No other school supply exemplifies the 80s better than our favorite three-ring with velcro. No, kiddies, we talk here not about the newer, trendier "Trapper Keeper" that has (*gasp!*) zippers! No, here we only refer to the honest-to-goodness original, the almighty Mead Trapper Keeper!

Now really, what other binder kept your papers so neatly filed? That spelling test you got a 32 on? Oh, that's in the blue folder! Excuse me, the blue "portfolio." That drawing of Garfield? Neatly tucked in the green "portfolio," of course! For you see, not only was the entire contraption velcroed shut, but the three included "portfolios" (folders for the snobby) had revolutionary side-pockets, as opposed to the typical bottom-pocket file folders. Nothing was falling out of one of these suckers!

Within the cover and files, all of the primary colors were well-represented. If you were well-bred enough to own a "Designer Series" Trapper Keeper, well, you got to enjoy the pastel sections of the color spectrum. You also could enjoy some spiffy graphics. I was not this fortunate.

My own, personal Trapper Keeper was of the primary blue variety. Those of us that merely had primary-colored Trapper Keepers had to be creative to keep up with those who had the snazzy "Desinger Series." But that was ok, for we were the more interesting people, the people who knew how to entertain themselves and express themselves. With a simple pair of scissors and a pen, or perhaps a marker if you were so bold, you could turn your Trapper Keeper into a work of art. It did not take long to figure out you could slice through one side of the plastic. That done you had two choices. I chose to slide the cardboard out, flip it over and decorate it myself. once that was done I slid the cardboard back in, to laminate my masterpiece and live with it daily. This was done to both the large, main part of the cover, and to the velcroed flap as well. I no longer own my old Trapper Keeper (and I weep in its memory and wonder every day what I did with it), but I do believe that most of the decoration revolved around expressing my wonderment at the deities that were (still are!) Duran Duran. In particluar, I remember the flap stated, in large letters, "DURAN DURAN #1"
Your other decorating choice, once the plastic was slit open, was to slide in a pinup or drawing of your choice. I am sure many, many pictures of Ricky Schroeder and Menudo graced the inside of Trapper Keeper plastic back in the day. In fact, I do believe our generation were the pioneers behind the mightily succesful lines of 3-ring binders with plastic covers purposely made to hold pinups that sprang up only a few years later.
Since I no longer own my Trapper Keeper, I am spared having to share it with the public. Not so, Brian. Yes, folks, I do present to thee, Brian's Trapper Keeper, complete with his original artwork circa mid-80s:

Brian, I salute your artwork! Behold, the mighty Trapper Keeper! Trapper Keeper, Notes From The 80s salutes you!
Compiled by Kelly

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