FLASHBACK FRIDAY: 1983

1983  I have been working on scanning pictures from my mother’s 1983 photo album. Cars that year looked like this:

cars on Las Vegas strip 1983
cars on Las Vegas strip 1983

1983-chevrolet-corvette-prototype

They just seem so – well, old fashioned! After all, 1983 wasn’t so long ago…

In that year, this man was the president of the United States:

1983-reaganRonald Reagan did much to alter the course of our economy for decades to come. His influence is still felt today and he is championed by Republicans as one of their role models.

Not coincidentally, in 1983, unemployment in  the U.S. was the highest it had been since 1941 – 12 million people were unemployed that year.

This woman, whose economic policies were very much like Reagan’s, was prime minister in Britain:

Baroness Thatcher death. File photo dated 10/06/1983 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher waving to well-wishers after her election win. Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said. Issue date: Monday April 8, 2013. See PA story DEATH Thatcher. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire URN:16215355 (Press Association via AP Images)
File photo dated 10/06/1983 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher waving to well-wishers after her election win.

A few other disasters made the news:
Hurricane Alicia hit the Texas coast, killing 22 people:

1983-hurricane-cars 1983-Hurricane AliciaAlso, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut , Lebanon, was attacked by terrorists:

1983-terrorist attack in Beirut1983-terrorist attack in Beirut1In October, 1983, the U.S. invaded the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada (part of the Windward Islands), to prevent the “spread of communism in the Caribbean.”

GRENADA 1983
Operation Urgent Fury
Date: October 25-27, 1983
Location: Grenada, Windward Islands

Invasion of Grenada map
Invasion of Grenada map

Differing views of the invasion:

1983grenada_protestflyer1983-grenada1983-grenada-communismstopshere1983-grenada-revolution1983 ushered in the beginning of the era of “big hair”:

Miss New Zealand wins Miss Universe contest. Note the hairstyles!
Miss New Zealand wins Miss Universe contest. Note the hairstyles!

In rock music, Kiss was hip:

1983-Kiss A few things happened in 1983 to make my boring life a bit more exciting.  My husband’s cousin Claudia came to Milwaukee to stay for a few months. She arrived in the winter and, as someone who had grown up in the tropical climate of Brazil, found it enchanting! She wanted to ski, so we took her cross-country skiing in some large nature reserves. Here is a picture we posed for, when we took Claudia to visit my parents’ house in Janesville:

Betsy, John, Katy, Fernando & Claudia Alvarez-winter 1983. Claudia wanted to go cross country skiing!
Betsy, John, Katy, Fernando & Claudia Alvarez-winter 1983. Claudia wanted to go cross country skiing!

Claudia never forgot that visit and we remained good friends since then; twenty years later she paid back our hospitality by inviting us to stay with her and her family in Rio de Janeiro!

The other exciting thing that happened was the birth of my niece, Julia. I witnessed and was part of her first few years of life, since Julia’s mother (my sister) and her family lived in Milwaukee.  Later, after my son was born, he and Julia became great friends and always looked forward to playing together. This picture is of newborn Julia, May 1983:

newborn Julia Waeffler - May 2, 1983
newborn Julia Waeffler – May 2, 1983
Mom Alix with her children, Tom & Julia Waeffler
Mom Alix with her children, Tom & Julia Waeffler

Here is Julia now, all grown up, married and expecting her first child:

20150411_141438_3My mother took this picture of my sister Mary and her family, with my father, in their dining room in the summer of 1983. My parents were going to take John (age 9) on a trip to Lake Superior and this was taken when they went to pick him up.

Counter clockwise from bottom left: Elmer, Maria, Betsy, Dad, Mary, Rob, John
Counter clockwise from bottom left: Elmer, Maria, Betsy, Dad, Mary, Rob, John

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