Turn Back Tuesday – 1988

So what were you doing in 1988?

As part of my ongoing attempt to recreate a lifetime of memories, I’m focusing this week on the year I turned 16.

16I’m sure you all feel the same way, but for me turning 16 (pictured at right…obviously) was a pretty big deal. I was looking forward to having a car and worked my tail off to pass my driver’s test. I know things are different now, but I had my driver’s license the same month I turned 16, so driving was pretty much immediate.

85 Honda Civic HatchbackMy very first car was a 1986 Honda Civic. I drove the heck outta that vehicle and ended up getting my first speeding ticket only a few weeks after getting the car. My dad was NOT a happy camper, let me tell you!

I started the year in the middle of Grade 10 and I was starting to think about university. I had a pretty deep conversation with my Grade 10 history teacher in an effort to try to figure out what direction my life was heading into. I knew that I wanted to become a radio DJ, but my father was pushing me to go into business instead. He wanted me to follow in his footsteps because I would have a better chance at a better life that way. So my history teacher told me to drop ALL sciences and focus on business and art programs. Math, History, Accounting, Typewriting, Modern World Problems, English…these were the courses I ended up taking. A good idea? It’s hard to say now, but that conversation ended up shaping the rest of my life.

Something else I did in Grade 10 was participate in the school’s King & Queen Pageant. Actually, I was trying to be “Junior Prince” (“Senior Prince” for Grade 11, “King” for Grade 12). I recently watched video from that particular evening and wow…what the heck was I thinking? In fact, what was anybody thinking? The whole notion of a pageant is ridiculous anyway. I’m embarrassed to have even taken part in it.

Did you know that Al-Qaeda was formed by Osama bin Laden in 1988? Scary to know the group has been around that long.

The winter Olympics were held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the summer Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea.

The #1 song at the time was “Groovy Kind Of Love” by Phil Collins. I remember liking this song at the time, but not loving it. As an adult, my infatuation with the song grew. When I proposed to Sunshine on our Caribbean cruise a couple of years back, one of the first songs we heard that evening was “Groovy Kind Of Love”.  That immediately became “our song” to the point where we had an acoustic instrumental version of the song playing when Sunshine walked down the aisle at our wedding. Definitely a special moment and a special song for me.

Roy Orbison passed away in December, 1988. He had 22 Top 40 hits in the 1950’s and 1960’s before his career hit a brick wall throughout the 1970’s. He had a bit of a revival in the late 1980’s, which culminated in him joining the supergroup Traveling Wilburys alongside Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne. He had one more Top 10 hit, the posthumously-released “You Got It”, which would hit #9 early the next year.

MulroneyIn politics, Brian Mulroney was elected Prime Minister for a second term in Canada. George H.W. Bush was elected president of the United States over Michael Dukakis, replacing Ronald Reagan. I’m not sure how history will perceive Bush, but he had some very big shoes to fill as Reagan is widely thought of as one of the most popular presidents in U.S. history. I was never a fan of his, but I used to love watching Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live do his Bush impressions.

Rain-Man-PosterThe top 5 box office films of the year were:

  1. Rain Man at $172 million
  2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit at #156 million
  3. Coming to America at $128 million
  4. Big at $115 million
  5. Twins at $112 million

There were a TON of great movies that came out in 1988. Looking back, I’m not sure the top 5 truly reflects how good the year was for movies. Other releases that came out in ‘88 were Die Hard, Young Guns, The Naked Gun, Beetlejuice, Rambo III, Cocktail, Bull Durham, Gorillas In The Mist, The Great Outdoors, and Scrooged.

The top 5 television programs of the year were:

  1. The Cosby Show (yet again)
  2. Roseanne
  3. A Different World
  4. Cheers
  5. 60 Minutes

bill_cosbyIt’s crazy how popular The Cosby Show was. Remember the Friends and Seinfeld craze? Well, double it and add 30 so you can grasp just how popular Cosby was. I loved his show, too…it wasn’t just people watching because there was nothing else on. Bill Cosby showed how a black family could be on television without having to fall into any stereotypes or caricatures (ex: The Jeffersons, Different Strokes, Fresh Prince of Bel Air). It was just a good family doing good deeds and having good times together, which is why it crossed all racial boundaries and was a hit with everyone who watched it.

That’s 1988 in a nutshell for me. For me, it wasn’t really that memorable of a year other than for a couple of things. What do YOU remember about 1988?


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