1979 Called and It Wants Its Tuffskins Back

Here’s a genuine blast from the past: On Facebook, my pal Gary Mizuhara unearthed our fifth grade class picture from Ben Lomond Elementary School in Covina, California, all the way back in (gasp) 1979. See if you can  guess which of these kids is me. I think it’s pretty easy to figure out which one I am, but then, I would.

What were you doing in ’79? “Being a gamete” is an entirely acceptable answer, incidentally.

156 Comments on “1979 Called and It Wants Its Tuffskins Back”

  1. You’re on the bottom right. Is your teacher wearing terry cloth or wide wale? Hideous either way but I’m sure she was a lovely lady under the sway of a liberal California mind control cult.

  2. I went to a recent reunion of our combined 5th/6th grade class at Vincent in Covina from 1973. Fashions didn’t change much in those years, at least not in K-6.

  3. I’m terrible with faces so I’m just going to guess that you wanted to stand next to your teacher because you loved all your teachers.

  4. I turned two, traveled across the US from California to Florida, and had open heart surgery.

    (the travel was to visit relatives, not to have the surgery. that was done in LA)

  5. Let’s see…that would have been sicth grade for me, and the year of the incredible snow drifts.

  6. Ketchup & Mustard shirt, front and center. I was in Mrs. Johnson’s first grade class, I believe (I would have been six at the start of the 1979 school year).

  7. ‘1979? Stationed in Heidelberg, FRG (it was still split). Third child had been born the year before. Watched the USA beat the USSR in Olympic hockey from a hospital bed after knee surgery. And had been married for 6 years and in the Army for 5. :)

  8. From the face I’d guess the boy in the front with the red/yellow striped shirt, but the hair color seems wrong…

    I don’t remember very clearly what I was doing when that photo was taken, on account of being less than a year old.

  9. Also, I’m going to guess that you are just to the left of the sign, in the front row. In the striped shirt. bc as a fellow shorty (assuming you were short as a kid) you would have been put in the front row, like I always was.

    (I’m assuming that being shorter than your wife and daughter means you are short. for a guy. This is possibly not true.)

  10. (You did a bit to give us a hint, in the title – you are, at first blush, the only one wearing jeans. But it was mostly the grin that influenced my choice.)

  11. Damn, I feel old. I had graduated from college in January and was working my first full time perm job.

  12. in 1979 I was learning to fall off a skateboard. Dramatically. Because if you are going to fall, doing it with style is as important as anything else.

  13. Oh, I missed the question on first read. In ’79 I went from being a sophomore to a junior in high school. I played bass and sang in a band that played songs like Gimme Three Steps and China Grove.

  14. Going with Rafe Brox on this. It was the “Tuffskins” that did it. I used to get beat up for wearing those because my mother refused to pay the extra for real-deal jeans.

  15. I was ten, had just become the first girl to play soccer for our local club, had been told I was going to play the flute for school orchestra rather than the violin I wanted because the school’s violin was being held aside for somebody else, and was generally a pain in the ass.

  16. Oh, and I was in junior high, getting my ass kicked for wearing Tuffskins. Seriously.

  17. I was in 5th grade in California, just like you. I’m going to guess that you are the kid in the red and yellow stripes in the first row, because I know that you are relatively short and I can envision you having that kind of shit-eating grin in elementary school.

  18. I was a gamete in ’59. In ’79, I spent most of the year hosting a gamete, who in due course became my son. The maternity ward was so crowded they were parking us in the halls, because January of that year had been horrible, so in September…

  19. I just want to know whether the kids in matching plaid shirts (middle, 2nd and 3rd rows), you know, like-liked each other.

    In 1979 my family moved from a moderate-sized town on the coast to a small town in the rural heart of the state, just before I started 4th grade in the fall. It was not a terribly good fit for me, though time and distance have definitely granted me a more kindly view of the place.

  20. 1979, I think I was trying to keep my (just) pre-teenage head above water…and failing miserably! :( But then I discovered my inner nerd, and like all late 70’s pre-teen nerds, found Star Wars, Conan, Stat Trek and D&D, and pulled through swimmingly! (whew!)

