Monday, December 12, 2011

34 Years of Christmas Poems: Christmas 1982

So young and in love... (Well, at 26, not that young!) This poem is summed up by the one word that courses through it like a river; Joy. During the previous holiday season, I had met a woman via the overwhelmingly romantic venue of the company bowling league. We hit it off on virtually every cylinder and were now "a couple."

When you go from single and living at home with mom to becoming part of "a couple," life changes in ways both subtle and grand. Another doorway opens to a parallel life that would not existed should this partnership never have happened. I was positively exuding happiness. This poems reeks of it (and I do not mean that it a bad way.) For the next eighteen years, so much of the content of these poems will be a reflection of the road now taken until it forks in a new direction in 2000.

Two things to note that reveals where we are in technology and entertainment; first, it's still a typewritten poem on green paper so we have yet to hit the explosion of the PC revolution. Second, catch the reference to "Pac man" in this poem. That's where we are, technologically speaking; in the white heat of the arcade era, where quarters flowed freely amidst an electronic cacophony of sound effects, music and lights emanating from large cabinets housing customized CRTs. I can promise you, "the couple" spent many long hours and much coin (literally) inside these hypnotic money grabbers.

...until we purchased our first Atari gaming console, that is!

Christmas 1982
Richard Perrotti

Busy street corner, the people all stand
‘round a gaily colored window display.
Their faces aglow, eyes bright and amazed,
As magical figures dance out a play.

Thousands of passers,
Girls and women, men and boys,
Found what they sought for.
Searching for joy.

A troubled young man, a husband and father,
Depressed as year’s end drew near.
No job, little money; his family rallied ‘round him,
An old-fashioned Christmas to help ease his fears.

Togetherness and sharing,
Going without a few toys.
In his children’s eyes, he found it.
Searching for joy.

Toy drives for orphans, meals for the poor,
Expressions of how people care.
Quarters for Santa, rather than Pac-man,
Add up to the good things we share.

Thinking of others
Without gimmick or ploy.
No need to explain it.
Searching for joy.

We like to make special this holiday season,
For others, or so we think.
Just try to define all the good that surrounds you;
Friends and loved ones will make up each link.

‘Cause all that we are,
everything we enjoy,
we find with our friends
as we all search for joy.


Here are some other items of note from December 1982:

1st - Dentist Barney B Clark gets 1st artificial heart
1st - Michael Jackson releases "Thriller"
1st - Miguel de la Madrid inaugurated as pres of Mexico
2nd - 1st permanent artificial heart successfully implanted (U of Utah) in retired dentist Barney Clark; lived 112 days with Jarvic-7 heart
3rd - 1st NJ Devil hat-trick (Steve Tambellini) defeat Hartford 5-4
3rd - 35.7 cm rainfall at Big Fork, Arkansas (state record)
3rd - 77°F highest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in Dec
3rd - NJ Devils 1st hat trick (Steve Tambellini)
3rd - Tommy Hearns wins WBC Welterweight title in decision over Benitez
4th - 48th Heisman Trophy Award: Herschel Walker, Georgia (RB)
4th - China adopts its constitution
4th - Police & racist demonstrators clash in Antwerp
5th - Cleve Browns' Brian Sipe sets club record with 33 pass completions
5th - Herschel Walker of Georgia wins Heisman Trophy
5th - Ingrid Berghmans (Neth) retains judo's world championship
5th - Mel Gray ends NFL streak of 121 consecutive game receptions
5th - Seattle Univ Baptist Ch declares sanctuary for Cen Am refugees
5th - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
6th - Bomb attack on Londonderry, North Ireland disco, 17 killed
6th - Sen Ted & Joan Kennedy divorce
6th - 11 soldiers & 6 civilians die by bomb planted by Irish National Liberation Army exploded in a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland
7th - Suriname army under Desi Bouterse fires on radio station building
7th - In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr. becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the US.
8th - "Herman Van Veen: All of Him" opens at Ambassador NYC for 6 perfs
8th - Clark Gilles fails in 7th Islander penalty shot
8th - Suriname army leader Bouterse murders 15 opponents
8th - Demanding an end to nuclear weapons, Norman Mayer, held Wash Monument hostage. After 10 hrs, police kill him he had no explosives
9th - Mary-Beth & William Hurt divorce
10th - Heavyweight Michael Doakes KOs Mike Weaver in 1:03 in Las Vegas
10th - Soyuz T-5 returns to Earth, 211 days after take-off
12th - "Herman Van Veen: All of Him" closes at Ambassador NYC after 6 perf
12th - $9,800,000 in cash stolen from money transport car in NYC
12th - 57th Australian Womens Tennis: C Evert beats M Navratilova (63 26 63)
12th - Joanne Carner/John Mahaffey wins LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
13th - 71st Australian Mens Tennis: Johan Kriek beats Steve Denton (63 63 62)
13th - Earthquake hits Northern Yemen; 2,000 die
14th - Marcel Dionne, LA, becomes 9th NHLer to score 500 goals
15th - Bill Parcells becomes 12th head coach of NY Giants
15th - Roy Williams, Teamsters pres, & 4 others convicted of bribery
15th - Sao Tome & Principe constitution approved
15th - Spain reopens border with Gibraltar
16th - Tom Seaver agrees to new contract with Mets
16th - The Federal Reserve announces that the operating capacity of factories has gone down to 67.8%.
18th - Flight readiness firing of Challenger's main engines; 20 seconds
22nd - William Mastrosimones "Extremities," premieres in NYC
23rd - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces it has identified dangerous levels of dioxin in the soil of Times Beach, Missouri.
24th - Chaminade, with a student body of only 850 students, beats #1 ranked Virginia 77-72 in a Honolulu holiday basketball classic
25th - Mudassar Nazar scores century, then Imran rips through Indians
26th - TIME's Man of the Year is a computer
26th - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
27th - Imran Khan 8-60 to bring innings victory v India at Karachi
29th - Bob Marley postage stamp issued in Jamaica
29th - Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant ends his career with Alabama (323 wins)
30th - Anthony Shaffers "Whodunnit," premieres in NYC
30th - England defeat Australia by three runs at cricket MCG
30th - US Assay Office in New York City, NY closes
31st - CBS Mystery Theater final episode on radio after 8 years
31st - NBC radio cancels almost all of its network daily features
31st - TV soap "Doctors" ends 19 year run


  1. I was more of a Galaga man myself, but that's okay. Good stuff!

  2. Wait, soon the poems move into the desktop publishing era!

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