40 and over QOTW: What was your favorite holiday gift?

Hey #40AndOver peeps! Think back to what your favorite holiday gift was growing up. And now that you are an adult, what has been the best gift you’ve received? Please share below. Can’t wait. My favorites are my ten speed bike with the curved handle bars (back in the day) and anything my parents ever gifted me (as an adult). Your turn! #BestGifts #the40andoverproject #HelloDecember #GiftGivingSeason

Back To School Shopping. Old School Edition

As parents prep to send kids back to school (or not) during this pandemic, I thought I would share some memories I think some of you might appreciate.

Back to school shopping back in the 1980s, was an annual event, that involved parents taking their kids to local popular department stores to get the best deals on clothes, shoes, and school supplies for their growing boys and girls for the new school year.

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and shopping local, was a thing, long before it was a thing. My friends and I often wax nostalgic over stores like Gold Circle (which I’m convinced became Target) and Value City, both Ohio and Midwest based chains, that were very popular in the 70s and 80s. Also, I’m old enough to remember the onset of “the mall”, which was a new phenomenon for a generation who was used to the “one-stop shop” department store concept, which, ironically, has made a comeback through stores like Target and Walmart.

Another thing my generation grew up on, was the catalog. There was the JC Penney and Sears catalogs. These catalogs were not unlike the size of a phone book and was very much the precursor to online ordering so your mother either called the 1-800 number to place your order or you pressed her luck with a mail-in order form and pray the item wasn’t on back order by the time the form reached the warehouse.

Also, I would be remiss, if I did not give a shout out to the Sears store, and the Garanimals clothing line for kids. What made Garanimals awesome was the concept they created for coordinating and color matching through the use of animal figures on the hang tags. This, to me, was a genius concept. It was like the Sesame Street of clothing, teaching kids about colors and matching through fashion. I loved it.

Unfortunately, the 21st century and the onset of online shopping, has seen the demise of multiple large department stores and catalogs that were once the stallworth of shopping for a whole generation. A piece of nostalgia, that recently filed for bankruptcy is J. Crew. If you are #40AndOver and attended college in #the90s, you probably remember receiving a #JCrewCatalog in your dorm/residence hall. It was probably the first catalog that catered to the college age student, so unlike the JC Penney and Sears catalogs of our parents and grandparents day. It was a hallmark of life on campus. I never ordered anything from them and I’m guessing not many of my friends did nor this current generation, because, unlike the JC Penney catalog (or Penny’s as my grandmother liked to call them), J. Crew was super expensive so really, most of us just looked at the pictures, it was actually more like a magazine for us, more of an aspiration, if you will, that was delivered monthly to our student mailboxes and front desks in our dorms. As J. Crew goes by way of JC Penney and others, the only thing left will be the memories of a whole generation who defined the what “Back To School” shopping really meant.

#the40andoverproject #OldSchool #memorabilia

Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder

May 13, 2020 marked the 70th Birthday of the musical icon, #StevieWonder. As a person who grew up in the 70s and 80s, his music was a part of the soundtrack of my life. Some of my favorite songs are Sir Duke, Master Blaster Jammin, Living For the City, All I Do, Ribbon In The Sky, just to name a few. What are your favorites? #HappyBirthdayStevieWonder #OldSchool #the40andoverproject #theclique

A 50th Commemoration. May 4th, 1970

If you are my age, 47, and if you especially attended Kent State University, you for sure, know the date, May 4th, 1970. That’s the date that four students at Kent State, were shot and killed during protests over the Vietnam War. As a student at Kent State University, every year, the university provides a retrospective of that day. If May 4th fell on a weekday, like today, classes would be postponed at 12 noon so that students could participate in educational remembrance events and activities with special guests, etc. I remember being a student on campus during the 25th anniversary, featuring the show 20/20 as well as the 60s singing group, Peter, Paul, and Mary. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that fateful day. This date will forever be seered into anyone’s mind, who has been connected with Kent State University. It’s also important to the larger history of protest and unrest in America, particularly that of the Civil Rights movement, since Black students were also in the middle of their own protest for equality on campus during this time. 1970 also marks the only other time that state universities in Ohio were closed for the remainder of the semester (much like the shutdowns for our current Coronavirus Quarantine situation). As a result, just like now, I learned during my professional work in Alumni Relations, the Class of 1970 at many universities in Ohio, did not have a formal graduation. As a Class of 97 graduate of Kent state University, I am always cognizant of our controversial history, but I realize that, this history, is part of what made me an active and aware student, made me a student activist and advocate for change, and what made me a proud alumni #KentStateForever

I encourage you to visit the link here to find out more about the history of Kent State and May 4th, 1970. A tattered history. #50yearslater #KentStateUniversity #MyAlmaMater

https://www.kent.edu/may4kentstate50