A few weeks ago, I began writing an amazing post about growing up in the 70’s full of anecdotes, trivia and just FUN but I lost all of it.
After consulting my friend Rosemary with back and forth exchanges full of WHAT THE HELL DID I DO’S?? and whimsical giphy’s (because giphy’s are whimsical!), it was decided that my post was gone.
In the graveyard.
Of my mind.
There are a lot of old bones in that graveyard and apparently, none of it holds the memory of old posts, mental checklists of grocery items that I need when my list is sitting on the counter at home, but always, ALWAYS holds annoying songs from my past including but not limited to:
- Who Let The Dogs Out? Who? Who? Who? WHO?
- Barbie Girl. IN A BARBIE WORLLLLDD.
- Build Me Up Buttercup…don’t break my hearttttt
- the theme song to the television show Knight Rider
So here is what I can remember from the mid-late ’70s through the early ’80s. AKA my childhood AKA the olden days AKA I need to write this shit down or I won’t even remember being a child.
Nothing takes me back to the ’70s like the smell of new carpet. That’s because the carpet was to the ’70s what hardwood is to now. The carpet was good, the carpet was soft, the carpet was comforting. Now, all you see when couples are house hunting on the irrepressible House Hunters is:
OH MY GOD IS THAT CARPET? ICK.
I hope like HELL there is hardwood under that carpet.
Great Linda, another house with carpet. CAN WE GET ANOTHER REALTOR??
My knees were scraped, bruised and banged up for most of the ’70s and into the early ’80s with carpet all over our floors. I can’t imagine how bad I would have looked if we had hardwood death floors all over our home.
In 1977, I desperately wanted my parents to buy us a Chevrolet Vega. While my friends were plotting ways to get purple Kool-Aid served at lunch, I would sit on our backyard metal swing set and plot ways to get my Vega.
When it wasn’t an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
I mean COME ON, what seven-year-old wouldn’t want that beaut sitting in their driveway? To a child whose dream it was to be the fourth Charlie’s Angel, this was way cooler than the car that was actually sitting in my driveway:
And of course, ours didn’t have racing stripes or flames.
Between my brother and I, we had amassed one summer a collection of plastic sports helmets that would impress the football hall of fame. But not actual size helmets see miniature plastic helmets that replicated the larger ones worn on the heads of NFL superstars at the time.
This you need to know about me: I never loved professional football more than in the mid to late ’70s and I have no idea why.
Maybe it was the thrill of the catch finding a new to me football helmet in a gumball machine at the restaurants that we would stop into after church on Sundays.
Maybe it was because I was what they used to call a “tomboy” and wanted to be “one of the guys”.
Maybe it was because I needed a reason to wrestle my little brother to the ground.
All I know is that I knew every single NFL team logo from the ’70s like I was getting paid to do it.
To this day, I still say to my husband “wait, Houston isn’t the Oiler’s anymore?”
Grease the movie had just come out the summer of my eighth year of life but it didn’t take on a life of its own in my neighborhood until around 1980-81. That’s the summer that Grease was LIVE in Bennington Heights daily from the hours of 10 am until dusk. I wrote about how I still hold a grudge that I never got to play Sandy, WHICH DUH, I AM THE OBVIOUS CHOICE, here. I won’t suck you into neighborhood politics.
But I was robbed.
That’s all I will say.
Speaking of Grease, I wanted to be Olivia Newton-John from 1978 until 1981. That is until I learned that she sang the song Please Mr. Please, then no.
Also, now you can’t get the song Please Mr. Please out of your head.
Don’t play B-17.
It was our song, it was his song.
But now it’s over.
Like my love affair with Olivia Newton John.
I wrote about KISS here, so I won’t go into any more detail other than to inform you that between the years 1977-1978, I wanted to be or marry Peter Criss. More be than marry.
If you didn’t eat shrimp dip in the ’70s, you get the chance now.
In 1977, our family moved back to Ohio (where I was born and lived my first two years of life) from the Chicago suburbs. I vaguely remember that there was a farewell party the night before at a neighbors house where the kids were yet again shoved in the upstairs bedroom (see post here) so the adults could drink, eat shrimp dip and say words like SHIT and DAMN. (again, could be a sweeping generalization) How do I know this? Because someone had the brilliant idea to audio tape said fete as a memento of my parents wild and crazy lives in Illinois.
Wanna know the soundtrack of choice for the evening?
The Saturday Night Fever album.
To this day, when I hear A Fifth of Beethoven, I am instantly sitting in our little red Granada chugging down the Indiana Tollway to our future home in Ohio.
If I Can’t Have You sung by Yvonne Elliman transports me back to a simpler time of tape recorders, car fumes, and transgressions from the night before.
Ah, the memories of hearing my old neighbor say AW SHIT after dropping his third screwdriver (probably) all over his polyester leisure pants (definitely).
By the way, have you ever actually read the lyrics to More than a Woman by the Bee Gees?
Girl, I’ve known you very well
I’ve seen you growing every day
I never really looked before
But now you take my breath away
Seen you growing every day??
Man, I miss the 70’s.
PS- my brother and I thought for years that it was Bald Headed Woman.
PPS- parents shoving kids in the upstairs bedroom and plying them with junk food because having parties with kids present wasn’t cool should become a thing again.
I need you to watch the above video. I’ll wait.
First, the guy that wants to “liven up the party” is Nat (before he became Nat) from Beverly Hills 90210.
Second, obviously, Mr. Microphone was developed by a person with no kids.
Third, this was the best invention known to man.
Because when you are eight years old, this is the perfect platform to make your insignificant voice known.
HEY MOM, I’M TAKING A POOP IN THE DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM!
CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE ME SOME TOILET PAPER?
OH NO! I THINK I CLOGGED THE TOILET.
AW COOL! MOM COME HERE! MY POOP IS SHAPED LIKE A BOWLING PIN!
See those shoes up there? A little-known fact is that they were also used to torture soldiers on remote islands in the ’70s and ’80s.
Dr. Scholl’s were all the rage, you had to have them and if you didn’t get hit in the head with one at some point, you weren’t really alive in the ’70s. I remember clanking around on a family day trip in these shoes and my toes kept lurching forward and scraping the pavement, resulting in little hematomas on each one of my toes.
Do I remember the memories we were making as a family that day?
But I remember how my shoes made me feel and that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?
Also, these shoes are now “back” and are running 75 dollars and up on Etsy.
RESIST THE URGE.
Did you ever rip Stretch Armstrong’s arms off so that you could see the jelly inside that made him stretch, to begin with??
The movie Jaws made me never want to go into a body of water (besides my local pool) ever again in the late 70s.
It also provided my first ever movie nude scene because we had a free month of HBO.
That and horny pre-pubescent boy neighbors who stayed up late to watch it and told every gory detail. So, of course, I needed to see for myself because I have been a fact checker since way back.
This post could also be titled:
When I liked Star Wars
Guess what? I am an “OG” as they say when it comes to Star Wars movies, trivia, memorabilia and the like.
You’re feeling like you kind of don’t know who I am now, am I right?
It’s okay, I don’t remember much about Star Wars or the sequels or prequels or whatever you nerds are calling them now.
All I remember is wanting to marry Mark Hamill (get in line Peter Criss), thinking Chewbacca would make a great house pet and sitting on my neighbor’s porch bitch slapping two boys over a very valuable and very rare Princess Leia figurine.
I bet those things would be worth a fortune now.
But then I wouldn’t be writing this blog.
See? Aren’t you glad I don’t like Star Wars anymore?