retro photo month :: day twenty-five


circa 1989There are invisible strings attaching me to New Kids on the Block. I’ve tried to cut them; for years I’ve tried to put this period of my life into the past for good. But, just as Pacino said, they keep pulling me back in. It all began the year this photo was taken: 1989. First it was just a love for their single, “The Right Stuff,” and then a larger interest in the group itself. But after that it snowballed, as so many of my interests do, and I was suddenly obsessed with everything about them. And my college roommate (pictured here in mid-sentence, bless her) was unfortunate enough to be sucked into the vortex, as well. On the night this photo was taken we were headed out to a New Kids concert — my second that year — and I was fully immersed in all things NKOTB. Underneath that bowler I’m wearing was a very short hairstyle with the lower half buzzed to almost nothing and featuring single horizontal stripes shaved from the temples to a single point at the base of my hairline in the back (like Jordan Knight once sported). In my left ear were four piercings — rhinestone studs in the cartilage at the top curve and in the center cartilage of the ear and in the lower lobe, just above my regular piercing for costume jewelry — which mirrored Donnie Walhberg’s own ear piercings. It went further for years afterward, my obsession spilling over into dreams, even. I was 20 years old at the beginning of this phenomenon, and though I eventually tired of the music and moved on to other obsessions, I never could quite find release from the New Kids. Actually, I should say that I couldn’t find release from Wahlberg. He’s the one I seem inherently tied to. The one I can’t seem to resist when he pops up in movies or tv. It started quite unexpectedly, actually, when I was finally past any form of interest in the group but then saw him in the movie Ransom. I was shocked to find him acting. And I felt it necessary to seek out his other projects because the curiosity just got the best of me. But then, years later, he appeared in Band of Brothers, and then Boomtown, and he was really, really good in both. Since then I’ve been a sucker for anything he does. I even had to check out the New Kids’ “comeback” project a couple of years ago. As I said, the curiosity just kills me. After all these years, I’m a sucker for the group, and still a fan of Wahlberg. I think it boils down to one thing, something that can be seen in this photo: being a fan was a shared experience at a time in my life when everything seemed dark and hopeless. But these guys made me happy when very little else did.

this month’s photos

eighties hair senior year, high school sophomore year, high school sophomore year, high school
grade 8 middle school drill team circa 1980 grade 6 grade 5
scouts bluebird sisters granddaughters and the matriarch three 70s sisters
sisters in plaid sisters, circa 1972 circa 1971 me, circa 1971 circa 1970
me and my sisters back at the Texas State Capitol Senate Chamber, Texas State Capitol at the Texas State Capitol summer photo day one

Retro Photo Month was inspired by Elizabeth Dillow. Be sure to check out her own collection at {a swoop and a dart}.


About Jules Q

sharing stories of life, faith, and love for pop culture

Posted on 25 July 2010, in Stories I Tell and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I smile more and more with each of these retro posts. Love getting the background on this stuff! 🙂



  2. Am I guilty of not explaining the invisible strings to you? shame You should make a list of things you want to know more about so I’ll know what to write! 🙂


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