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Yesterday I spent the day cleaning out the room that is generously called "the library" which in fact had become a repository for all the unwanted rugs, furniture and bits of detritus that couldn't find a home in some other part of the house. (The living room has now become the haven for the pile of lamps, artwork and such that are not quite decrepit enough to throw away, but are too embarrassing to include in a yard sale.)

One of the boxes I uncovered contained a set of china (the real stuff that you can see your hand through when you hold it up to the light) that I don't remember ever having seen before. The box has my aunt's handwriting on it, so I'm thinking that this is something she foisted onto me when I wasn't paying attention. Perhaps after I had just given birth.

The dishes are all wrapped in newspaper marked The Sunday Times, July 17 1983. That would be The Trenton (New Jersey) Times, an afternoon paper we received every day even though we lived in Pennsylvania. Both of my parents were from New Jersey and had a strong allegiance that state - they had both gone to what was then Trenton State Teachers College and then to Rutgers for their graduate work, and I was born in Mercer Hospital in Trenton. Apparently Pennsylvania was still a frontier land at that time and did not have any medical facilities that didn't have mud roofs.

Back to the newspaper. So what was the news of the day almost 23 years ago? Well, the piece of the paper I have in front of me was from the Sunday magazine section and shows that these movies were playing:
- Octopussy
- Return of the Jedi
- Trading Places
- Snow White
- Stroker Ace
- Flashdance
- Psycho II
- Twilight Zone, The Movie (the story in which there was a shot of a little girl who had no mouth still creeps me out)
- Staying Alive
- Porkys II, The Next Day

The largest theater had five screens and there were three drive-ins listed. Movie prices ranged from $2.00 to $2.50. David Copperfield was playing at the "New, Very Civilized Playboy Hotel & Casino" in Atlantic City. Emmylou Harris and Harry Belafonte were playing at the Valley Forge Music Fair, which is now the site of a Borders, a furniture store and a restaurant. David Bowie was performing at the Spectrum - tickets were $12.50 - $15.00. You could also have seen Tom Jones, Debbie Reynolds, Ann-Margret, Connie Stevens, Carol Lawrence, Melissa Manchester, Jerry Vale, Suzanne Somers, or Roberta Flack in Atlantic City. You could have traveled to Cancun for $289 (includes airfare and accommodations).

This was all from four pages of the paper - I can't wait to see what the rest of it contains.

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