Welcome to Retro Ramblings

I’ve spent most of my adult life looking backward. Hell, I spent a lot of my teenage years looking backward. The difference is that while in my teens, I was looking back fondly on my childhood days a few years prior, and as an adult (allegedly) I spend my time looking back at both my teenage years AND my childhood.

I knew I was never really alone in doing this, but I spent a lot of years wandering around in the dark without many folks to talk about old stuff with. I first got online in 1996, but it took me until the year 2000 to discover nostalgia-based websites. Then blogs came along and I stumbled across a few of those whose primary focus was talking about stuff I liked from the ’80s and early ’90s. A couple of years after that, I discovered Retro-Daze and found out that I could actually share my own memories with a group of like-minded people.

So I started writing articles about things I enjoyed while growing up. I was a pretty fortunate kid who had a good childhood, and I found that I had plenty of inspiration for writing articles. My parents weren’t rich, or even well-off. But my dad’s business provided what I would call a comfortable lifestyle for the family. There was always food on the table, and new clothes when we needed them. When I was into something, like a toy line, I usually ended up with a decent amount of it to play with. So I was able to make a lot of positive memories from those days.

Fast forward a couple of years, and I had found several other bloggers and webmasters whose writing styles I started to emulate. I enjoyed that for a while, but I found that just writing about a “thing” for the sake of writing about it wasn’t fulfilling. I wasn’t sharing my own experiences with that “thing”. I was just writing for attention. And I grew to really dislike that. And after a while, I decided to end that phase of my nostalgia writing and focus instead on writing memories. Writing about stuff that I was actually passionate about instead of writing about something just because I think other people enjoyed it years ago.

Fast forward a couple of more years, and I ended up co-founding The Retro Network with Jason from Rediscover the ’80s. Jason and I clicked right away, and before long we were joined by a handful of other creators and now have a blossoming community of writers who share memories, along with writing features about “things”. It’s a nice blend. We also have several podcasts as part of the network, and even a dedicated YouTube channel that presents nostalgia-themed original videos. I’ve been so blessed to be able to be a part of that community and to help nurture it.

With The Retro Network being a place where I can just write about “things” when I want to, it frees me up to just share memories here at Retro Ramblings. And that’s what I intend to do. You shouldn’t really find random posts about “things” here. What you should find, I hope, are essays and articles from my heart, with plenty of memories to fill the space with.

I’ll be sharing memories of toys I had and some I didn’t but really wanted. Stories about Nintendo, G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, ’90s comic books, trading cards, and one of my favorite subjects of all…extinct junk food. There’ll be other stuff thrown in along the way too, I promise.

A lot of my nostalgia has to deal with my mom, who is now in a nursing home suffering from dementia. It’s a cruel disease, and I’ve watched it wipe away most of her memories. It saddens me tremendously that she can no longer remember all of the fun times she and I enjoyed together through the years. That is a big reason for doing Retro Ramblings. It’s kind of a tribute to her as I reminisce about the fun she helped make possible by buying me those toys, Nintendo games, and candies that can no longer be found.

So I hope you enjoy this winding trip down memory lane that I’m going to take you on. It’s going to be a fun ride.

– Mickey

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