From The KOTV Vault: Break Dancing And 80s Summer Fun

Friday, June 1st 2012, 6:38 pm
By: News On 6

Editor's note:  As we prepare to move into a new building, we're taking inventory of everything in our current one, which includes thousands of hours of old videotape.  We're sharing some of what we find here on

When pools opened in the summer of 1981, there was new twist on swimming lessons from the YMCA.

Our reporter Winnefred Washington got the opening day of swimming pools assignment probably Memorial Day weekend of 1981.

"It's a little bit cool right now; the wind's kind of chilly," said a lifeguard.

Too cool I guess for most. One guy said his girlfriend made him do it. 

"She called me up and told me to come out here, I said ‘it's too cold,' she'll get mad if I didn't come," he said. 

Later in the season the Y employed an interesting twist to teach kids to swim in more comfortable setting: borrowed backyard pools. Ten Tulsa families donated their backyard pools as site for swim lessons.

"The swim classes last for 45 minutes a day, and David feels the children learn more in a backyard setting," said reporter Winnefred Washington.

"It's quieter – let's stay on the stairs guys - it's quieter," David said. "It's a little more familiar to 'em; they feel more comfortable. It's kind of like being in their backyard with their friends."

Sound like a terrific idea, until your lawyer and insurance man - goodness knows who else - warns of all the liability issues. Oh well, have fun, kids.

Then there's something special, an Eyewitness News Extra. Imagine being a tourist in your own home town. If you live between Kansas City and Dallas, Big Splash was and probably still is a big deal in the summer heat.

The number one tourist attraction in Oklahoma in 1984 was the Prayer Tower at Oral Roberts University, with it's Journey into Faith. 

Our reporter describes it as "a multi-media experience that's part theater part fun house. In fact this look at the life of Oral Roberts was built by a company that has also worked on projects for Disneyland."

"In 35 minutes you move from Oral Roberts' boyhood home to a revival to the university."

The Prayer Tower was remodeled a few years ago, and the exhibit is no longer there.


"Welcome to Bahama Mamamia's," said a waitress, circa 1984. "Our special appetizer is a splash nacho - cold instead of hot. Mozzarella cheese, fish, avocados, black olive and sour cream."

No thanks.

Then how about this for a diversion. Break dancing was big stuff in 1984. Leave it to adults to worry about injuries; kids are just having fun. 

"I kind of pop my neck sometimes; I have to stop and rest," a dancer said.

"What do your parents think about it?"

"They don't like me to get on my head and do stuff; they're scared I might break my neck."

Yeah, I had to give it up too.