  21. striped shirt, front row
    and I was gearing up for my first birthday party, where I would ignore the cake and take a large bite of the candle

  22. ’79 — having dropped out of college two years before, I was at my first real job, loading trucks at a warehouse in Brooklyn. The pay wasn’t great, but I lost 30 pounds, developed some impressive muscle, and learned to curse in Spanish.

  23. Red and yellow striped shirt?

    It was my senior year. When the chemistry teacher left to get supplies, I broke out the popcorn I’d smuggled in, popped it over a Bunsen burner, and shared it with everyone.

  24. No clue which one is you, Mr. Scalzi, though I’m relatively sure that it isn’t any of the people wearing skirts or dresses (the mint-green Regency gown notwithstanding).

    In 1979, I was in my early 20s, living in Michigan, working at a Chinese restaurant, and madly in love with the person who became my spouse a year later.

  25. 1979, in January, I eloped with the wonderful man I’m still with. We had dated for all of one month! (Ok, ok, we worked together and had been friends or whatever for five or six months)

  26. In 1979, I was a communications watch supervisor on board USS Albany (CG10), at the time, the Sixth Fleet flagship. We were homeported in Gaeta, Italy, about 60 miles north of Naples. I guess you could say I was gainfully employed, especially since I wasn’t shooting at our enemies.

  27. Back row, far left, orange shirt?

    I don’t remember 1979. Which means nothing except my memory cells are wearing thin. Le sigh.

  28. 1979? Hmmm…I was in my freshman year of college, playing way too much D&D and spending my weekends in the SCA.

  29. 79. A good year. Survived the Chicago blizzard, graduated from high school, went off to college.

  30. In 1979, I was busy job hunting & sharing an apartment with my crazy psych major girlfriend. It was lonely after she moved out, following her graduation, but also much quieter.

  31. Doc Paisley and I were freshly married and f0king like the little monkeys we were. And starting a work life and all that crap after college. We met when I started an SF club at U. Kans. in 1976, got married in 1978. Where did those 38 years go? It seems, kinda, like yesterday.

  32. In ’79 I spent 6 months in a dark, warm place. It was quite a struggle to get out of there, so for the next 6 months I had a bit of a lie-down.

  33. 1979… hmmm, I think I was rolling out a doomed DoD software project (none of the services wanted it — don’t ask). Also, working on getting divorced. Not one of my better years.

  34. I was in my second year of grad school at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

  35. I was celebrating my 5th anniversary & enjoying being a brand new dad. Night school had opened a door to a better and left was pretty good all things considered.

  36. I wouldn’t have guessed correctly.
    I was all about some Tuffskins as well. And Garanimals. Anything that helps me pick out matching clothes is a plus. If they made Garanimals for grown men, I would probably buy them.

  37. I had a very strong Piedmont accent, according to my parents. I obtained it from the older lady who looked after me while my parents were at work. I have no recollection of the year 1979, but I did exist!

  38. Although you’d already posted the answer I was right.

    In 1979 I was in 1st grade not learning to read. I disagreed with my teacher on too many things and just didn’t went to do it. I learned the next year and read voraciously from then on.

  39. Depends upon if you’re talking Spring of ’79 or Fall. Spring, would be Fourth Grade, Fall, would be Fifth.

  40. ’78-’79 would have been my first grade year. I turned seven in January. My brother turned two at the end of ’79 (his third birthday coincided with the day John Lennon got shot. My birthday is almost exactly one year pre-Roe v Wade).

  41. For the first half of the year, I was being highly skeptical of my mother’s excuses for her growing belly and being really disturbed every night when the news came on because something bad was happening a long way away and it just kept getting worse, and even though my father was doing school work, he might get called back or we might have to go back on the airplane.

    Then my sister arrived. I was sure my parents had made a terrible mistake and they needed to find the receipt and take her back. Because surely, they didn’t really want the stinky, noisy thing. She was no fun at all, and nobody had time to read to me anymore, so I figured it out and made it about half-way through my big Mother Goose book* by the end of the year. I also figured out that “stringing out your toys” should not be taken literally, and that pinking shears are great fun.

