1. Field of Dreams was released.
In 1989, we watched as this Academy Award nominated movie helped bring the awesomeness of Iowa to movie-goers everywhere.
2. The beginning of the Hayden Fry Era.
The '80s were a remarkable decade for Iowa’s beloved Hawkeye football team. While the players deserve a ton of credit, many believe it was the arrival of coach Hayden Fry that turned things around, raising the team’s rankings and win record dramatically.
3. The farm crisis.
In the 1980s, Iowa farmers (and others around the Midwest) were hit with an economic crisis of epic proportions. With rising debts, plummeting grain prices and many other political and economic factors, many Iowa farmers tragically were forced out of business and lost their farms.
4. Marathon Atari video game sessions.
Cheetos, Mountain Dew, Frogger, Pac Man and Donkey Kong were a favorite way to kill several hours, and brain cells.
5. Watching in horror in your classroom as the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded.
Anyone who saw this terrible event will always remember where they were. I know I certainly do.
6. Rubik’s Cubes
How long did you spend trying to solve this puzzle? Bonus points if you got so frustrated you contemplated taking the stickers off and rearranging them. Extra bonus points if you actually solved the thing!
7. Jelly Bracelets
So many colors, so little time! And you could hook them together to make extra special patterns. The glitter ones were the best.
8. Cabbage Patch Dolls
Remember how crazy all the parents went trying to get Cabbage Patch Dolls before they sold out in the stores? The day I got my preemie was one of the happiest of my childhood.
9. The Hawkeye wrestling team ruling under Dan Gable.
The Hawkeye Wrestling Team won so many NCAA Wrestling Championships under Dan Gable’s leadership, it’s hard to keep track.
10. Trying to moonwalk on the kitchen floor while listening to the Thriller album, on tape or vinyl, of course.
The smooth surface of the linoleum helped a little bit, didn’t it? We didn’t even try to attempt it on the carpet.
11. Watching with thrilled excitement as Mary Lou Retton became the first American woman to win the All Around Gold Medal for gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics.
There was just something about her cheerful face and boundless energy that was inspiring, wasn’t there?