Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: 1980s

Turned 50 Years Old

Working on the bar-b-q pit

I recently turned 50 years old, and life has not turned out like what I had expected. When I graduated high school and went to work, I believed that if someone worked hard, and was a dedicated employee, the employer would treat you well. That was all a lie. Pretty much everything I was taught in school had been a lie. The only thing that was not a lie, was going to college.

In 1986 when I graduated high school, shipyards along the gulf coast had collapsed due to switching to OPEC for our oil production. I thought a young man could leave high school, apply himself, and everything would be ok. It was a fantasy that was no longer realistic.

1994 was when I decided to go to college. I was working at a welding shop in Southwest Louisiana that did not provide any real benefits. There was no vacation time, just a few paid holidays, no 401k, and no health insurance for my family. Something had to change. I had been working in various welding shops for eight years, and knew they were a dead end. So I went to Lamar College and talked to them.

Paladin Press Closing Its Doors An Icon Fades Away

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

Some of the people reading this post may not even know who Paladin Press is, much less care they are going out of business. This is truly a sad time, as independent publishers like Paladin Press kept information flowing into the survivalist community during the dark ages of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Let’s go back to the 1980s and 1990s.

After the end of the Cold War things were good. The Soviet Union had been defeated without ever firing a round, the economy was going good, and overall, life was grand. Being a survivalist was ok.

Then along came Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City incident. When it came out Timothy had been a member of a survivalist group, all of a sudden “survivalist” was a bad name. Main stream publications dropped certain advertisers who sold to the survivalist community.

What Was Your First Survival Knife

Around 1984,I went to GI Surplus in Orange Texas and bought my first survival knife. The store is no longer in business, which is a shame. They had a good selection of military surplus.

When I got the knife home I was so proud. It was like a turning point in a young mans life, I had bought my first knife.

The knife I bought was a Valor brand name. At the base of the blade it is stamped “Valor Miami, USA” on one side. On the other side it is stamped “440 Stainless, 599 Japan, camo”.

What’s It Like To Be Past Middle Age

Kevin Felts, blogger

At 46 years old I consider myself a little past middle age. That is unless I live to be at least 92 years old. So who knows, I might not even be at middle age yet.

Even at such a young age I look back and realize how much water has gone under the bridge. I wonder how I will feel when I am in my 60s or even 70s, that is if I live that long.

I often wonder how my mom and dad feel about how much things have changed in their lifetime? My dad did not get electricity and running water until he was somewhere around 6 years old. What is it like going from kerosene lamps and an outhouse to computers and the internet?

The past 19 years, from 1995 – 2014, humanity has made leaps and bounds with technology. We went from dial-up internet to smart phones in less than a generation. I look forward to what scientist will develop in the next 20 years.

Even as technology makes the world smaller and we are able to keep up with friends and family members easier, age old problems still exist. We still need jobs, we still worry about getting sick, we still worry about our kids, we still need to pay our bills, etc, the list goes on and on.

Maybe one day we can buy clones to work in our place? Then the cry baby liberals will complain about the clones civil rights and how they should not be used as slaves.

1980s vs 1990s

The 1980s seem so long ago

Why do the 1980s seem so long ago? But then again, it seems like only a few weeks ago I was finishing high school and entering the workforce.

In all honesty I miss the 1980s. I do not miss how Reganomics destroyed the ship building industry in southeast Texas, particularly in Beaumont and Orange Texas.

I miss the music,
I miss skinny women,
I miss talking to people face-to-face,
I miss how people had real interaction with each other, interaction that has been replaced by the internet,
I miss cheap gas,
I miss the friendships I had in school,
Did I mention the music?

The 80s had some great music, great clothes, we knew had to have fun without drugs.

Have I mentioned the music,

Reaching middle age

At 44 years old, chances are I have more years behind me then in front of me. I feel no different then I did when I was in my 20s, except that I need more sleep and my weight is getting more difficult to control.

When I was 17, 18, 19,, years old I could eat just about anything I wanted. Now I eat that kind of stuff and my stomach hurts. Eat some greasy chicken nuggets and my stomach gets tore up.

Instead of thinking about what I wanted to do when I grow up, I am thinking about my retirement in 20 years. Its simply amazing how the years creep by unnoticed.

When I look back, I realize how I was totally unprepared to enter the workforce in the mid-1980s. Besides reading, writing and math, the public school system taught no real life skills. Mom and dad were at work, so the time they had to teach life skills was limited.

In my late teens and early 20s I thought the thing to do was to get married and have kids. So do you have kids when you are financially stable, or when you are young and healthy? I picked to have kids when I was young and healthy. Some of the people I went to school with have kids in jr. high, while all but one of mine have finished high school.

I wish society had not lied to me about the value of hard work. Society says if you work hard, that work will be recognized and rewarded. Rewarded with what, a life of poverty?

