by Curtis Lanclos
38 years ago today (August 13, 1982), two “coming of age” events occurred in my life…
First of all, I turned 16 years of age. Yes, finally I was officially licensed to drive. A few months later, I obtained my first car; an AMC Gremlin.
Also, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was released in theaters! This film follows a group of high school students growing up in southern California, based on the real-life adventures chronicled by screenwriter Cameron Crowe. One of the characters, Mike Damone (played by Robert Romanus), also drove an AMC Gremlin.
Coincidence you say? Yeah, probably.
Anyway, Fast Times is on my short list of my favorite ’80s “coming of age” comedy films. I have had the privilege of meeting three members of the cast from this movie. First of all, there’s Judge Reinhold (aka Brad Hamilton), whom I met at DragonCon 2016.
The other two actors, Amanda Wyss (aka Lisa) and Robert Romanus (aka Mike Damone), I met at my favorite yearly RETRO vacation event; 80s in the Sand!
I have talked extensively about 80s in the Sand in previous blog posts. At the second edition of this event in 2018, several of us “Sanders” (the nickname given to those who attend this event) banded together and dressed up as characters from the 1984 comedy film Bachelor Party. Tawny Kitaen, who previously starred in the movie and also appeared at the 80s in the Sand event, joined us for a photo shoot. The post documenting that memorable night can be found HERE.
At the 2019 80s in the Sand, several of us decided to come together again for a group costume; this time we would celebrate characters from Fast Times at Ridgemont High! Amanda Wyss and Robert Romanus joined us for photos taken by staff photographer Kelley Sweet and company. Just as it was with Tawny and the 2018 Bachelor Party group costume, this was a lot of fun. Amanda even seemed to be on the verge of tears a few times!
I had the distinct honor of playing Mike Damone in this ensemble. Well, that is if you consider playing a “little prick” to be an honor. Hahaha!
Instead of muddying up this blog post with several more individual photos, here is a photo montage video documenting this great evening…
This kind of camaradarie surrounding the movies and music we love is just a small sampling of what YOU can expect from this marvelous annual vacation! The next 80s in the Sand event will occur October 25-30, 2021. You can find out more at www.thesands.rocks. Come and join us; you too can relive your glory days!
Read my summary of the very first 80s in the Sand (2017) HERE!