Tuesday, May 15, 2012

1982: Tron, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Juju Music

Keanu Reeves wasn't the first famous person to get sucked into a computer. Jeff Bridges did it way before Keanu. It was 1982 when Tron came out. Thirty years ago.

As big a Tron fan as I was--we would play the Tron video game at the bowling alley for afternoons, plus I had the action figures--that's not what I mainly remember about 1982.

1982 was the year the Baltimore Orioles went on an end of the season tear and took the first three games in their final four game series from the Milwaukee Brewers. They played the very last game of the season for all the marbles: winner goes to the playoffs, loser goes home. The O's lost, though they would win the World Series the next year. 1982 was the year Earl Weaver said he was stepping down as manager. And it was the year that a rookie infielder, Cal Ripken, Jr., would break into the major leagues. I had the baseball card of Orioles prospects that Topps put out that year.

I was 10 years old in 1982. It's a year that has surfaced a couple times today. First for Tron, in a running conversation with my brother-in-law. Second for King Sunny Ade's album "Juju Music," which came out in 1982 and introduced the World Beat movement to the United States. It's the album that I have been listening to today and laughed that it came out the same year as Tron.

King Sunny Ade was changing music, changing the world, the year baseball didn't know it was seeing one of its all-time greats starting out, the same year I was playing little league, collecting baseball cards and wishing I had a light cycle to rip around on.

Thirty years later, Jeff Bridges, Cal Ripken, Jr. and King Sunny Ade are all pretty solid with their legacies. I'm still working on mine. Then again, they are all older than me.

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