    I was three.

    * the best collection of classic nursery rhymes, Aesop’s fables, fairy tales and poetry assembled into one gigantic whopper of a book. I still have it, though the spine is duct-tape and my sister did some awful things with crayons.

  42. I’m guessing you’re the one in the front in the orange and yellow striped shirt. Now to read the comments and see if I guessed right!

  43. 1979? I was negotiating the madness and boredom that was Junior High. School didn’t get interesting until college. Although Jr High was where I discovered a love of the Occult.

  44. I didn’t guess right because your hair color is different, either because it changed over the years or the photo has faded. Looking at the grass, I’m pretty sure it’s the photo.

    In ’79 I was a freshman in high school, and my high school church choir went on a European tour, so I got to see brief glimpses of Germany, Austria, Jugoslavia, Italy, and Switzerland. Someone in Rome stole my purse with my glasses in it when I was swimming, so I got to see the Sistine Blur. The Sistine Blur is overrated.

    A couple of years earlier I had a shirt quite similar to yours. I think it was purplish (lavender?) and yellow. And when I was allowed to wear jeans (“jeans are only for mucking out stables, and we don’t live on a farm!”) they were always non-name brand, though I don’t remember Tuffskins offhand except maybe as a brand of thermal underwear.

    So I climbed trees in dresses. Because really, did you ever see a beech tree that DIDN’T just beg to be climbed?

  45. I missed the guess the John contest, but in 1979 I was studying computer science at the University of Waterloo and discovering the joy of C and Unix. Not sarcasm! I’d already discovered the not-joy of Cobol. And I think that was the year we built a full size Dalek.

  46. 1979: Halfway through college while holding down a full-time (plus overtime) job and also working as a teaching assistant for one class. And reading way more than I do now (curse that social media).

  47. 1979 was the summer of the turtle: I spent the months between my sophomore year at Armstrong State College and junior year at the University of Georgia tagging loggerhead sea turtles on Cumberland Island National Seashore. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience (which is probably why, in the karmic way of the universe, my attempt to repeat the experience in 1980 ended prematurely with a torn-up knee).

  48. In 1979 I had just transferred from FE Warren AFB in Wyoming to Hahn AB in what was then the Federal Republic of Germany. Time does fly…

  49. I guessed yellow-and-brown striped shirt, front row, before I read the comments. Yay me. ;)

    In 1979, I was busy being a 2-year-old and about to move from Texas to Germany for my dad’s opera-singing career.

  50. I thought young man in second row wearing grey shirt with blue sleeves and yellow trim. Whoops…
    79? In graduate school full time. Working part time to feed/clothe 13 yr old son. I remember being tired a lot.

  51. Sears Toughskins was the dead giveaway as you can see the reinforced knee patches built into them in your picture. I was condemned to wear the damn things during the Levi’s revolution of the late ’70s and I think ’79 (and 10th grade) was the first time Mom would actually buy me some Levi’s.

    Oh, and nice Dutch Boy.

  52. Since I don’t know if this was a spring or fall picture: 1978-1979 school year was 5th grade with Mr. Richard Kirker, and 1979-1980 school year was 6th grade with Mrs. Alspaugh at Thomas Jefferson School in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Mom had died in September 1977, Dad remarried (long story short: Mom stage managed Dad meeting my stepmother from her bed in the nursing home. She was a totally amazing person) in April 1978 and got transferred from Tulsa to Chicago the day they got back from their honeymoon.

    I was a mess those two years. Mr. Kirker, though, was one of the absolute best teachers I ever had. He figured out a way through the pain and really kept me going. I need to find him.

    My stepmother (Mom, V2. We call her Mom not because she demanded it, but because she *is* our mother despite not giving birth to us) got my brother and me out of Sears Toughskins and into more socially-acceptable jeans, over Dad’s objections. See, he’d been buying Toughskins for us and straight away putting those iron-on knee reinforcement patches on the insides before we ever even wore them because we were hard on the knees of our jeans.

