When the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1980, a friend named Tony from Santa Fe snuck into Afghanistan as a freelance photographer for Life Magazine. He was captured by the Soviets. I wrote a letter to John McCain about it to, who was my senator. He immediately took an interest and played a key role in getting Tony released.
Later that year, another friend named from Northern New Mexico named Tony was poised to win the Olympic marathon, and was the top rated marathoner in the US – if not the world. Jimmy Carter imposed an Olympic boycott, and Tony was denied his chance at gold.
Other memorable events from 1980 included the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, spectacular floods in southern Arizona, and 10 feet of snow on the ground in Northern Arizona.