You know you were a kid in the 80’s in Beaumont… if…
I was a kid in the late 80’s and early 90’s living in Southeast Texas. I wanted to be a Goonie and my wardrobe consisted of Hypercolor shirts and slap bracelets. From the Rogers Park pool to Friday nights skating, Beaumont is where I made most of my childhood memories. It’s why I love Beaumont so much and if you were around then - you probably do too.
1. The Pool at Rogers Park: When I was a kid, Rogers Park had a huge cement pool where all the kids would gather to play. From what I remember, it was only about three feet deep. And it was always full of leaves. My dad would always make a deal with me that we would stop by the Rogers Park pool for 15 minutes before heading to the nearby YMCA. At the Y, I was a tadpole, guppy and eventually made it to shark status in the swimming lessons I took each summer.
2. Banana Clips and Ear Piercing: Just like every other kid in the 80’s we spent a lot of time at Parkdale Mall. It was where I finally got up the nerve to get my ears pierced. I swear I spent half of my allowance each week at the Claire’s getting banana hair clips, slap bracelets and best friend necklaces. Back then, the area near Parkdale was a huge wooded area with a patch of grass by the parking lot. If we were lucky, we would see deer peeking out and running around in the field. (Does anyone else remember this??)
3. Tight Rolled (acid wash) Jeans and Skating: Mannings Texas on Wheels was THE place to be on a Friday night if you were a kid in the 80’s/early 90’s in Beaumont. We would spend HOURS skating, taking part in the races, slow dances and of course, doing the hokey-pokey. We would also sometimes bring our sticker books and trade stickers. Of course, the puffy or smelly stickers were my favorite.
4. Bike Riding: My dad and I would take long bike rides and head to the little league parks on Sallie Curtis and Amelia school grounds. We lived in a neighborhood by Amelia, so it was always a fun trip! We often would stop at the KP off college street to grab a snack. Some of us would bring along notepads and sit around playing the game “MASH” (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House). Of course, my bike had rainbow streamers and those plastic ball things on the spokes that moved up and down making a lot of noise when you rode. (and helmet? what helmet?)
5. Picking out a VHS: We would always stop by the video store by Market Basket (what was the name? Movie Time?) and pick out a movie. I LOVED taking time to read the backs of all of the tapes to see which movie we would bring home. If we were lucky, my dad would buy popcorn too. Although really, all I ever watched to watch anyway was Full House or Saved By The Bell.
6. Sunday in the Park: Sundays meant church, fried chicken and kid art activities by the river in the park. We would bring our lunch and hang out with other families while doing art and having fun!
Being a freelance writer for the Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau has given me the chance to appreciate all the things Beaumont has to offer now and to reflect on the great times I had there growing up. Being a kid in the 80’s / early 90’s was THE BEST.