  53. I was correct on my guess, going by the grin. I was also in fifth grade in ’79. Frustrating the heck out of teachers because they knew I read more than anyone but couldn’t be bothered to fill out the little forms half the time and when I did fill them out, the teachers had rarely heard of the books. I’d long since devoured anything vaguely scif/fantasy in the school library as well as the kids and young adult sections of the town library (still ensconced above the police station and trying to raise money for an actual library building), and was steadily working my way through anything even vaguely sf/f in the adult section. Along with a couple of random stacks of pulp paperbacks acquired from random relatives or friends of my parents.

  54. I was in 9th grade in 1979, trying very unsuccessfully to convince the world I was a normal teen-aged girl and not a total nerd. A number of unhappy years there until I realized I was never going to be normal and that was … okay :)

    Not sure I can tell which kid is you, but I’ll have to check it out better.

  55. I didn’t know you were from Covina. Small world.

    By 1979 I’d moved from Covina to the Bay Area. I went to college at night, and did daycare during the day. I used to read my textbooks to kids as a way to get my homework done. Fun times.

    I missed the antique stores on Citrus Ave. and being able to go to the Covina Bookstore anytime I wanted. I still miss the bookstore.

  56. Remember: you asked.

    Depends on when in ’79. For the first 11 months I was just another kid in his first year of high school, dealing with hormones and ever shifting changes in social status. Well, just another kid with an alcoholic father who, kids or no kids, was hell bent on drinking himself to death.

    In December he succeeded. Mind you, that sledgehammer of a heart attack was due just as much to the secondary effects of his boozing: poor diet and no exercise.

    For the last month of the year I was just another kid dealing with hormones and ever shifting changes in social status while trying to make sense of the impermanence of life. A task made no easier by the ever circling grinder of grief, relief and guilt.

    You know, the usual.

  57. ’79-’80 school year would have been Kindergarten. Depending on when this picture was taken, I was either at Granada Hills Elementary (where they were contemplating sending me to 2nd grade, seeing as how I already knew all my numbers and colors), or Van Nuys Baptist School (which is weird considering how not Baptist my family is).

  58. In 1979 I was working as a computer programmer in military simulations at Hill AFB, Utah. It was a great job. I had a wife and 5 kids, the last of which was only 1 year old. And I had written a program to pound arithmetic into the heads of the unwilling older kids on my TRS-80. (It made good use of a non-destructive curson on a machine that didn’t have one.)

  59. I got my first library card at age of four, and accidentally loaned a book about solar system, less kiddy material, more science-y material.

    This marked the point of no return from the path of general nerdery.

  60. 1979, last year of high school, on my way into the air force and, at the height of my ‘Heinlein is God’ phase. Don’t read him much anymore but boy, he was the start and end of everything at that time.

    Incidentally, 5th grade was Baker Elementary in El Monte a few short miles from Covina, dirt poor family, my jeans of choice and necessity were tuffskins and I’m the first person in my extended family to (eventually) graduate college. Hell John, if I could write a lick, I might just have claimed a spiritual kinship with you.

  61. 1979 was mostly spent playing with crayons, pretending to ignore my new baby sister, and waiting to get some of those cool striped shirts handed down from my older brothers. It was a pretty good year and I produced some quality crayon-on-newsprint masterpieces.

  62. In 1979, I was taking a year off college, working for Educational Testing Service, and saving up money to buy a prep-tastic wardrobe for when I returned to school. It feels like a lifetime ago, which I guess would be because it was.

  63. What were you doing in ’79? “Being a gamete” is an entirely acceptable answer, incidentally.

    I think you mean, being two gametes.

  64. What was I doing in 1979? A lot of sleeping, eating, and looking around, I imagine. (I was born in mid-March of ’78, so y’know.) I did take a vacation to Pennsylvania to meet the matriarch of my father’s family, his beloved grandmother Grace Ford, at the family farm in Gettysburg, PA. I suffered terribly from colic at the time, so they tell me, and since the farm backed onto (I may be remembering this part wrong; perhaps it was only very close to) the Gettysburg battlefield, my father spent many an hour walking the grounds of the preserved battlefield, up and down the hills, through Devil’s Den and up Little Round Top,trying to get me to calm down and stop crying.

