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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Political Ephemera From 1984 - the Year, Not the Book

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


This is about politics, but not political in the sense that it's not espousing a position. It will, however, prove to you that I'm as old as dirt.

(Well, perhaps not, though I certainly feel that way after two days of DIY home projects.)

I covered the Republican National Convention in 1984. That's not a typo. Somewhere I still have my press pass. I should dig it up sometime.

This is something I picked up from a street vendor, on the supposition that someday I'd look at it as a relic of the period. I ran across it today:

fritz_busters.png

Yep, that was in reference to Walter F. "Fritz" Mondale, the Democratic presidential nominee of that year. And also in reference to the blockbuster movie of the year, Ghostbusters.

Someone wasn't afraid of no copyright police.

Edit: I found the pass.

rnc_pass.png

This didn't get me on the floor during the big events, but I did get to see a lot of the convention. A couple of things stand out in my mind. One is standing almost close enough to (then) V.P. George Bush that I could touch him. It was in a press conference. The other is that I came upon the very end of the flag burning demonstration. The person burning the flag was arrested, and that case eventually went to the Supreme Court.

There are a few other bits I remember mainly as curiosities. The security was intense, and we had to enter through metal detectors. Days before the convention I'd slipped and jammed my wrist. The initial X-Ray had showed a possible fracture, so while I was waiting to get an appointment at the orthopedist I had to have my right wrist immobilized in a metal brace. Oh, boy, did that make for a fun time! I got to the orthopedist before the convention was over, and I remember the security guard had remembered me and was glad he didn't have to pull me aside for wanding. There was no break, but I spent most of the RNC filing text to the radio station via my TRS-80 Model 100. I couldn't write. I was able to operate my cassette recorder, which meant I could file voice reports. Part of my job entailed filing text reports via e-mail on StarText. There's another blast from the past.

Another curiosity was an article that was passed around the press room one day. I swear I've saved it, and one day I'll run across it. The gist was that reporters are liberal because they (wait for it...) went to Liberal Arts school! Yes, that had us rolling in the aisles.

One other security-related thing I remember was the Secret Service guys. They were actually pretty cool, taking the gentle ribbing from reporters about their earpieces with good humor.

Alrighty. I think that about does it for the night. I'm done in.

Filed under: Politics            
3/2/2010 7:46:07 PM
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