I LOVE books like this one. Books that are personal and unique because they linger on the author’s own childhood experiences. Jason’s experiences come from a decade I also grew up in – which is, in principle, irrelevant. It could have been any decade because Jason does exactly what makes a good biography/memoir so delightful to read: He talks about the magical part of his childhood. Filled with details and quirks that create vivid images of the freedom that lucky children could experience, which was a hallmark of the ‘80s.
One might think the book would be about ‘80s movies and ‘80s games, but it’s not. It’s about time spent with friends and all those moments in the great outdoors. And it actually stirred up emotions in me. As a father of two, firmly entrenched by walls, work, and obligations, it’s nice to linger and be reminded of a time with fewer worries. As children, we had no idea what awaited us, and the lucky ones among us didn’t have much responsibility. It provided a fantastic opportunity to be in the moment.
I had to pause several times while reading and think about my own childhood. I saw myself cycling around and getting hurt, and I had to send a thought to my old friends. The picture that Jason included of his childhood friend, Tim, is touching because it tells the story of the many transitions we also had to go through as children – transitions that we had no control over.
I actually became a bit wiser about myself through this book. Wiser about why I write ‘80s-inspired action books. Wiser about why I still love physical films and computer games.
It’s about lingering. And lingering is perhaps one of the greatest freedoms that adults can experience. When we read. When we watch our children running around on the lawn with plastic swords. When we buy toys from our own childhood. When we meet someone who also collected something absurd when they were little and we suddenly talk about it for two hours.
There is nothing sad about growing up. It’s beautiful that life has transitions. But I am convinced that you need to remember to pause from time to time and reflect on things. And here, Jason’s book was a fantastic pause. A soul cleanser.
The Book Is a Tiny Part of Jason’s Odyssey
Fortunately, the book is just a small part of Jason’s endeavor. He runs an entire website where he shares ‘80s pop culture and writes cool articles. He makes podcasts. He has an amazing newsletter that can quickly send you on numerous retro journeys. But that’s just the beginning. With Mickey Yarber, he has also created “The Retro Network,” He has a YouTube channel, and is, of course, active on a variety of social media.
Jason’s website, “Rediscover the ‘80s,” is a great place to start if you need to linger. But also if you need to meet other people and relive a bit of your childhood freedom.
Jason’s project emphasizes that you can actually do the same things now as you could in your childhood. That the joyful freedom is not a closed chapter. If you let go of yourself a bit more and allow yourself to enjoy the little things again. If you let yourself be infected by others’ enthusiasm.
It’s healthy, and it’s good for the mind. And people like Jason make it possible.
Thank you for that.
Details about the Book
- Title: Biking To Buzzard’s And Other ‘80s Childhood Adventures
- Author: Jason Gross
- Publication date: October 8, 2016
- Edition: Kindle