    In adult life, I have a particular fascination with the Civil War, especially the Battle of Gettysburg (it doesn’t hurt that I have five ancestors — none of whom were known to each other! — who were on the battlefield on I believe the first day, in pretty much the same place. It’s entirely possible they laid eyes on each other. I think that’s kinda cool) and… well, maybe that’s why.

  65. Given I’d have trouble recognising photos of my own parents at that age, I’m not going to guess.
    1979 saw me as a foetus, and then a small, screaming thing. I don’t have any memories from that year (unsurprisingly). 1980, however…

  66. ’79… That would be the year I discovered girls for the second time… In the sense of asking them out, that is.

  67. Hanging in a bouncer on a rotary washing line, which, i’ve been told, I found very entertaining. Great photo.

  68. Senior Year! Driver’s license, accepted at my college of choice, finally allowed to date, dumped the HUGE eyeglasses for contacts, oh, and I think my sister bought her first VCR for $400.

  69. In 1979, I was living in Kaduna, Nigeria with my parents and attending 9th grade that spring at Hillcrest Academy in Jos, Nigeria, then attending 4th form that fall at Choate-Rosemary Hall (which still had the hyphen in its name at that point) in Wallingford, CT. My parents remained in Kaduna when I made the intercontinental move to Connecticut by myself at age 15.

  70. On this exact day in 1979 I was five days old. From that fact one should be able to deduce what I was doing the rest of the days of that year. (Mostly eating, sleeping, pooping.)

  71. I hadn’t started existing until four years later. . . that’s very confused grammar. . .

  72. 1979 was an eventful year for me. I started it as a gamete and arrived two weeks before the end of it.

    You already gave it away but correctly identifying childhood versons of adults is my superpower; I recognized the grin right away.

  73. 1979 was an important movie going year for me. I saw my first movie in theaters, The Muppet Movie. (Rewatched it recently and it still holds up, but the plot is more obviously flimsy.)

    I know I also saw Superman and some of Star Trek: The Motion Picture that year. (I think my fellow movie goers were probably happy that the bored four year-old decided “go to sleep” was the best option for ST:TMP.)

    Possibly some Disney and Star Wars, too.

  74. 2nd Row, 3rd from the right (gray shirt, blue sleeves).

    I was only one year old in 1979, so I imagine I was drooling, toddling, and pooping myself on a regular basis.

  75. And now I see you’ve already answered who you are in the picture…. Yeah, I would never, ever have called that one.

  76. In looking at that picture, I can narrow it down to you are probably one of the boys. Other than that, no idea.

    In 1979 I went through Basic Training, and started at the Defense Language Institute. It was and interesting year.

  77. Well, I was wrong-o on my John as a child identification. We were in Kuwait, I was 9.

  78. I was a CompSci undergrad at the University of Iowa and had just joined the Science Fiction League of Iowa Students, and attended my very first SF convention that fall, ICon IV, featuring Gene Wolfe, Rusty Hevelin and Dr. James Van Allen as guests. Needless to say, it was a fun year.

  79. 1979: Working in a clerical job, after graduating from college with a degree that was interesting but entirely non-career-focused. Much more centered now, several careers later, two of which did not exist in ’79.

  80. I was in my second year of college and a member of the university’s Star Wars Club, you young pup. Oh, and get off my lawn! :) (Admittedly, I have neither a lawn nor a cane. I do have a house-rabbit equipped with laser-like stink-eye, though.)

  81. I turned 4 in 1979, so that’s about where my memories start. Both of my parents worked at the refrigerator plant then (it was two years before the union strike, and at least five before the layoffs started), so I spent my days with an older woman named Ginny. She had Pomeranians and a fondness for ceramics. When her friends came by, she liked to call me into the living room overlooking the lake to read to them out of the Bible. Her grandson came over sometimes, and he taught me to fish off the dock – once I snagged the pontoon boat and fell in the lake, but I wasn’t afraid of water even before I could swim.

