Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Blast From the Past

Pippi has to do a research project on an inventor/invention from the 20th (or 21st) century. She wanted to do the inventor of the ballpoint pen, but discovered it was actually patented in the 1800s. They were given a list of suggestions, and looking over the list, she decided to do Cabbage Patch Kids.

I have a research aid that might help her - and no, I do not have one of those original 1983 Cabbage Patch Kids (I was in high school then, and a little beyond wanting the hot doll). What I do have is the People Magazine "25 Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue for 1983. One of the most intriguing people (?!) was Cabbage Patch Kids.

Naturally I had to look through the issue. Other most intriguing people that year included: Ronald Reagan, Vanessa Williams, Bill Gates, Mr. T., Richard Chamberlain, Matthew Broderick (looking very young), Joan Rivers and Jesse Jackson.

It was interesting that in the part about Bill Gates (who was 28 at the time!!) that he was planning on taking his company public in the next few years (now that was stock I should have invested in!) and that when that happened he'd be a zillionaire (they got that right!)

The part on Vanessa Williams focuses on how difficult it is being the first black Miss America - with no hint of the scandal that was going to deny her the crown and be associated with her forevermore.

Pippi took a look at the picture of Mr. T. and said "That's what Mr. T looks like?" She'd heard him referenced before, but never saw a picture. I'm thinking - of course that's what Mr. T looks like - but the whole thing was new to her.

Other intriguing people in the magazine include Jennifer Beals, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Jackson (who in some ways became much more intriguing as time went on).

I don't know what in particular prompted me to save this issue of the magazine. I didn't normally read People in high school. I picked up an issue now and then. I suppose since this was an issue I had bothered to pick up, I bothered to keep it. And then there comes a point where you have to keep it just because you've had it so long. And whereas something like this in 1985 would just have seem dated, now it is historical!

I have a few other issues of magazines I saved from about the same time period. One was the TV Guide Fall Preview for the 1982 season and the TV Guide that featured the last episode of M*A*S*H. I was a big M*A*S*H fan.

Maybe someday I'll dig that Fall Preview one out and post about it. I found it fascinating (years later) that so many of the shows that previewed went on for years and years of success (Cheers for example) and others faded into obscurity pretty quickly.

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