Stuff I Did in the '80s

Friday night was all about hanging out at the mall with friends. Our local mall was designed for teens to come spend money. There was a Cobb cinema, Pizza USA, Carvel Ice Cream, Rainbow Records & Tapes and our video arcade, Shazam, all at one end of the mall!

The arcade was dark inside, lit mostly by the many electric screens buzzing within. Tokens cost a quarter and, unlike the usual 3 plays-per-token at other arcades, you’d get 5! Here’s the thing about these video games: they were not delicate. The buttons could withstand being hammered, the joystick jammed in any direction and the trackball spun endlessly.

The games themselves were challenging but addicting. I’d tried them all to figure out what I was good at so I could get the most gameplay out of each quarter. For me it was Tempest, Centipede, Space Invaders and Galaga. If someone was already playing, I’d place one of my tokens on the corner of the screen to let the player know I was waiting. There would be a line of waiting tokens on the new and popular games, like Dragon’s Lair, which cost two tokens to play. Some players thought that was a rip-off but many, like me, poured pocketfuls of tokens into that magic animated machine hoping to be the one to rescue the titillating Princess Daphne.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.