as it turned out, better than me.

Ed's wife left him in the summer of 1983. She ran off to Florida with another man. Ed got very, very quiet at work. He was still giving me rides back and forth, even though it was now summertime and I had worked my way through most of my replacement list.

It was autumn, and Ed's divorce was final, before he asked me for a date.


January 2--the last performance of Annie, in the Alvin Theatre, in New York City, after 2377 shows.

January 22--Bjorn Borg retires from tennis after winning 5 consecutive Wimbledon championships.

January 26--Lotus 1-2-3 is released.

January 26--Red rain falls in the UK, caused by sand from the Sahara desert.

February 28--The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, and the record for the most watched episode is broken,

March 23--Ronald Reagan rolls out "Star Wars", the Strategic Defense Initiative, to protect the US from enemy missiles.

April 15--the Tokyo Disneyland opens.

June 13--Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave the solar system.

June 18--Sally Ride becomes the first woman in space, on the Space Shuttle Challenger.

July 15--The Nintendo Entertainment system goes on sale in Japan.

July 21--the lowest temperature on earth is recorded in Vostok Station, Antarctica. minus 89.2 degrees Celsius, minus 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

August 30--the first black man in space, Guion S. Bluford, takes his historic ride on the Space Shuttle Challenger.

September 5--Tom Brokaw becomes lead anchor for the NBC Nightly News.

September 17--Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America.

September 18--the rock group KISS appears without makeup in public for the first time.

September 26--Australia wins the America's Cup.

October, 1983--Microsoft Word is released.

November, 1983--The Brinks Robbery in London--6800 bars of gold, worth over 26 million pounds, were stolen and never recovered.

December, 1983--An IRA car bomb kills six Christmas shoppers and wounds 90 more outside Harrod's, in London.

December, 1983--Apple Macintosh is launched.


  • Return of the Jedi
  • Terms of Endearment
  • Flashdance
  • Trading Places
  • WarGames
  • Octopussy
  • Sudden Impact
  • Staying Alive
  • Mr. Mom

AND! One of my own personal all-time favorites:



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    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, Debbie. That Tom Cruise is so hot!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Awesome the story about your favorite movie was risky business too. Voted up...debbie

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, internetwriter and Laura duToit! I'm so glad to see you again, Laura, and Internetwriter, you really are following through!

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 7 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Paradise

      Catching up on your episodes and really enjoying the trips down memory lane with you! HOPE YOU ARE WELL!!

    • Internetwriter62 profile image

      Internetwriter62 7 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      New beginnings can be rough, but I can see life is also full of surprises. That was very kind of your boss to give you a ride, I could imagine having to walk everywhere must have been hard although, I bet you must have had no trouble staying trim and keeping yourself fit.

      I enjoy reading so far. Very interesting hub.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yeah, Tom Cruise. That little dance he did. It was so great! And you were just getting into your teens. Time flies, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

      ahhh 1983 my first summer as a teenager. We thought Tom Cruise was awsome I know I dreamed about him. That was a big year for movies or maybe I was mature enought to put those thing to memory.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Not made of better stuf than you, Duchess. You're the BEST!

      It's so funny--everybody remembers these movies but has a different favorite!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      War Games was one of my favorite movies. Gawd, how long ago 1983 seems!

      I have a hard time imagining staying in a place without even a pillow or blanket.

      Lady - you're made of better stuff than most people. And that would include me!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Sure does, oh yes time is like a river--it is never still.

      Thanks, Zsuzsy!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Another great installment... I didn't realize that 'Terms of endearment' one of my faves was an 83 movie. Man-oh-man time flies.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Micky. The time lines are really fun to research. Always amazes me, like when Microsoft Word was rolled out. 1983. Over twenty years ago. I've forgotten totally what the world was like without Windows!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Great job again. I love the time lines!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hey! Breakfastpop! What's for breakfast?

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement!

      Advisor, it is true, a lack of personal possessions frees us somehow. But now I'm glad for all my little things. I'm so comfortable now!

      Veronica, Ed was a terrific person...with one, well, eh, flaw, that I didn't find out until much later...

      scarytaff, yes, I'm going to keep this story rolling. It's becoming compulsive!

      Dohn, you must have been SO YOUNG in 1983! And yet, "The Return of the Jedi" struck a chord.

      blondepoet, don't worry, be patient, there's more...I'm so glad you all like this and want more. I can't even tell you.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      I am completely hooked!

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

      I am in suspense and............ I am wanting more. :)

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I barely remember 1983...I do, however, being at my mom more than any other time in life, because she refused to let me go and see "Return of the Jedi" with my brother and his friend. It wasn't until about a year or so later did I get to finally see it--on VHS!

      I really like the grittiness of this story. No matter what befell you, you always manage to bounce back and with a stronger determination to succeed. You really deserve everything good that comes your way. Thank you. I'm ready for more.


    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 7 years ago from South Wales

      Keep it going, No.7. I wait in anticipation.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Ed seemed like such a great person. I think it was admirable on his part, to wait until things were finalized between he and his wife before asking you out. That said a lot about him.

      I appreciate the fact that although you lost your posessesions, you were still grateful for what you did have and patient enough to work hard for the rest.

      I look forward to the next installment.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 7 years ago from On New Footing

      I couldn't tell you the number of times that I started over again after leaving someone with only the clothes on my back. I did that a lot as a runaway teenager as well. Luckily, I always have everything I need.

      Looking forward to reading more.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, RM. I remember that M*A*S*H episode, too...

      The austerity thing didn't bother me so much then. I was brought up with very little in the way of creature comforts. It would bother me now.

      In a way, I sort of felt light and free, without all that stuff to drag around the world with me.

      I missed it, though, I missed the comfort. I think I was numb enough emotionally from the shocking end of my relationship with Michael to not feel anything, very much. Also, I was in survival mode, if you know what I mean.

    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Wow Paradise, I've done some scrapin' in my time, but never as austere as this. We didn't even have air mattresses back then, did we? I've slept many nights on those with my Air Force moves.

      That was such a poignant MASH episode. Hawkeye's chicken/baby storyline, and Charles' music ensemble. Just haunting.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comments, Jen and Sheila B.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      You certainly do leave us in suspense!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

      As always I happily welcome the next part of the series. Thanks for the recap, for those of us with bad memories, it helps a lot. Glad to read you're at the starting over successfully part. Something tells me trouble is brewing though with Ed, so I anxiously await Part 18!