Ultimate 80’s Throwback



Operator, please connect me with 1982 …” – Randy Travis

As The Pleasanton Express hits the stands this Wednesday, there are only 17 days until The Ultimate 80’s Throwback Party at the Pleasanton River Park. Consider this column your pre-party planning guide.

There’s a saying that if you keep your old clothes long enough, they’ll come back into style someday. I don’t think that day has arrived yet for 80’s apparel, but if you didn’t hold on to your 80’s digs, you still have options. For the “hacky sackers,” parachute pants are available on Ebay. They still make Kaepa shoes, but you can pick up a vintage pair for about a hundred bucks if you look hard enough. The “80’s $#!+kicker redneck look,” is much easier to pull off. Wrangler still sells their basic Roper boot and the 13MWZ boot cut blue jeans. The jeans will cost you about three times what you paid for a pair in 1982. In case you were wondering, there’s no correlation between your increased waist size and the increased price. Don’t forget a big ‘ol belt buckle to help cinch it all up.

“But Jon, how do I get a great 80’s ‘big hair’ look,” you ask? Back in the day, the gals used various heating implements and copious amounts of hairspray. In the un-air-conditioned confines of local dancehalls, the hairspray sometimes made getting too close on a slow dance hazardous; you ran the risk of getting your face stuck in your dance partner’s hair. Awkward. As for the guys — those who still have hair — there’s still time to grow it out long enough to get that nice blow-dried, parted-down-the-middle and feathered-over-theears look.

To help you with the 80’s mindset, there are streaming services offering all your favorite 80’s television shows. You can binge watch “M*A*S*H” for old times sake, or if you want to see a lot of shooting without anyone actually getting shot, you can check out “The A Team.” Bo and Luke Duke are still tearing up the roads of Hazard County in perpetuity on YouTube and Apple TV, even though that’s a show that wouldn’t be made today. Movies to check out before the event include “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Speaking of movies, you can still catch one at The Plestex Theatre. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “E.T.” have long left the marquis. Red-coated, black-tied teenagers no longer police the aisles. But if you go there, you can still reminisce on a first kiss or recall the sound your sneaked-in bottle of beer made as it accidentally rolled under all the seats in front of you before finally stopping at the base of the silver screen. Good times.

May I also recommend making an “80’s Playlist” to listen to before the big day? Hopefully, none of your favorite 80’s songs have been turned into commercial jingles advertising pharmaceutical remedies for medical conditions that compel you to hurriedly mute the television if children are within earshot. While I’m on the subject of drug commercials, I’ve never understood why they always say, “Ask your doctor about (whatever the drug is) and see if it may be right for you.” I don’t think I should be giving my doctor medical advice. How would that go? Maybe, “So Doc … I’ve got this problem … what do you think about prescribing me (whatever the drug is)?” Bull-bleep. Back in the day, we only needed ONE drug commercial and it was beautiful in its simplicity. “This is your brain” as an egg is held precariously above a hot pan. “This is your brain on drugs” as the egg is cracked open and its contents hit the pan and start to sizzle. No cool tunes were ruined in the making of THAT commercial.

No more rants, but if you’re coming into town, don’t get your hopes up about a nostalgic return to Kicker Palace (K.P. Corral). The building is still there, but the honky tonkin’ is long gone. A Firefox reunion gig ain’t happening. HOWEVER, the Texas Tone Rangers and 86’D will be crankin’ out some 80’s jams at The Ultimate 80’s Throwback Party at the Park on Saturday Oct. 2. Admission is free to all ages and BYOB. A 2003 4×4 Dodge Dakota customized by Nelson’s Truck and Tire and a 2017 Ez-Go S6 six-seat, gasoline, beach golf cart will be raffled off to benefit the Larry Brown Scholarship Fund & Educational Experiences for PISD’s special needs students. Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the event as well as at the Pleasanton Express, Country Girl Designs, Shifter’s American Grill and JM Connected Auto Sales. If anyone is interested in being a sponsor, they can contact John Mayse at 210-363-1800. The truck and cart can be viewed across the street from Walmart in the Verizon parking lot.

A Cornhole Tournament kicks things off at 6 p.m. Entry fee is $20 per team (two players per team) and there’s a 100% payout for 1st and 2nd prizes. For entry, contact Pleasanton Civic Center 830-569-5904 or enter via the Scoreholio App. There will be a “Best 80’s Costume Contest” with a $250 prize going to the top male and female costumes. The Texas Tone Rangers will take the stage at 7 p.m., with 86’D to follow at 8:30 p.m.

You must be present to win the raffle. So get those parachute pants on, heat up those blow driers and curling irons, and get ready to throw back with authority! The event is outdoors with plenty of room for social distancing and/or hacky sacking, and there’s nothing that prohibits getting a little hairspray on your cheek if you’re so inclined. Oh and never mind, Operator … I found the number on the wall … its 8-6-7-5-3-0-9. Thanks anyway.

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