A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Back To the Past: Greenway in the 80’s


In case you don’t get the joke, the title is a twist on Back To The Future, a groundbreaking film released in 1985 starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. As millennials, there are many things in our lives that are amazing in more ways than we can image. However, there was a time before cell phones and the internet. Believe it or not there was a time before this digital age we currently live in. Despite what many people think, the 80’s were pretty awesome. From the music to the movies to the fashion, it sounds like a world that could only be fantasy. So grab a seat in the DeLorean and let’s go back.

Now the 80’s was the prime time to be a teenager. This era was a time that was fun and all about living life. People blasted music till their speakers blew. People sat in video arcades for hours on end and made routine trips to the movies. It was pure fun! Concerts were loud and it was basically one huge party. I spoke with Ms. Johnson in the front office, who was a big fan of the 80’s, and attended Greenway in the late 80’s.  Below is her yearbook picture from her junior year (1986).

“The big part was the culture. People like Madonna, Prince and Run DMC were very big in music. We listened to that all the time at full volume every chance we got. We loved movies like Ferris Bueller’s day off, Pretty in Pink and such. To sum up fashion there’s only two words, BIG HAIR! It was super popular and looked great. It was a great time to be a kid. We felt free and alive. We’d spend hours hanging out in places like video arcades living it up. It was a time so innocent but so fun, and it was amazing, “Ms. Johnson said.

One of the ever changing parts of life is pop culture. Music was a big aspect of the 80’s. This was the time synthesizers started to make their debut on countless album. For example the groundbreaking album 1984 by Van Halen showed what a synth could do. The intro synth song named 1984 sounds very futuristic and leads into the main riff for Jump, one of the most iconic songs of all time. Van Halen also released their 1st album with lead singer Sammy Hagar, 5150 in 1986. Other bands released some of their most popular albums in the 80’s. AC/DC released Back In Black, Guns N Roses released Appetite For Destruction and king of pop Michael Jackson released Thriller.

Another large part of 80’s pop culture was movies. Action movies such as Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the lost ark and Ghostbusters were released in the early 80’s. Three very famous high school based movies were also released. Ferris Bueller’s day off, Fast times at Ridgemont High (partially filmed at Metro Center), Sixteen Candles and the infamous Breakfast Club were all released during the mid 80’s.

The 80’s had it’s fair share of technological advancements as well. Music was being mass produced on vinyl records and compact discs would become popular towards the end of the 80’s. Apple released their Macintosh Computer in January of 1984 which was a massive milestone for both Apple and computers. Microsoft invented Windows and the big mention, the internet was officially developed as a concept in the early 80’s. Although it wasn’t until the mid 90’s that it was accessible by the public majority.


This is a very good sum up of life as a teenager in the 80’s. If you ever ask your parents, they’ll probably have some crazy stories to tell you. If you’re intrigued, many of these things still exist. You can rent old 80’s movies and buy CD’s with great 80’s music. Many video arcades still exist and there’s countless stores devoted to keeping other generations alive. It’s well worth checking out.