The Golden State: 1980s

Dear Reader,

Now it’s time for the real golden age of California. The 80s. Here is a Joan Didion quote about how we conceptualize places (as I have conceptualized California):

“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”

– Joan Didion

So onto the golden 80s.

Here is a picture of my sister and my cousin in my grandmother’s house. That wallpaper is horrifying/awesome.

My mother at a friend’s house. The carpet, the lamp, the chairs. All amazing.

That’s me on the left. I’m totally jealous of my sister’s awesome t-shirt.

My parents gutted their kitchen in the 80s. This was the height of kitchen glamour. Some of it still works – I’d totally have those pendants in my house.


Californians in the 80s loved visiting New York (where we are here). I love my mother’s hair.

I would totally wear my brother’s “Hot” ensemble in this picture.

I love these old stacked stone walls, this one is on my great grandparents property in Upstate New York.

Hanging out with my dad in our front yard, looking for insects.

That’s me listening to the radio.

Californians love family portraits and often rely on props to tell the proper story.

Baby in a bucket.

My first birthday party. Californians love a good excuse to throw a huge party.

Classic my mother (that’s me in the backpack).

I’d like to go back in time so I could kidnap myself and dress me just like this.

In California, we bike everywhere.

My mother made all these costumes. Californians know that you really love your children you can never give them anything that’s store-bought or prefabricated.

My brother holding me. Then my head fell off.

Baby in a backpack. Enough said.

I love my mother’s dress here. She made it herself.

Californians in the 80s liked to grow their own vegetables. Just ask Alice Waters. We also had chickens. My parents hated them.

First day of school. Love those clothes!

I imagine that my mom made this shirt (she made a lot of our clothes) and I want another one.

This is when we moved into the wilderness, Yosemite National Park.

Total 80s wedding. Glamour.

My parents toasting their new house. In a denim skirt and vintage Patagonia.

Shoveling the first snow (this got old real quick).

My parents, always outdoors, cross-country skiing.

My siblings in our Yosemite backyard.

Dressed for an Easter wedding. Again, I’d totally wear this now.

Ok, so that’s 80s California according to my family.

Love,
Orlando

12 Comments

Filed under Life

12 Responses to The Golden State: 1980s

  1. LOVE it! So true. The retro eames furniture that is in stores now was the exact same design I learned to pull myself up on as a toddler! Love the pics! CM

  2. jeannette

    beautiful, thank you.

  3. angela

    I just read your whole blog. I love you, you are hilarious!

  4. I see that I was present at your first birthday party! Looking through I remembered so many childhood times. So nice!

  5. Renee

    I had almost the exact same shade of pink bridesmaid’s dresses at my 80’s wedding, only they were tea length and I made my bridesmaid’s wear pink lace gloves, and pale pink pantyhose with their pink, dyed-to-match silk shoes. Kill me now!! Like I tell people now, “It was the 80’s!”

  6. Ana

    I had the same Navy dress with the apples on it that your sister is wearing.

    Love these posts!

  7. ha! I came over to look at a tutorial about a lamp and found myself cry-laughing at your photos which are so much the same as my photos of the 80s its like we are related except somehow my familiy ended up in Australia. Then I laughed some more at the pictures of the people at the movies, but not for the same reasons. Your hipsters are even more hard core than our hipsters. Thank you. I like you. I will visit you again.

  8. Cruz

    I was dancing my ass off to Madonna, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul at the gay clubs in the 80s. Thankfully, all of the photographic evidence has been destroyed.

  9. Liz

    Oh you are amazing! I grew up in California in the ’80s, too, and am raising my son here now. I hopehopehope he enjoys his memories of here as much as you seem to enjoy yours.

  10. lovely family, smiles all around, golden childhood, you’re a lucky fella

  11. These photos are so “vegan.”

    “My brother holding me. Then my head fell off.” – made me laugh out loud.

  12. B2

    I just found you and I must say that I love you already. Good style, perfect amount of humor and randomness = win. Willing to be my new bff?
    Ok, no more creepiness from a random stranger, I promise.

    The pic of the living room: Pretty sure I would die happy if I had the sofa and chair. Weird? Maybe. That carpet gave me a horrible flashback.. of last month when I ripped it out of my rental. But mine had extra brown spots..

    Happy I found this blog Mr.!

Leave a Reply