Sweet 16 Reflections of Happiness

167905_1778247427037_2827614_nMy 16th year of life was probably the best of my whole teenage experience.  I was a junior in high school and life felt effortless and free.  This photo captures a lot of that.  I remember hanging out with friends, listening to a lot of 80’s hair bands like Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister, Poison, Cinderella, Ratt and the first band I got into, Van Halen, which by 1996 had broken up and were forming Van Hagar and David Lee Roth’s solo career.

Living in New Jersey, we listened to the NY Howard Stern radio, watched MTV, went to the mall, once in awhile took the bus or train into Manhattan down into the Village and of course, during the summer, went down the shore.

In NJ, you get a learner’s permit at 16 and a driver’s license at 17, so I remember being driven around a lot by friends that year, and then later, by my first ‘serious’ boyfriend, Brian Shook.  He was (and still is) totally into hockey, so I remember watching a lot of games on TV with him and his best friend.  We’d eat Twinkies and Yoo-Hoo, this chocolate shake like drink, I haven’t seen out here in the West, but I’m sure you could still probably find it.

My friend Ann-Marie (in the photo with me) and our other gal pals, Gina and Lynn went to an unforgettable rock concert together (I’ll have to scan the photos).  Stern’s radio station had a contest to win the chance for Bon Jovi to come play at their school.  The private school I had gone to won the contest and my Dad was on the Board of Directors, so he was able to score me 4 tickets.  It was like winner the teenage lottery!

All 4 of us got decked out in 80’s zebra stripe/leather skirts and big hair and got to have an intimate experience with my favorite band on the planet.  My friend Ann-Marie even jumped on Jon Bon when he was leaving to go into his limo.  And my Dad went into the band’s ‘green room’ (the boys gym locker room) and got Richie Sambora’s autograph for us.

It’s a year I’ll probably always cherish.  I’m grateful and of course incredibly happy when I reminisce about it!

Eileen Dey 2014

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