People … People Who Read People

My friend Leona recently downsized — her grandson bought the house where she’d lived for 40 years, and she and her husband headed to a new villa. This involved lots of going through boxes. Daughter #3 and I went to help one day, and Leona handed me a 1987 issue of People magazine. It was a fascinating look back. At that point in time, I had just graduated from college and was in my first month of gainful employment at Parisian department store in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.

I’ve always been a fan of People, and really, who can resist it? It’s junk food for the reader. It’s something you can read as pure fluff, no concentration or thinking required. But my, how it’s changed over the years. And I didn’t even realize it.

Liberace People magazine 1987This particular issue was a look back at Liberace, who had recently died. I noted that, other than the cover, virtually nothing in the magazine (except ads) was in color. If there’s anyone who cries out for a color photo, it’s Liberace. Yet there he is, in all his glory — in black and white.

Elton John weddingIn other fun trivia, Elton John’s vow renewal — to a woman! — was mentioned. I had forgotten he’d married a woman, if I’d ever even known. I learn that curbing rumors of divorce, Elton John and wife Renate are renewing their wedding vows on Valentine’s Day, their third anniversary. I kind of pity Renate …

Benson & Hedges cigarette ad 1987 Remember when magazines were full of cigarette ads? This issue was full of them, and they were one of the few spots of color. Gotta love the fashions and permed hair as well.

Lisa Nichols Berek ugly sweaters 1987Boy, this article took me back. Now, they’re mocked as “ugly sweaters.” In 1987? Sweaters as art canvases were a thing of beauty. I had plenty: a sweater featuring watches and clocks. A sweater with children of the world. Being a teacher just fed the outrageous fashion sense. Ah well, it was part of the era. And again, if there’s ever something that cries out for a color photo, it’s the ugly sweater. I wonder what the designer, Lisa Nichols for Berek, is doing now. A google search just turns up a bunch of stuff from the ’80s.

Did you have any ugly sweaters? Or have you noticed any ways magazines have changed since the ’80s?

4 thoughts on “People … People Who Read People

  1. Yes, I had several ugly sweaters, especially the “big sweaters” that came all of the way down over the buttocks! Oh my, the memories of those almost make me blush. My worst sweaters of all were the ugly Christmas sweaters. I must have had about 6 of them, buying a new one each year as a teacher for awhile. Of course, that was back in the day when classrooms could still be decorated for all of the holidays, including religious ones! The students loved the classroom Christmas tree, trading of gifts, parties, and all of that good stuff! Happily, I retired in 1997 because shortly after that Christmas never dared be mentioned in school again.

    I am glad that Susan enjoyed the old copy of PEOPLE 1987 so much! Apparently, I had kept that particular copy so long due to the Liberace feature. I had seen him in person at Allen County Memorial Coliseum when I was a teenager, and I remember staying up to well after midnight to wait in line for Liberace’s autograph on my program book. As a mater of fact, I still have that autograph somewhere here in the new villa among other items of similar interest. Hmmmmm….maybe I can find another old magazine around here to inspire another history lesson. 🙂

  2. Like Lisa Nichols, I was a Southerner working in the garment business and would see her at various regional
    shows. I have completely lost track of her and am trying to locate her. Have you made any progress at finding her?

  3. Lisa Nichols is alive and well and living in New England. Email me if you’d like to make contact.

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