Guest Post: Shannon, of Radio Chick’s Reflections, on the 80s

photo credit: kenleewrites via photopin cc
photo credit: kenleewrites via photopin cc

Shannon Adams is what you might call a slave to fashion.

Well, she was. Today, she’s a mom and a teacher, and a part-time DJ. But back in the day, she admitted on this very blog, she wore her overalls backward. To be cool. (If you didn’t live through the 80s, you’ll never understand.)

I can say that I never wore overalls, let alone backward.

I wasn’t nearly as cool as Shannon. I was the only kid in my school who liked Hall & Oates. I had the Big! Bang! Boom! tour shirt to prove it. We might not have run in the same circles during that golden decade, but Shannon and I both rocked the 80s. Ish.

Shannon’s here to talk about the 80s today.

When you’re done marveling at the words and especially the photos, be sure to check out her space, Radio Chick’s Reflections. She’s a wonderful mom and can spin a tale. I always seemed to post my blog next to hers in the Ketchup With Us linkup.

Lucky me. Luck you, today. Please welcome Shannon to the CD.


I’m honoured to do a guest post for my friend Eli, better known as Coach Daddy, for his blog.  We threw around some ideas about the topic of this particular blog post, and we decided that it should be about my favourite decade.

It was the decade of big hair (oh how I wish I could get mine as big as Tina’s),


John Hughes movies (nobody was cooler than the Brat Pack),


male musicians with lots of makeup (how pretty were they??!),


and profound song lyrics like “I just can’t shake your love” (sorry, Debbie).


Any guesses about which decade I’m referring to?

Okay, here’s another hint.  One of the biggest stars not only went back to the future on the big screen, but was also known as preppy and conservative Alex P. Keaton on “Family Ties.” And he was a heartthrob. My heartthrob. His posters adorned the walls of my bedroom. I even paid to get a picture taken with him – okay, not REALLY him, but a cardboard cutout of him (!) – at Expo ’86 here in Canada.  Here’s the proof.


Kind of weird, I admit. But he kind of looks real, doesn’t he? Okay. Not even slightly.  But it was fun to do. And it was the closest I would ever get to my heartthrob, Michael J. Fox.

It was the 1980s.  I was born in the 1970s – NO, I am not telling you which year! – and so the ’80s were my childhood years.  They were the years of just being a kid.  No pressure.  Carefree times.  Bike riding all summer on the country roads where I lived, selling lemonade on those same country roads (and almost peeing my pants because A CAR – yes, just one – actually stopped to buy some), playing hide and seek in the cornfield, and having sleepovers.


(My friends are going to KILL ME for posting this picture!)

It was a time for having fun with friends, with nothing more to do than build forts, play with our dolls, and dance along to the songs on the “Footloose” record we all owned.  Back then I didn’t care what I looked like (clearly, from the picture above and that terrible perm!), especially when I was dancing crazily to “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”.

It was also a time for dreaming big dreams.  Anything seemed possible for me in the ’80s.  And I had big plans:  I was going to be a famous singer, I was also going to be a journalist – possibly the next Barbara Walters – and a writer, with a house in the country as well as a fancy apartment in the city.  The options were endless.  The opportunities plentiful.  That’s definitely one reason why the 1980s were some of my favourite years.  Who doesn’t love the feeling of no limitations?  Didn’t it seem like anything was possible?  I mean, if Samantha Baker could end up with her dreamboat Jake (“Sixteen Candles” reference…I was OBSESSED with John Hughes movies), anything could happen!  I have to add that the movies of the 1980s also made me a hopeless romantic with wildly high expectations of men.  Oh, to find a man like Lloyd Dobler (“Say Anything” reference) who would relentlessly chase me and hold a gigantic boombox outside my house, blaring Peter Gabriel…Swoon…

And though I did not become a famous singer, and I did not become the next Barbara Walters, having my “the sky is the limit” attitude that I adopted in 1980s has gotten me exactly where I want to be now:  married to a wonderful guy, mom to the sweetest little people, positively influencing young minds as a high school teacher, entertaining radio listeners, and still setting goals and working to reach them. dobler quote


  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Yay that the 80s treated you well. Enjoyed this post and the good things about the 80s. So many memories.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And the music … holy hell, you just can’t beat the music.

