#ThrowbackThursday: It’s a Cruel Summer

#Throwback Thursday: It’s a Cruel Summer

By Gina Conkle

Now that summer’s here, is your mental sound track playing fun, breezy songs? Mine is.

Recently I was at the beach with my youngest son and an old favorite came to mind, Cruel Summer. My son asked why I was smiling, so I hummed/sang a version to him.



If you were alive and aware in the ‘80s you might recall the British girl band, Bananarama. Their music was my anthem (and Prince’s 1999). I bonded with a chemistry partner over those albums. And when I wasn’t being academic, I danced. A lot. In fact, I danced my a@# off to those songs and had way too much fun doing it.

With the birth of MTV, songs and music videos really took me from one end of the ‘80s to the other.



A flood of memories came with remembering Cruel Summer, goofy memories that still make me laugh. Among those recollections are big hair and big shoulder pads. Just look at the girl below. With the gown you can’t tell, but underneath I sported a navy blue dress with shoulder pads that’d make a linebacker proud.



That’s me and my mom at my college graduation (toward the end of the decade). Interestingly, the ‘80s is the only era my mom permed her hair.

As for my locks, height was the thing. Notice the strategic placement of my cap? No way was my mortar board touching those carefully coiffed bangs styled three inches off my forehead thanks to some serious hairspray. I fixed my bangs everyday be it for work, school, or a night on the town.

And while we’re on the subject of a night on the town, I need to share my most suave, ultra-cool 1980s-ness with you.

Meet The Couch



In that glorious decade, my parents let me take over their blue Buick Regal diesel station wagon. My super hip vehicle was nicknamed The Couch because riding in the behemoth reminded my friend, Jeanette, of sitting on her mom’s couch.

Because of my big comfy ride, I was often elected driver. Just picture us…

We’d roll down the windows and blast the radio. A bazillion of my girlfriends fit inside the monster. They’d pile in and off we’d go to dance clubs and other “social events.” With all the perfume and hairspray going on, that’s the only time the inside “out-scented” the outside.

Did I mention the car was diesel? My friends would joke that they could hear and smell me coming long before they saw me. And for the record, the above picture is not an official photo of The Couch. For some reason, cameras and my vehicle were never in the same vicinity. Hmmmm…I wonder why?

But, the coolness lives on – at least in my head. What’s going on in yours? Any summer beats lifting your mood and bringing back memories of another time?

My book, Norse Jewel, takes place one summer long, long ago. You won’t find hairspray and motorized vehicles in the story, but you will find a hot wolf-eyed Viking named Hakan doing his best to win the heart of a woman named Helena. I invite you to check out the excerpt on Entangled’s Facebook page.

Cheers to you, Reader! ~Gina




A lover of history, books and romance makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer.  Gina’s passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations.  Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll.  When not visiting interesting places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.

If you’re meandering the cyber world, Gina welcomes your visits at www.ginaconkle.com, on twitter @ginaconkle, or Facebook.



Check out an excerpt to Norse Jewel on our Facebook Page!


About Author

6 Replies on #ThrowbackThursday: It’s a Cruel Summer

  • Ah the memories! I was prone to singing Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” into a hairbrush while sliding sexily (read “clumsily”) down the side of a wardrobe. The Couch looks wonderful!

  • Hi Maggie,
    I love it! That’s the sign of a great song if we’re still belting them out a few decades later. I threatened my husband with playing “Air Supply” in our current family vehicle, but was vetoed by all. Funny that connection – music and cars. And, you know what? The couch was wonderful. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comments. Keep rocking those tunes, Maggie!

  • I love the song Cruel Summer by Bananarama. I also love the song Summertime by Will Smith and it reminds me of summer too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.