  82. Became a 5th grader in ’79 myself, but in Massachusetts, not California.

    Whenever I’ve looked at pictures of myself from that era, my mom always tells me she tried to dress me “in fashion”. I guess she was successful, but, still, the ’70s.

  83. 1979: Also in 5th grade in Zumbrota, MN dealing with my parents separation and eventual divorce. Not the best year ever.

  84. In 79 I graduated from West Point and was commissioned an Army officer. It was a good year.

  85. I was rebuilding my academic credentials at Kapiolani Community College after being dismissed from UH some time in 1977. Oh, and I played loads of soccer on the UH team (they still let me play!). Tang Soo Do would have to wait another year. Finally, I was reveling in reading science fiction(Cherryh at the fore), deep into paper and pencil RPG games and playing lots of wargames(boardgame version). I was a geekish jock of sorts.

  86. In 1979, I did not exist. An ovum that later became part of me was chilling out in one of my mother’s ovaries.

  87. I turned 3 and probably had “tubes” put in my ears at least once that year (I went through a couple sets). Other highlights would have been hanging out with Mom and exploring DC via subway, while Dad was at work and my youngest brother (older ones lived elsewhere) was at school.

  88. 1979? I was busy learning to do things like hold my head upright, roll over, crawl and speak

  89. 1979 was a year when nothing of great import happened to me. I mean, my second (and current) wife and I celebrated our 5th anniversary, my daughter became a teenager, and if memory serves my first wife married her third husband – and my brother turned 40.

  90. I must be the oldest guy here… In ’79 I was a Supervising Social Worker in Orange Co., CA; driving a 1972 Olds bought new, and wondering if I was ever going to save enough for a down payment on a house. I stayed with OC until 2002, the car became a Toyota, then a Mazda, etc. I bought the house 6 years later in Tustin, CA. You would know where that is but most won’t. Now I’m in Portland OR. I didn’t pick you out, but if I’d heard you laugh…

  91. ’79, third grade in Adak, Alaska. Running to play outside in tank top and shorts when it was 55 degrees during the summer. Because that was a sweltering summer day!

  92. Freshman year of high school for me. Not the best year in the world, but I did make a couple lifelong friends. And Star Trek: The Motion Picture, of course.

  93. Sophomore year in college, majoring in art and mathematics. First try at the potter’s wheel, and desperately unable to center. How times have changed…

  94. I was in the basement with a metal file wearing a hole in the knees of my jeans that I outgrew so that my mom could return them and get some jeans that fit… It sucks to be wearing high waters in Junior High.

  95. 1979: 7th grade, got a TI 99/4 for Christmas and was creating dice rollers and character databases for D&D. I also wrote a Traveller star ship CAD system and database, so I could call up floor plans on the fly. Of course, being the socially stunted nerd that I was I didn’t have anyone to play with but I spent a lot of time world building.

  96. Richard, you may not be the oldest guy here. In 1979, about the time the picture was taken, I was just short or 39, was in my second year of working for EPA, and was just a year short of marrying my third (and present) wife.

  97. 1979? I was getting my first divorce, moving to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, and starting work at UC Berkeley, from which I still get checks and I don’t have to go there any more — pensions rock!

  98. Interviews editor at OMNI, lobbying to get Robert Sheckley as fiction editor (the slushpile needed to be cleared of no-hopers like Card, Gibson and Sterling). Approaching 30 and preparing to stop trusting myself.

  99. In 1979, I finished the Gymnasium (German university-preparatory school) and began my military service. Germany had 15 months of compulsary military service at that time.

  100. I was in grade nine. The center of my world was an orange Honda “Express” (that’s a moped to you and me Rusty). Because I was now a man I removed the once orange but had turned pink basket from the handlebars. The future was wide open baby.

  101. My parents hadn’t even met in 1979. So I wasn’t even a gamete, I was an immature ovum and a really early-stage spermatogenous cell.


    And sir, may I just say that you look a LOT better now than you did in the 70s.