  2. Tamara says:

    The 80s were the best! I realize today’s kids look at those big hair and other pictures and openly laugh at us, and that’s OK. Cause we were there and know better 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They only wish they were as cool as we were, Tamara.

  3. ksbeth says:

    loved it and am now following shannon. you are like a yenta, eli, introducing and fixing up bloggers together all over. )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      i was offended at first, because i thought a yenta was a variation of a wombat.

  4. I was born in the 70s and was an 80s kid, too. So, loved hearing your take on it today and wondering if you watch The Goldbergs, because I tell you it totally is one of my favorites and brings me back to my 80s childhood and then some 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The Goldbergs is awesome, and Beverly Goldberg is one of my secret TV mama crushes (I should write a post).

      1. I totally wrote a post last year and I know I totally heart Bevvie Goldberg too!! 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        She’s gorgeous in real life, but that 80s hair … that gets me.

  5. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I’m not sure I completely grew out of my 80s style. Luckily people already think I am weird and I at least ditched shoulderpads.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think you should bring the ‘pads back, NAPR.

      1. NotAPunkRocker says:

        Well, if I am going to look like a linebacker, I guess this is the season to give it a go…

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting might have looked like a linebacker, now that I think of it … but what a linebacker.

  6. Eli, you were the only kid in your high school who like Hall and Oates, I was the only kid who liked Neil Diamond, so I feel you on that one (and, by the way, what was wrong with Hall and Oates? There was one song, You Make My Dreams Come True, that was pop music-ish, wasn’t it?)! As a teenager in the 80’s (Shannon, I was born at the tail tail end of the 60’s, November 1969, how ancient am I?!?), every bit of the post was fabulously entertaining.

    Thanks for the trip back to the 100% best decade ever!!!

    NotAPunkRocker, if you’re still reading comments: shoulder pads are making a comeback, I guarantee it 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      All the other kids in my school liked heavy metal, or Prince and Michael Jackson, so I was definitely the oddball!

  7. txa1265 says:

    Haha – so much fun 🙂 I was born in the late 60s so I was already a teen by the time the 80s arrived, but they were my years of high school and college and first job and starting running at 23 and meeting my now wife of more than 22 years … ah the 80s. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      man, the 80s were it, brother. Sounds like they were really good to you.

  8. tamaralikecamera says:

    Ok, I love Hall & Oates, but that’s a story for another day.
    Never wore overalls… at least not since I was a toddler. I won’t put my kids in them either because it’s too annoying to change diapers with them.
    Back to Shannon!
    I was born in 1980, so I always say I did all of my cool things in the 90’s, but the truth is that the 80’s rocked. Quite simply. And I always thought I said that because I was born in them, but it seems to be a general opinion.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      One Hall and Oates song plays in my head every time I walk. It also switches out with a certain Beegees song, but I’d never admit that publicly.

      I think the decade you were a kid in gives you momentum going into the next. It might even last until the next decade. This happened to me in the 1970s.

      It went through the 80s, but it petered out in the early 90s.

  9. jennifermccullough says:

    I’ve seen Sixteen Candles an embarassing number of times. Anyone care to watch it with me one more time? I just happen to have it on DVD right here. And I can quote large chunks of dialogue from Weird Science. Ah yes, the 80s. If I learned anything it was that I should NEVER EVER PERM MY HAIR EVER, EVER AGAIN. Thanks for the fond flashback Shannon and Eli! Class of ’89 rocks!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Kids now have High School Musical instead of Weird Science. Let’s all bow our heads.

  10. firebailey says:

    You had me at Cusack. The 80’s oh the 80’s I am not even embarrassed to admit that I watched the Breakfast Club last week while texting my BFF from 1985 as we relived having to wait in a line that went around the building to see the movie. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Can you imagine if we had texting back then?

  11. Rorybore says:

    I should contribute something meaningful and intelligent; but my mind is just completely absorded (once more) with Lloyd Dobler. Because THAT moment will always mean something BIG in the hearts of all girls of the 80s. I think that was the moment when my fangirl heart was born.
    Michael J. Fox is an incredible man. So much respect for him.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Dudes wanted to be just like him, you know. We might not have understood it, but we knew it was powerful.

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