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Andrew Koenig may have only inhabited a very small corner of ’80s pop culture, as the recurring yet notable Richard “Boner” Stabone on Growing Pains, one of the decade’s most popular television programs. But that doesn’t make his loss any more insignificant, especially given the sad circumstances and ongoing mystery behind how he lost his way.

Koenig never went on to anything as notable as that part in Growing Pains. To many, he was only ever the son of Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek television show and movies, who sadly went public with pleas for help in finding his son.

Unfortunately to many this will get filed under the recent rash of celebrity deaths that spilled over from 2009 into 2010. And understandably, to most, he’s not an actor of great renown. But to those of us who tuned into Growing Pains every week to enjoy the exploits of the Seaver family long before life got so complicated. We laughed, we related, and we all got teary eyed at least once. Sadly, this is one more time for tears. I find it selfishly hard when I see things like this happen because it gives my generation mortality way too early. Koenig was only 41 but had drifted into relative obscurity (though he was working on a popular podcast recently). Growing Pains is a cornerstone in Eightiesology television and during those early years, he contributed a small part to the laughter. Hopefully he will not be forgotten.

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Many thanks for visiting Eightiesology 1,000 times. (Of note, the counter doesn’t track my own visits!) I appreciate the 10 of you for visiting 100 times each and reading my whimsical musings of the ‘80s. I’ve only just scratched the service and still have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. I also hope to add some new sleeves as well. I want to keep this thing moving and never let it become dig the bottom of the barrel or become a retread of itself.

Please spread the word and don’t just be a silent viewer. Comments are appreciated (and will make this thing look like it’s read and enjoyed by others). Here’s to 100,000 more hits.

Now, on with the countdown…

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The Adventure of Links

Just wanted to point everyone in the direction of the links over to your right, under the rather silly name of Blogroll (not my choice). I look forward to adding to this list as more posts go up and I can get myself into more communities. But it’s important to recognize these few while the list is short. 

 

Extinct Attractions – A potpourri of media covering (mostly) extinct theme park attractions in Disney parks as well as Universal Studios and others. The site, run by the ever-present Dave O’Neal, sells finely-crafted DVDs highlighting attractions including many of my past favorites. Dave has managed to secure interviews on these sets with many Disney Imagineering legends and has tapped into a niche, nostalgic market Disney always seems to neglect. Extinct Attractions also puts up weekly free podcasts. As I dip into my own 80s Disney coverage, I’ll be frequently utilizing this site as a resource.

 

Jungle is “101” – A blog that focuses on Disneyland in the 1980s, highlighted by the Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room and all other things Adventureland. Mike, the site’s chief blogger and a former Jungle Cruise skipper, was the first person to comment on my site that I had no known association with. (That also puts him ahead of a few of my friends who’ve yet to comment.) He’s got a lot of fun old pictures, stories and insight straight out of our decade of choice. 

 

GottaBelievers.com – Jim, an old friend from high school, has his own blog about the Mets. We recently reconnected on Facebook and I look forward to having Jim contribute to Eightiesology. And perhaps he’ll let me start ranting about our beloved orange and blue on his blog!

 

MetsBlog – Pretty much the inspiration for my final push towards doing this site was my frequent visitation of MetsBlog.com, a fantastic sports blog that I’ve witnessed grow from a labor of love to an officially-endorsed career for its proprietor, the savvy Matthew Cerone. The basic structure of his blog and his often witty imagery became my model for Eightiesology. Of course, his success also has me pipe-dreaming that I could one day do this for a living. 

 

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The first in a virtual glossary of terms either specific to the 1980s or to our staff’s own upbringing in said decade. In deference to our readers who may not understand certain lingo or references yet are maintained for the sanctity of our staff’s memories.

 

“The Assumption”

  • 1. having completed the course of her earthly life, the Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
  • 2. The church schoolyard from which our glorious chief Eightiesologist lived across the street from, location of playing army, playing basketball, youth dances and manhunt.

 

An old friend of mine Victor once joked about my propensity for referring to the local playground as “The Assumption.” As if I was literally attending the assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. No, in fact I was only just going over there to shoot hoops!

 

The Assumption Church is the main Catholic church of my old hometown Wood-Ridge, NJ. The one-block complex included the church, the rectory, convent, and K-8 school. The parking lot for the church included a pair of basketball nets and a great enclosed space for other sporting events like stickball and two-hand touch football. In the winter, the plows pushed the snow up against the fences allowing me and my friends to recreate Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. With all of the urban nooks and crannies throughout the complex, it allowed us the ability to generate complex, faux military strategies with our toy guns and camouflage outfits. And easily book it after yelling “Bingo!” into the open windows of the Bingo hall. In later years, it really became the ultimate of ironies: a breeding ground for adolescent flirting with girls. All under the watchful eye of the Blessed Virgin! 

 

I lived right across the street from the Assumption though I didn’t attend the school or the parish. It is an absolutely essential setting of my youth. And I refuse to call it anything else. It’s where I told my parents I would be. It’s where I told my friends to meet me. And though I always chuckle at the amusing inaccuracy of my phrasing, it’s always going to be “The Assumption” to me.

 

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