  102. Photo: I going with the pink dress in the front row, as you are known to be self possessed enough to wear the occasional dress.

    Tuffskins: Damn I had forgotten about that product line from Sears. I always maintained that the only thing that will survive the apocalypse are rats, cockroaches and polyester jeans.

    1979: Doing college, blasting any music remotely having a guitar and wishing Disco music would die.

  103. That was the year I discovered Tolkien. And read The Silmarillion. In English, which is not my native language.
    It took me the entire summer holiday to get through the book, with near-constant use of a dictionary. Sometimes it really pays off being stubborn. And I certainly found English very easy when I got back to school again in fall!

  104. I scrolled down so I wouldn’t see anyone else’s answers. I think you are the blonde kid in the front with the yellow and brown striped shirt.

    In the fall of 1979 I was just starting 7th grade at Placerita Jr. High. I still liked disco music, the Bee Gees and Andy Gibb. It wouldn’t be until the following year when I discovered Cheap Trick and Robin Zander and Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant. And I had already forsaken Sylvester Stallone for Christopher Reeves. I was also sneaking and watching SNL when my parents thought I had gone to bed, or I was staying up late reading The Chronicles of Narnia.

  105. 1979. . .I had my first story accepted by a professional market (it would be published in 1980), Amazing Stories, and quit my day-job as Administrative Aide to the Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work and Community Planning at University of Maryland, to open a genre bookstore with my boyfriend Steve Miller (we would be married in October,1980 — Steve and I, that is; the bookstore went belly-up in July 1980).

  106. 1979? WorldCon in Brighton, UK! “Britain is fine in ’79!” was the bid slogan. Some guy named Tom Baker was being talked about but I’d never heard of Dr Who and didn’t get into it for years. The concom was trying to calm down the hotel management who were unhappy about how many people were surging through the very narrow corridors. My husband and I spent the previous week driving around England, Scotland, and a bit of Wales, but we missed Cornwall (I got there the next time).

  107. Okay, now I’m feeling really really old. Everyone here is reminiscing about elementary school in ’79, whereas I was starting my freshman year in high school.

  108. GB Millar

    I wouldn’t worry too much; my theory is that growing old is an absolutely wonderful thing to do, when you consider the alternatives…

  109. Hm. ’79? I was graduating college that year. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or my degree–no, that’s not true. I knew what I wanted to do, but had no idea how to do it without moving somewhere else I didn’t want to be (i.e., anywhere but where I still am today).

  110. Hmmmm I turned 30 that year, worked hard in my then-current hubby’s business. You were 10 and considered “amazingly smart” by not only your teachers, but by everyone you met. You were precocious, cute, well-loved and a smart-a$$ when you thought you could get away with it. You frightened not-so-very-smart young adults, especially men and loved showing of your considerable knowledge. I was then and am now extremely proud of you. Love, Mom

  111. Oddly, the kid 2nd from right in the back row seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to Athena.I had picked him before I read the answer. In ’79 I was still working fast food after flunking out of my first attempt at college.

  112. I was standing for a fifth grade class photo exactly like this, only I looked far stupider than you. I recently saw that pictures, so I am quite sure of this.

  113. I guessed right! Striped shirt in the front!

    If this is fall of ’79, I was in 3rd grade, frustrating my teachers by visibly not listening, and still answering questions right. I may have been bored silly by elementary school.

  114. Since I knew what Sears Toughskins(tm) were, it was a dead giveaway. I graduated from high school in 1979. Yikes.

  115. I remember nothing. Then again, I’m told that I was a fetus, then a baby who traveled 10,000 miles before I mastered object permanence.

  116. Guessed right! The grin (not the Tuffskins) was a dead giveaway. 1979 was end of freshman/beginning of sophomore year of HS – a miserable time!

  117. I wore Tuffskins frequently in 1979 because I hadn’t quite given up riding down the hill in the bed of my Tonka truck. 1979 was also the year I learned how to read. I wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.

  118. Oh horror, 1979, I was learning to program and starting on my way to becoming and growing out of being a hacker.

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