I remember when the calendar rolled over to the year 1990. The "nineties" seemed so futuristic for some reason. My dad and his dear friend were talking that New Years Eve and I remember the two members of Tom Brokaw's "greatest generation" marveling that they would run full force with energy and enthusiasm into the last decade of the century.
Hard to believe it's been 20 years since those memories were made. The passage of time struck me as I scrolled through several dusty old tapes from the Channel 7 video vault. I was looking for footage of the tornado that tore through Plainfield on August 28, 1990 for a piece we're putting together this week. Looking through old file tape is a wonderful adventure back through time. I'm always struck by the sameness of the issues we cover. Story names on the yellowing handwritten log that accompanied the tape include: Iraq, gas prices, soldier homecoming, suburban sprawl, state budget problems, and the list goes on.
The other thing that struck me was how many of the people whose reporting filled those old tapes continue to bring you the news today on ABC 7. Kathy Brock reported a story on a soldier concerned about back-to-back deployments overseas. Chuck Goudie asked hard questions of bureaucrats who had bungled a project. Paul Meincke covered CTA funding problems. This is the strength of Channel 7. People who know news and have the perspective to report it with character and context. Although, I have to say, thank goodness they've all updated their hairstyles.