I just heard the news that John Hughes has died. For those of us who came of age in the eighties, his name means more than the movies. It brings back a whole slew of memories: names of boys and girls we knew, and places they took us, and the things we did and didn’t do.
It was Sven Delaney’s mother who drove, I remember that clearly. This was 1984, a hot Saturday in Mobile, Alabama, and Sven and his mother picked me up in a station wagon, one of those long sleek numbers with wood paneling and little silver ashtrays filled with secret cigarette butts. I was thirteen years old, and it was officially my first date.
Late in the afternoon, Mrs. Delaney dropped me and Sven off at the East entrance to Springdale Mall, with instructions to meet her in that exact location in exactly two and a half hours. I wore a slouch top that my mother had made, with a purple plastic necklace I’d ordered from the Esprit catalogue. I have no idea what Sven wore. It did not matter. I loved him, which meant of course that I did not truly see him. He was tall and blonde and had an interesting name, and that was enough for me. (more…)