Stuff I Did in the '80s
Keeping the Faith
Keeping the Faith

I turned eleven in 1980, the same age as my daughter today.

Of late, we’ve been discussing the similarities and differences in our childhood experiences, which inspired this month-long series. Many of these drawings were based on funny old stories I've been telling for years. That's not to say that bad things didn't happen: I was bullied, got into fights, got into trouble, earned bad grades, had my heart broken and broke a heart or two...after all, I was 21 by the end of the decade.

My drawings focused on middle and high school days because that was the Tumultuous Age of Adolescence. Everything then was so immediate, so life-and-death important. I could hardly fathom what the next day would bring, let alone adulthood. Sure, it is evident that these were First World problems, experienced during a decade centered on materialism, but it was my life as I remember it.

The smaller, intimate experiences were more interesting to draw and recount, even though I was aware of a world beyond my own. I had a somewhat simple understanding of the larger global events affecting my country and the world—as it was reported by the news each day at 6 pm—but I was more concerned with the day-to-day challenges of just being a teenager.

Things seem different now. I don’t know if it was a simpler time in the 1980s or if those of us who were kids back then have become (mostly) responsible, aware adults coping with a world that often makes no sense. I admit that I am a work in progress and trying to become a better person today than I was yesterday. If Angela and I can instill that concept in our daughter then I feel we’ve truly accomplished something special and I have hope for the future. I recall the great ’80s poet, Billy Joel, who once said, “the good ol’ days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

Thank you for your kind words and sharing your own personal memories and experiences while I shared these on social media. In a time that can sometimes feel like we’re all disassociated perhaps we are much more connected than we think.

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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.