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The 70s


This page is a retrospective of the decade of the 70s. I came of age in the 1970s although many influences were from the 60s. The 80s . . . well I could live without that decade (except for the fact three of my children were born then and I found the love of my life - but that's another story!). Some call people of my generation "tweeners" although I'm officially of the baby-boomer generation - at the tail end of it to be sure. It was an age where parents told you to be home before dark and you were - or else half of the neighbor moms would march you home themselves! An age where some of the toys we played with would never have made it to a store if they were made today because they were so unsafe. An age where music and politics merged and the boundaries became blurred. An age where drive-in movies were very popular - and not just among the teen-age set but wih families. Remember snuggling up in your PJs with a boat load of popcorn and taking off for the drive-in? An age where the school faculty could still put the fear of God into students in order to keep discipline. An age where skirt lenghts shortened and lengthened all in the same decade! Whether you lived in a large city, a rural area or in suburbia - you were touched, shaped, moulded and changed by the 1970s.

After begrudgingly watching "That 70's Show" one day, the decade came flooding back. I was expecting some cheesy sitcom making fun of the 70's but what I found was sometimes closer to the truth of what I remember. My 25th High School reunion was this summer and as we all gathered in the Yahoo! Group to discuss things we remembered from our high school years and earlier, I realized just how care-free and wonderful those days were. Sure, we had to live through a pretty rocky decade, but it was our parents who really had to deal with the energy crisis, the political upheavals, the "kids" making their own way - it was only when we became adults did our generation have to reap the consequences of the 70's.

EVENTS:

  • The 1972 Presidential Elections

  • The ending to the Viet Nam war and watching that one soldier make his way from the plane and bend down on his knees on the tarmac to kiss United States soil.

  • Watergate - I was at church camp in August 1974 when Nixon made his resignation speech. The counselors gathered all of us in the Lodge to listen to the speech on the radio. I remember some of the counselors crying.

  • The 1976 Presidential Campaigns of Ford and Carter. Jimmy who? From Plains, where? He was a peanut farmer!

  • The Olympic games in Munich when hostages were taken.

  • The signing of the Peace Agreement between Egypt and Israel.

  • Long gas lines which created a time schedule on when people could gas up.

  • The Iran Hostage Crisis and yellow ribbons. Who'd have thought Tony Orlando's song would give the symbols of freedom meaning?

    TOYS:

  • Topper Dawn Dolls - when I first saw a Dawn doll in my local five and dime store, I couldn't wait to get one! I told all my friends and soon we all had most of the collection. I was so envious when one of my friends got the "Beauty Pageant" - all of us would spend hours playing "Miss America"!

  • Flatsy Dolls - these dolls were flat and usually came with a set - bedroom, kitchen, etc.

  • Klackers (the original) - I had mine two days when my mom told me of a report of the Klackers shattering and injuring people.

  • Sorry Board game - my nephew and I spent hours torturing my niece (his sister) by yelling "Sorry" at her every time we played this game!

  • Speed - also called "Spit" (I believe). This was a card game that had to be played very fast by slapping cards down and getting rid of your hand before your opponent. I can't even remember how to play it now.

    TELEVISION:

  • The Brady Bunch - what 70's site doesn't include this class show! My siblings were much older than I was so I really envied the large Brady family. I think this is where my idea of having six children took root (I only had four!).

  • The Partridge Family - mainly because David Cassidy was on. I always thought it would be so cool to have a family that was a rock band - only you need family members who could actually carry a tune so that was never going to happen for me!

  • The Bobby Sherman Show - sort of spun off of the Partridge Family. Not on the air very long.

  • All in the Family - thought Archie Bunker was one hateful, crude person. Is it any wonder people started being verbally abusive to their own family members? The "classic" moments were wonderful though.

  • Barnaby Jones - loved him as Jed Clampett and thought he was great as the "milk-drinking" older detective!

  • Rockford Files - Jim Garner, what a guy!

  • Wonder Woman - thought it was weird that after season One, the show changed from World War II era to present day.

  • Midnight Special - always had to convince my mom that I couldn't live unless I stayed up to watch this show!

  • Incredible Hulk - Bill Bixby was wonderful as David Banner!

  • Nancy Drew / Hardy Boys Mysteries - okay, I confess that I rarely saw the Nancy Drew episodes. It came on opposite of "60 Minutes" which my mom just had to watch. We had a deal that every other week I would watch the Hardy Boys and she would watch 60 minutes when Nancy Drew was on. It became much easier once we got a second television. Then the only debate was who would go upstairs to the bedroom and the smaller TV to watch!

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