What? Me reminisce???
Yes, Alfred E! It’s all about sweet, sweet nostalgia.
My much…MUCH older sister Karol and I often talk about these golden, olden days. Namely the early 70’s and by that, I mean 1971 and 1972 in particular. That’s when Karol was a Junior and Senior in High School and I was in Junior High, raising as much gosh darn heck as a small town 7th and 8th grader could
When Karol and I talk about those days, it’s with great fondness. Those were the good ol’ days: fun, innocent…certainly easier.
I think that was the last time I remember being happy. I mean, really unabashedly happy.
TV was everything and because we only had three networks to entertain us (well, four if you include PBS–which we rarely did), so we immersed ourselves in TV. We watched the everything. We knew the actors, the writers, the producers, the gaffers, a few Best Boys..common Craft Services used by various studios and of course, we knew the words to every theme song.
We knew everything.
I can tell you that Wilbur Hatch conducted the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra.
I know that “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was produced by Calvada Productions.
And would you believe that Fred de Cordova (the same man who directed “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson) also directed the several episodes of “My Three Sons”?
See what I mean?
I cannot for the life of me tell you what the Pythagorean Theorem is, but by God, I know that when Gene Rayburn hosted “The Match Game” back in the late 60’s, his suits were all courtesy of Botany 500!!!!
Hey, I like nostalgia. You like nostalgia. We all like nostalgia. It’s fun to remember as a single collective. We may not know each other. We may have grown up a thousand miles apart, but by virtue of TV and the media, we all have common memories.
So one night I sat down at my computer and decided to revisit the early 70’s. Four and a half hours later, I had a numb butt, carpal tunneled wrists and more memories than I could handle….namely, because my fingers were tired.
But that’s beside the point.
I’ve compiled photos, videos, vintage commercials and assorted sundries from a time so very long ago.
And it’s all for you. So enjoy, ingrates!!
For starters, let’s talk fashion from the early 70’s. Karol and I used to watch “The Brady Bunch” and those six kids ALWAYS wore Hang Ten shirts. So, hip, so cool…so 70’s.
These were comfy cotton/poly T-shirts with two embroidered feet on the front. See the picture? Kind of blurry, but you get the picture. I had about five Hang Ten shirts and a few pant sets. So did Karol. They were comfortable.
Here’s a better look at the Hang Ten logo:
We also donned Hot Pants in the early 70’s.
They were nothing but glorified shorts that you could dress up. Yes, you had to a decent ass and nice legs to pull off Hot Pants. Karol and I wore ours with color coordinated knee socks sometimes; Go-Go boots at other times.
Hot Pants. On Karol and me, they weren’t so hot…I’d say they were more “tepid”.
Let’s talk hair styles in the early 70’s.
Florence Henderson starred as Carol Brady.
And “a shag” portrayed her hair.
Remember this cut, Ladies?? Every damn strand was a different length. You gotta love that Marlo Thomas “That Girl” flip in the back.
And then there was the “Get Christie Love” afro:
Girl—the Afro was big, unisex and SCREAMED of pride for one’s ethnicity, racial identity and the need for a rake:
Guys had long or longish hair in the early 70’s. And so did the women.
We wore it long, straight and boring–parted down the middle and maybe…MAYBE for something a little different, we’d put it behind our ears.
I call it “Billy Jack” hair, because all the chicks in that movie wore it like that.
Speaking of “Billy Jack”, that was some movie, huh? At age 12, it really spoke to me.
And at 48, I can’t remember a damn thing it said!
I can tell you that Tom Laughlin stars as an ex-Green Beret who I think went AWOL or was court marshaled after a tour or two in Vietnam. This, after Billy refused orders to go along with Lt. William Calley in the midst of that whole My Lai Massacre mishegas.
Ooof! How long has it been since THAT little late 60’s news item parked in your brain???
So Billy Jack is this ex G.I. and he’s half Anglo/half Native American and decides to disavow his whiteness and moves back to Arizona to live as an Indian….who just happens to be an expert in Krav Maga or some martial art.
He’s in love spiritually (don’t ask) with Jean, the pacifist Head Mistress of the Freedom School–a place where hippies come to learn the Liberalest of Liberal Arts.
The “Old Guard”, the “Establishment” in the neighboring town (that would mean anyone over 32) feared the filthy, unwashed masses of Peaceniks and would get all tight-assed whenever they’d come to town. The oldsters didn’t like them young Hippies espousing all that non-violence and love nonsense. Whenever someone hassled Jean or the students (and as the Establishment, they had to for proper cinematic pathos), Billy Jack would psychically sense the impending danger and he’d always appear out of nowhere to come to their rescue—–a knight in black denim.
And he was always angry. This is always implied when he’d calmly begin to take off his boots and socks. That would be a prelude to some serious ass whoopin’.
We were also into displaying symbols that stood for what we believed in…how we felt. We were really into “causes” back then. Actually, we all wanted to look as though we were in to causes back then.
Most of us weren’t.
We wore T-shirts with logos, patches on jeans, stickers (bumper and otherwise). We all wanted to be hip:
I had this patch on my jeans and several stickers slapped all over my 7th grade notebook. I had these stickers too!
And of course, the creative use of the peace sign.
•I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention black light posters.
These were posters which were colored with this day glow ink, which contained phosphorous or something that re-fractured the light or absorbed it differently–I don’t know–I’m not Bill Nye. But I had plenty of black light posters.
My father would walk into my room and see them plastered all over my walls and say under his breath, “Laurie’s damn marijuana art!!”
And really, that was the point, Pops.
You were supposed to get high, flip on your black light and groove to the enhanced colors. Black lights were cool. Great for looking at how the odd hair looked in that light. You could see the tiniest pieces of lint on clothes–undetectable in any other way. And black lights could also detect particular DNA residue all over the bedspread.
Or your blouse…
Or…. uh, where ever.
Anyway, TV was an art form back in the early 70’s. Cop shows were really starting to come of age.
Hey all you hipsters, remember “The Mod Squad”??? Hippies as cops???
FAR OUT, MAN!!
It starred three prime examples of Young Hollywood at the time, some guy named Michael something or other….Peggy Lipton and Clarence Williams, III who selflessly gave up acting to become the country’s second African-American Supreme Court Justice.
Here are more memories:
Screw Sesame Street!!! WE had this man who taught us our ABC’s, all about a Magic Drawing Board, Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Green Jeans, Lariat Sam, Badlands Meanie and Grandfather Clock!
Total acid trip.
And remember when life was “In Color”?
Remember Chief Iron Eyes Cody and that gut wrenching teardrop??? I’m embarrassed to be one of the filthy, dirty, land encroaching, treaty ignoring White Devils!!!!!
Little did any of us know back then that “Chief Iron Eyes” was actually full blown Italian. He was born Espera DiCorti in Louisiana back in 1904. Oh, yes–he’s Italian, my friend. Want proof? He wore a black Members Only jacket, a gold neck chain and drove a blue IROC.
I have many gay friends. I know gay men and Alan Suess , who was a bit player on “Laugh In” is gay. So gay, he could give Jim J. Bullock, nellie lessons.
Here she is in a Peter Pan Peanut Butter commercial, circa 1972.
I laughed. Oh Mary!!!
Last but not least, this one’s for you, Karol!!!!!
Back in the day, most TV wasn’t on for 24 hours at a time. Oh no no. The networks all had official “sign offs”. And so will this post. I’ll have another edition of memories and mayhem later. But for now, I’ll end our broadcast day most appropriately….with this: