Category Archives: Nostalgia

5 Totally Tubular 80’s Phenomenon


Ahhhh, the 80’s…I remember them well…


It was just a doll, people! And a rather homely doll at that….


The President’s President. Those of us who were around back then remember him being just as vilified by popular media and the entertainment industry  as any one of the current GOP contenders. Now, politicians from both sides of the aisle are cat fighting just like the Real Housewives of New Jersey over which of them is the fairest of them all…er…the most Reagan-like. Go figure…

Click Here To Visit The Reagan Library Online 


Looking back, this was a good time to be a teen. After all, the 80’s was all about having fun! Then again, these movies encouraged us all to look something like the love child of Boy George and Madonna. Kiddies, see if you can spot Jon Cryer from Two and a Half Men…back before he was Alan Harper, he was “Duckie”



Lest you think this totally tubular trend is isolated to the 80’s, I am here to report that the mullet is alive and well in 2012: Rate My Mullet Mullet










A Day At The Museum


My grandmother Kay taught me three things…Take an avid interest in your surroundings, never miss an opportunity to visit historic sites (that goes double if they’re free), and never, under any circumstances, allow anyone to photograph you without your lipstick. That last one has come in handy over the years, and the first two were highly useful today when I found myself with two long hours to kill in a small town…

I was in Bartow, Florida, which also happens to be the county seat of Polk County, in Central Florida. There on Main Street, which is the main drag through Bartow, is the Polk County Historic Museum (also the old courthouse). My grandmother would have been proud of me…I walked all around, looked at all the exhibits, and not once did I whine and complain that it was borrrrr-ING. She sure heard that a lot when I was young and was a frequent travel guest of her and my grandfather. I saw a lot that interested me actually–I’ve evolved, I guess. And, I wish she had been there with me today because I saw a lot of of items that would have caught her eye too.

So, from Kay and me, here are just a few of the fascinating things Polk County Historic Museum has to offer…

A Very Vintage Hair Dryer & “Permanent Wave” Machine

An Exhibit About The First Theater In Polk County

America’s Oldest Man, Charlie Smith

And His Letter From President and Mrs. Ford

A BIG Catch…

An Old Fashioned Curling Iron, and a Rather Creepy Hair Braid…

Old Traffic Lights (With No Little Gotcha Cameras Like the Ones Nowadays In Polk County)

Scary, Prehistoric Monster Heads…And One Modern One…

Vintage Law Man Accessories

Women’s History…

And Some Fascinating Florida Trivia…Thanks, Ponce…I Love Those Oranges!

Museum Information & Fees


The museum is located in downtown Bartow at:

100 East Main Street (corner of Main & Broadway)
Bartow, Florida 33830


Tuesday – Friday 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Saturday 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Closed Sundays & Mondays

In 2011 the museum will also be CLOSED on the additional days listed below:

  • Friday, November 11 – Veteran’s Day Observance
  • Thursday & Friday, November 24 & 25 – Thanksgiving
  • Friday & Saturday, December 23 & 24 – Christmas Holidays


Admission to the museum is FREE to the public.

For Information On Polk County’s Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) This Year, Click The Photo Below…

America And Me; Independence Day 2011


When I was growing up, I was encouraged to be grateful that I was born in the United States, and to be proud to be an American. Nobody ever told me my country was perfect, or beyond reproach…they just said that I should thank my lucky stars that I live here and can speak my mind, be free to become whoever and whatever I want to be, and vote to have my views represented as closely as possible. In other words, I grew up thinking and feeling that being patriotic was a good thing.  I’m not sure what has happened over the last 45, nearly 46 years but nowadays if you’re patriotic you’re encouraged to hide it, or at least tone it down, lest you subject yourself to all manner of ridicule and whispers behind your back. This year, I have a blog, and I have absolutely no intention of toning anything down for anybody online or anywhere. As always, this year I’ll…

Try To Learn All About Independence Day So I’ll Understand Exactly What I Have To Be Grateful For… (Click the link to visit The History Channel’s Website, the 4th of July Section–Lots of great articles and multimedia)

Wear My American Pride

Get  Crazy Crafty With Silk Flowers and Sparklers…

And Be An American, Head to Toe, No Apologies…

HAPPY 4th of JULY 2011

My Life Flashed Before My Eyes…In Technicolor Barbie


Like most girls growing up, I had a Barbie Doll…mine was the 70’s version, the blonde, tanned California Girl one. Of course, being dark haired and dark eyed and not from California, this did a number on my self image. But, I got over it…eventually.

These days Barbie has branched out, and recently I stumbled upon their Barbie Collector line…a fabulous assortment of pop culture and entertainment inspired dolls. And Holy Moly! My entire life, the t.v., movie, and musical part of it anyway, flashed before my eyes…

My mother was a big time Elvis fan…she and I would watch Elvis movies that ran on Saturday afternoon t.v. back when there were only 3 channels…

The Carol Burnett Show was a favorite of mine on Saturday nights…Nobody is funnier than her comedy team, and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at any comedy sketch as I did when I saw “Went With The Wind” for the first time…

Ahhh, the 80’s…the excess, the big hair, the catfights! On Dynasty, not in real life…well, I’ve always had big hair…

I did like to have fun! 😉

This little gem of a movie led to leg warmers, off the shoulder t-shirts and a very unfortunate perm…

And present day…my favorite obsession! And the only real Victoria in my opinion…I’m still mad that they replaced her in Eclipse. 😦

To see the entire Barbie Collector pop culture collection, click here: Barbie Collector

I’ll Trade You 10 Reality Shows for Just One Great Old Fashioned Mini-Series


As an entertainment genre, I really miss the mini-series! This week, I’ve been re-reading The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough on my Kindle, and when I picture the characters interacting according to the words I see on the screen, I see Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, and Richard Chamberlain. Back then, when the mini-series The Thorn Birds aired, just about everyone I knew was riveted for a week and couldn’t wait until the following evening to see what was going to happen…even though we already knew ‘cause we’d read the book.

And, during the heyday of the mini-series, none of us knew Richard Chamberlain was actually gay in real life, so it was easy to believe his portrayal of an ambitious, committed priest who simply couldn’t control himself because he loved Meggie so much. Richard finally came out a few years ago and good for him I guess, but I still choose to suspend my disbelief regarding the heat between him and Meggie…oh that beach scene when he finally went to her…wow! It helps that the Thorn Birds was cast with such amazing actors and will, to me anyway, forever be the epitome of the classic, spellbinding American television mini-series.

My favorite romantic beach scene EVER!

Entertainment seems to go in cycles and come in waves. The mini-series dominated during the mid 70’s-mid 80’s, along with nighttime soaps like Dallas and Knots Landing, comedies like Friends ruled the 90’s, and reality television (yuck) got a grip on us in the late 90’s and hasn’t let go yet. I guess we television viewers are easily bored and get tired of a particular medium, which is probably what happened to the mini-series. Here’s hoping it comes back…Certainly, bestselling books are made into movies still, so it’s not much of a stretch. Lots of them are ending up on the big screen these days, so in reverence to our still bad economy, I think Hollywood should slash those budgets, hire some unknowns and maybe one big has been star, get those cameras rolling and stretch it out over a few nights. People still have water coolers at work, and I can promise you they’ll all stand around them talking about what happened last night and what’s going to happen tonight, just like they did in the 70’s and 80’s.

In addition to my beloved Thorn Birds, here are a few other infamous mini-series’ you may have forgotten…

Roots, of course! This one was epic, and encouraged important dialogue, around the water cooler, and everywhere else in the 70’s regarding a shameful part of our nation’s history…

The one that supposedly started it all…Rich Man, Poor Man

East of Eden-WOW! I’ll never forget the tag line, “And she took them ALL, somewhere East of Eden…” Jayne Seymour was brilliant!!!

North and South…a favorite of all us Southerners! The late Patrick Swayze at his best, and before he ever danced with Baby or made sexy pottery with Demi…

Lace, with the wonderful Phoebe Cates, who uttered the best mini-series line ever–“Incidentally, which one of you bitches is my mother?” Ahhh, those were the days when saying bitch on t.v. was a very big deal….

Yes, these are all a part of television history…I don’t know about you, but t.v. seems to be getting a little stale these days. People are ready for a change–something new. Well, at least something new to them anyway. I’m tired of seeing people eat bugs on t.v., dance, sing and model, try to find the love of their life–cattle auction style, and watching obnoxious middle aged women who’ve had one too many boob jobs have cat fights and pull each other’s hair. Here’s hoping the Great American Mini-Series can make a comeback…I’ll be watching!

Big Blue Ring, Part Two


With another big Royal Wedding looming on the horizon, I’ve been thinking a lot about the first one we “Yanks” got up early to watch on television–Charles & Diana, of course! This fabulous blog I read this morning by my fellow blogger, “WithyWindle”,  really got me reminiscing. I’m not now, nor have I ever been much of an Anglophile by nature, but I was, at the time of the seemingly magical nuptials of “Lady Di”, a 16 year old girl.  So, I was a goner in the naïve romantic department…not to mention the fact that my great grandmother was staying with us for a couple of weeks at the time and she indeed was a pretty hardcore Anglophile. So much so that she, unlike lazy teen me, actually did get up in the wee hours to watch it all live from the get go. I arose at my usual 10:00 or so, and watched reruns of it—over and over and over, with my Great Grandma Rhodes who had a twinkle in her eye that day…ALL-DAY-LONG…no matter how many times she watched the whole thing with me…rerun after rerun.  

We were both enchanted, of course, and it was an intergenerational bonding experience for us. Now, I am somebody’s grandmother, albeit not quite old enough yet to be a great grandmother—yet. It’s coming soon enough…because the clock ticks for all of us, whether we are aware of it, or whether we choose to accept and embrace it or not. So, as the wedding of William and Kate approaches, I am also keenly aware of how I’ve changed, how much more I know (thank God), and also how jaded I may have allowed myself to become over the years. Knowing what I now know…about the realities of life, and marriage, and how sometimes things just don’t work out…I find myself considerably less starry eyed and romantic about this Royal Wedding. I blame Diana and Charles for this, of course, because their reality disappointed me so as it unfolded before my eyes during the 80’s and 90’s. And frankly, my own reality disappointed me as well…as I looked for love in all the wrong places, had my heart broken more times than I care to recall, and lived out a decidedly un-fairytale like existence…

Despite all the madness that ensued for Charles and Di after that dreamlike day…the bulimia, the affairs, the Squidgy-ness of it all…I allowed myself to become wistful once more, if only for a moment when I listened to a Diana biography on audiobook awhile back. The author described, in great heart wrenching emotional detail, a story of Charles frantically and obsessively searching for his former wife’s gold earring so that she could have it on when he had flown to France to escort her body back home to England after the car crash—he knew she’d want it that way, and he wanted to find it for her. Even though these two people had torn one another to pieces in life, were clearly not meant for one another, this man obviously cared for her, and cared enough to look after her in this very touching, special way. Maybe this is the real fairy tale behind the fairy tales that we are told growing up, and actually believe in until the world teaches us otherwise…that people aren’t perfect, even princes and princesses…and sometimes we never appreciate the people who pass through our lives until they’re really gone…

Well now, enough of that! I intend to keep a stiff upper lip, just like the Brits! I am determined to look forward to this upcoming joyous event, and maybe even become a little twinkly eyed and romantic again as my great grandmother was that day. Surely she had much more call to be far more jaded then than I do now. After all, the woman had lived through women’s suffrage, The Great Depression, two World Wars, and the 60’s—which had to be traumatic for anyone with Victorian sensibilities. I do wish these two lovebirds the best! I think they have a better shot at it than Charles and Diana. For one thing, “Wills” did not have to scour his countryside for the last remaining virgin in the United Kingdom as Charles did. Since that was obviously the criteria, that should have been our first clue that it wasn’t necessarily a real love match. Royal bridal searches have evolved since the late 70’s, early 80’s, thank goodness, and William and Kate were allowed to meet and fall in love over time, just like any other couple. So, they have just as much chance as any other married couple of being happy and having a lifetime together. And there, readers, I will bite my tongue. I am purposely choosing to suspend my disbelief now, rather than being my old 16 year old self who just didn’t know any better. I’ll watch this Royal Wedding this time around with a purposeful twinkle in my eye, just like my great grandmother had for Chuck and Di. Reruns of course, because I haven’t changed that much…

In the meantime, get your wistful on with me and let’s remember when…back before we knew how it all would end….