Me, anchoring the evening news, Tampa, circa 1985
During my 20-year career in broadcasting I lived in many cities. From small market to large, I worked my way up the proverbial ladder, never having the time or inclination to go back to where I began. But when, during my recent road trip, Mr. Right suggested we take a detour so I could journey back down memory lane to one of those places I once lived and worked, I thought, “Why not?” All I had to do to enjoy a little time traveling was cross Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
It is a formidable bridge—all steel and cable and concrete, stretching out over Tampa Bay almost four miles. As it came into view, my heart starting racing, and not just because of its tragic history. Long before I had arrived in the area, the bridge was at the center of two devastating catastrophes—in January of 1980, less than a mile from the bridge, two ships collided, killing 23-people. Then, less than four months later, a freighter struck the bridge, causing a portion of it to collapse into Tampa Bay, taking with it ten cars and a Greyhound bus, and killing 35 people. Those events would be enough to make anyone think twice about crossing the bridge, but for me, it had more to do with what was waiting on the other side. Memories of my arrival in the Tampa area as a young, naïve, 20-something reporter washed over me like the waters in the Bay that were lapping up against the bridge’s concrete pylons. It was a time marked by the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, my coming of age, punctuated by perpetual drama. Bad bosses, the unraveling of a significant relationship, and the death of my beloved father, turned my time in the Sunshine State into an emotional roller coaster. Crossing the Skyway meant reconnecting with parts of my past I wasn’t sure I wanted to revisit. But it was too late. While I was deep in nervous and uncomfortable thought, Mr. Right kept on driving and we were already on the bridge. “No turning back now,” I thought. “Just look at it like another adventure.” And so it would be. We kept on driving forward— heading right into my past.
Thanks for stopping by! Make it a great day!
This is just so random, but what can I say, that’s just the way my brain works, weaving one transitory thought into another, especially when I’m running which is what I did this morning, which is when I started to smile because I was listening to an old remix of Prince on my iPod from his Purple Rain days, which then got me thinking about the movie Purple Rain (an 80s classic :-)) that I watched in the basement of my childhood home with my mom, sister Joanie, and cousin Annie, which reminded me of Joanie and Annie dancing to Morris Day’s “The Bird”, which then got me thinking about Annie, who is now a Carmelite Nun, which then had me wondering whether she had taught any of her fellow nuns how to do the “The Bird”, which then got me thinking that maybe that was blasphemous, which then had me feeling guilty, which then had me asking God for forgiveness, which then reminded me it was Easter weekend—–and then, just like that, I was home, running up my driveway, all sweaty and happy and grinning from ear to ear, thinking that it was only a moment ago when we were all laughing and dancing and doing “The Bird.”
Wishing you a wonderful weekend—hope you find countless reasons to smile!
80s Pop Culture
It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 20-years since the final episode of the hit 80s television show Miami Vice aired! I still remember the frenzied fans who turned out to watch as the cast rode down Chicago’s State Street in a parade of convertibles. Don Johnson wore the same Armani-styled white silk blazer, t-shirt, and linen pants that he popularized on the show—in fact, he looked as though he had walked right off the set. The show aired from 1984 through 1989 and had a huge influence on men’s fashion. Suddenly men everywhere were donning t-shirts under white or pastel colored silk blazers with rolled up sleeves, slipping into loafers with no socks, and finishing the look off with a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. Another trend credited to the iconic cop show was the unshaven look. Crockett’s five o’clock shadow turned into a fashion-do and is still embraced by men today. The fashion—the music—the MTV-styling—no television show better depicted 80s pop culture than Miami Vice.