Summer of ’86

The Hand of God
The Hand of God

The Hand of God (partially) sinks England

I’m sure that like me, many football (soccer) fanatics can call up and/or cross reference life memories based on what major football event was taking place at the same time. For me, the Summer of 1986 comes rushing in like a flood. A random collection of memories in no particular order:
– I lived in a college flop house near the Syracuse University campus (Ostrom Ave) with my best friend Jeff, but rarely saw him as most of my time was spent in the “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” town of Tully to the south (where my girlfriend lived).
– In a stunning display of irresponsibility, I walked out the back door of my dead end dish washing job at a rib joint one day. Not long after that, I blew off an interview at McDonald’s.
– I learned to really swim in a small pond for the first time.
– I watched the England-Argentina match on the SU campus in a room full of Argentinians. I hate the little bastard (Diego Maradona) for the first goal, but can’t deny him the second-one of the greatest ever. (They should have dropped him! That was the pre-professional foul era. The worst that would have happened would have been a yellow card.)
– I watched the France-Brazil quarter-final with Jeff on a small 13″ black and white TV in the aforementioned flop house.
– I can’t remember which match we watched at Jim Gorant’s place (another flop). But all his roommates and their friends were huge (American) football players and/or fans. They kept parroting “DA WORLD CUP!” in mockery of the beautiful game. No malice intended. They just didn’t get it.
– My girlfriend’s father gave me odd jobs, with no chiding whatsoever on quitting the one I had.
– Jeff and I had a huge, unfortunate misunderstanding with our Nigerian roommate, who may have been plotting to kill us all after what our other roommates were doing to him (spoiled rich kids with no tact). My most heartfelt, profuse apologies were repelled (thrice!).
– Perhaps in solidarity, Jeff quit the co-op he was working too.
– I bought many (vinyl) albums from the Record Theater off Marshall Street, despite having almost no money.
– The intellectual metal dude I worked with at the rib place played the same classic rock station whenever he was on shift. I may have heard “Kashmir” about 20 times in my 4-6 weeks there. Also in heavy rotation that summer:
Secret Separation by The Fixx
In Your Wildest Dreams by The Moody Blues
When the Heart Rules the Mind by GTR (Reviewed by one crtitic in a single acronym: “SHT”. Poor Steve Howe…)
Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel
– The Monkees were on a reunion tour. And our roomie Bob had a facial structure such that, when asked, he could contort his face into a dead ringer for Micky Dolenz (Monkees drummer).
– We had a “communal cat” (Bob’s actually) named Lord Byron. (I think Bob was an English major.) he was the coolest feline ever.
– I got my lifetime fill of Benny Mardones.
– After a weekend trip back home where I retrieved much of my vinyl collection, I stumbled with a full crate of LPs, tripped, fell, and ruptured a vein at my arm bend. Said vein blew up like a grape and fuelled my hypochondria. (I had no health insurance at the time.) It did go down and morph into a rainbow-colored bruise.

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