Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1985 Part One – Houston Arrival, TGI Friday’s, New Apartment, New Friends by Sally Cronin

I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.

1985 – Houston Arrival  – TGI Friday’s – New Appartment – New Friends

If you read  last week’s post you will know that we had a bit of a shock in the November when David was made redundant. My small part-time job was not sufficient so we both started looking for new options. However, before we could get serious David was telephoned by a former boss and asked if you would like to go to Houston in Texas for two years in a sales role, selling optical fibre to US companies.

We leapt at the chance and despite only being in our little house for six months we hurriedly organised a family Christmas and then put all our belongings into storage for two years paid for by the company. The house was put up for sale and thankfully went quickly so that we were not paying a huge mortgage whilst abroad.

We packed two moderate suitcases each and boarded the eleven hour flight from London to Houston, arriving late at night. The company had booked us into the Marriott at Greenspoint and David decided that I could drive (on the right hand side of the road for the first time) whilst he navigated. Nobody told us that Green’s Road was about 25 miles long.

Thankfully I managed to get us there in one piece and we checked in and collapsed into bed absolutely exhausted.

The next morning we had our first taste of Texas hospitality in TGI Friday’s which was across from the hotel in the largest shopping Mall that I had ever seen (heaven). We have been fans of the food chain ever since including in the UK and I will never forget our waiter Jesus (pronounced Hesus) and his impeccable service.

David was in at the deep end and after one day in the local office for the company was off on a plane to the west coast whilst I was on a mission to find a temporary apartment. We then planned to take our time looking for just the right place to live for the next two years and luckily I found a very nice one-bed studio close by.

I moved all our stuff across and acquainted myself with the local supermarkets and was astonished by the abundance of fresh produce. It was amazing but one thing puzzled me. There were some horses tied up outside and there were cowboys walking around in full regalia including guns in holsters. Now I had been brought up on Westerns and I like nothing better than seeing a real life good-looking cowboy but I had assumed that those days were behind us. Eventually I asked a cashier why they were around and was told it was Rodeo Week… Okay then!

After viewing a number of apartment complexes we settled on a two bedroom home in The Chancellor Apartments in Parramatta Lane off I-45 and that turned out to be a fantastic decision. Here is David in front of our apartment complex looking very pleased with himself.

The people we met in the complex were amazingly friendly and adopted us immediately leading to the establishment of a regular round of pool parties and outings. Here we are by the pool which was our popular weekend hangout and eventually after some training, I was very honoured to be included in the guy water volley ball team.. My nickname was Sledgehammer!

Weekends were also for Pappasito’s Mexican restaurant where they accommodated our large number by cordoning off the back part of the floor

Next week some of our travels in 1985 across America, visitors and a close call with some very miffed fireants.

The music in the US at the time was slightly different to the UK charts but there were still the usual artists that dominated the charts. David was away quite a bit with his job and to be honest it took me a while to get the hang of cable television. I was used to three main channels at the time and forty left me bemused. So I watched MTV and listened to the local music radio stations and quickly got into a little country. Here are some of the hits of that year.

Wham and George MichaelCareless Whisper, Madonna Like a Virgin, Foreigner I Want To Know What Love Is, Paul YoungEverytime You Go Away, StarshipWe Built This City, Huey Lewis and the News The Power of Love, Whitney HoustonSaving All My Love For You, USA for AfricaWe Are The World, Phil CollinsOne More Night, The Pointer Sisters Neutron Dance, Billy Ocean Suddenly, Tina Turner – Better Be Good To Me and the one I am going to feature today. Something to bring some summer back into your lives. Katrina and the Waves Walking on Sunshine.

David was home most weekends and we headed out to the movies which of course were usually released several months before the UK. This enabled me to send back reviews in my weekly letters to home.

Top at the Box Office were Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, Witness, The Color Purple, Rambo First Blood Part Two and RockyIV. Cocoon , Commando, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Mask and an all time favourite of mine and tissue manufacturers.. Out of Africa. Here is the theme from this wonderful film


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week for 1985 part two..