Sunday, September 11, 2011

Disneyland - September 11, 1984

The 1980s era had many things going for it.
Big hair.
High-top Reeboks.
Indiana Jones.
Oingo Boingo.
Alex Keaton.
Back to the Future.
The Los Angeles Olympics.
Mall rats.
Valley Girls.
Ray Ban Wayfarers.
One thing it DID NOT have, which I miss terribly in this present age, was a date in September (other than Labor Day, perhaps) that really stood out in the national consciousness.
Tuesday, September 11, 1984, for example, was like many September 11ths before it.
The Angles lost to the Indians 4-2.  Rod Carew was 1 for 4 off winning pitcher Don Schulze.
Bucky Dent played his final major league game as a Kansas City Royal.
Pope John Paul II was in the midst of a visit to Canada and held a Mass for the beatification of Sister Marie-LĂ©onie Paradis.
Three's Company ran a repeat on ABC at 8:30 p.m. and was up against a repeat episode of The A-Team over on NBC.
Woman's Day asked on its cover "Who Makes the Best Second Husband?"
President Ronald Reagan met with NATO Secretary General Lord Carrington at the White House.
Reagan also declared in 1984 that, "There is renewed energy and optimism throughout the land.  America is back, standing tall, looking to the 80s with courage, confidence and hope."
He was right.  
In November of 1984, Reagan would rout Walter Mondale--who only won his home state of Minnesota---in the Presidential Election.
Born in the USA got plenty of air time on the radio for Bruce Springsteen.

The UCLA Bruins were preparing to take on Long Beach State at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, September 15th.
The Go-Go's put on a live show at Western University in Macomb, Illinois.
There was a war in Afghanistan, but it involved Soviet troops, not Americans.
Tina Turner's What's Love Got To Do With It? moved to the top of the charts.
The September 11, 1984 New York Times reported that Apple Computer
had just introduced a version of its Macintosh personal computer that, with a suggested retail price of $3,195, will feature 512 kilobytes of internal memory - four times the 128-kilobyte memory on the existing Macintosh.
Apple also said it was cutting the price on the existing machine to $2,195, from $2,495, and would begin selling a $995 kit to enable current Macintosh owners to upgrade their machines to 512 kilobytes of memory.

Not quite an I-Pad, but the Apple company showed promise.

Sure, terror existed then, too.

A year earlier, in 1983, a Korean Air Lines civilian airliner was shot down by Soviet interceptors over the Sea of Japan.
On September 20, 1984, the U.S. Embassy annex would be car-bombed in Beirut, killing 23.
We lived in a chaotic world.
The Middle East was, as always, in a state of near boiling.
Another great superpower threatened us with Mutually Assured Destruction by way of its atomic arsenal.

But life somehow still went on. 
It had hope, promise.
We did regular things.
We lived without an ever-present shadow of vague uneasiness.

The September 11th that followed 17 years after that Tuesday in 1984 ripped up the old world, almost to its roots.
I realize now, ten years later, that the whole world has become weird.
Stuff I thought would last forever is gone.
A world economy - gone.
The United States I knew then is vastly different.
Disneyland, of course, has changed.
But enough remains the same to provide some comfort to bewildered travelers, who have awakened in what seems to be another dimension - today - September 11, 2011.
My heart is with everyone this day.
All of us lost someone or something 10 years ago.
No one has come out of it unscathed.
What I would not give to return to a world when September 11th was just another day.

Pax vobiscum.