Rain in June

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistEvery time we get rain in June I think about a 3 day camping trip some of my buddies and I went on back in June of 1985. We were a bunch of kids who loaded in a boat, traveled the backwaters of a bayou close to Bridge City Texas, picked out a camping spot, and spent 3 days in the woods. The only day we did not get rained on was the last day, the day we went home.

There were five of us – Allen, David, Jim, Kevin and Kevin. Between the 5 of us, we had 2 – 2 man tents. Which meant that one tents was going to be rather packed.

The three day camping trip is one of those times that you look back and wish you had kept a journal. Or at the very least brought a camera and taken some pics. I am not sure what day did we left on or what day did we got back. I think the trip was in June 1985, but can not prove it. School was out, and it was summer time, so the trip was sometime in June, July or August.

My gear included – some cans of food, sleeping bag, Montgomery Ward Western Field Model 550AL 12 gauge pump shotgun and some birdshot ammunition. Sometime around the camping trip I bought one of those hollow handled survival knives. I do not remember if I bought my survival knife before or after the camping trip. It has been over 25 years since my buddies and I went on the camping trip. Fading memories is just one of those things that happens.

Everyone knew we were in for a wet weekend. I had a small green backpack with a couple of cans of food, and my sleeping bag that was inside a plastic trash bag. The camping trip was supposed to be a true “roughing it” experience. We brought as little gear as possible – each person brought some kind of sleeping bag, a few cans of food, shotgun or 22 rifle, change of clothes, knife, flashlight, canteen with water purification tablets and that was about it.

Beware the conspiracy theory trap

Conspiracy theories are like a disease, once they a foothold, they spread like wildfire. Unlike a virus, people have a choice whether they want to be infected with a conspiracy theory.

In the 1990s conspiracy theories spread like wildfire. But the gubberment supplied plenty of fuel for those fires. We had NAFTA, GATT, Waco an Ruby Ridge to help fan the flames of conspiracy theories.

When bill clinton did a flip flop on NAFTA, a lot of people saw that as a sign that big business had bought the U.S. government. Here we are 18 years after NAFTA was signed, and not much has changed. Big business still owns the U.S. government, the banks still get bailed out and wall street still gets bailed out from time to time.

As long as the 2 major parties stay in control, nothing is ever going to change, so there is no use in worrying about it.

I want the 1980s back

Screw the 2000s and the 2010s, I want the 1980s back.

In the 1980s we had real music,
the women were skinny,
people could afford to buy a home,
and life seemed good.

It seems that ever since George Bush jr took office and the 9/11 attacks, things started going downhill.

Comparing the 1980s to 2012, I have to ask myself, what the hell happened?

Banks are pushing flexible mortgage rates, then jacking the rates up so high that people can not afford to buy a home.

The U.S. has entered into another Vietnam conflict. Here we are 11 years after the attacks on the Twin towers in 2001, and we still have troops in the middle east. On top of this decade long war, we are looking at attacking Iran?

What the hell is going on here? Can’t we just have peace?

There was once a time when people were afraid to attack the U.S. These days, it seems everyone is ready to take a pot shot at us. We need a real president, a president with some balls to get the job done.

I want the 1980s back, when men were men, women were women and terrorist were afraid to come out of their holes.

The Drop in HIV Awareness

deer standOver the past weekend my wife and I were talking about how times have changed since the 1980s. In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, news on HIV/AIDS was everywhere you turned. The news was talking about the latest stars that died from the disease (like Freddy Mercury), scientist were still trying to figure out how the disease was spread and how easily it was spread,,,,,. Fast forward 20 years, and almost nobody is talking about HIV/AIDS – unless your in a high risk group, know someone with HIV, or you grew up in the 1980s.

Add to that Foxnews posted an article about 1 in 5 urban gay and bisexual men have HIV.

Neither my wife or I are bisexual or gay, but the changing of the times does make for an interesting conversation. I guess the public interest in HIV/AIDS is a good example.

The Mindset of Radical Survivalist

Kevin Felts political commentator

The 1970s and the 1980s were interesting times for survivalist. The threat of nuclear war with Russia was a clear and present danger. Russia was in Afghanistan getting its butt kicked by a bunch of nomads. Duck and cover public service announcements were broadcast on TV. Soldier of Fortune magazine and American Survival Guide was the reading material of the day. But it was in the 1990s and beyond when things really got “interesting.”

The 1980s

When I was in high school (1982 – 1986), the dad of one of my friends seemed a little “radical” to say the least. If not radical, maybe just very, very paranoid. This was before I had very much knowledge or experience in stuff like the New World Order (NWO) and conspiracy theories.

This happened about 23 years ago, but I am going to try and tell the story the best that my memory serves me.

The father of my buddy had busted holes in the walls of the house, then stuck a rifle into the hole. He said if the feds ever come to get him, he wanted a firearm within reach. So there was a gun in the wall of every room. Even while sitting on the toilet there was a firearm within reach.

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