RT Cunningham


1981 - The Second Year of the Crazy Eighties - More Memories

1981 - crazy eighties I turned 21 several months after I was transferred to the Yuma, Arizona Marine Corps Air Station in 1981. At the time, 19 was the legal drinking age in Arizona.

I’m cheating again, using the Wikipedia page for the year to refresh my memories.

Happenings in 1981

There were some definite turning points in history in 1981. I’ll let you decide what they were.

Movies Released in 1981

Yuma, Arizona only had one walk-in theater and two drive-in theaters. I watched fewer movies than I did in San Diego, California

During one of my road trips with another U.S. Marine, I watched “Stripes” in El Centro, California.


When I was assigned to the Yuma air station, I almost stopped watching television completely. Most of the TV series I watched in 1980 were still airing. The only thing I can remember watching, up until the time I left in 1982, was the daily news and only during the lunch hour.

Music Released in 1981

I didn’t listen to a lot of music in 1981, at least not on the radio. I spent a lot of time at the local rock clubs, listening to cover bands play popular songs. Most of these songs were too fresh to be covered:

Mostly a Blur

Near the beginning of the year, I went to Disneyland once and Magic Mountain once, both in Anaheim, California.

Yuma was within six hours of my parents’ home, so I spent many weekends visiting family until the following year. I spent the rest of my off-duty hours at clubs or arcades (playing Donkey Kong and other famous video games).

Sometime during 1981, while I was in Yuma, another U.S. Marine convinced me to go to Universal Studios in California. We ended up going to Disneyland after a few short hours. It was his first time at either place.

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By RT Cunningham
July 26, 2019
United States