Memories and Mayhem

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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.

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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:

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We also donned Hot Pants in the early 70’s.

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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.

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And then there was the “Get Christie Love” afro:

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Girl—the Afro was big, unisex and SCREAMED of pride for one’s ethnicity, racial identity and the need for a rake:

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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.

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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.

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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’.

Watch this:

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:

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I had this patch on my jeans and several stickers slapped all over my 7th grade notebook. I had these stickers too!

ecology.jpg An ecology logo??? Jeeez!!!

smileyface.jpg Smiley faces…

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And of course, the creative use of the peace sign.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention black light posters.

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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:

162 comments

  1. And then there was the “Get Christie Love” afro:

    “You’re under arrest, sugar.

    Ah yes…
    Fueled a lot of adolescent bondage fantasies, that show did.

  2. Man, that ABC Movie of the Week clip – I still remember when my parents let me stay up to watch “Duel” and I was spooked for weeks whenever we passed a tanker truck on the highway.

  3. Here’s one for those of you who might have grown up in the San Antonio area during the fifties and sixties–on Friday nights at 10:30-Shock Theater. Remember the opening statement, “tired of the every day routine? ever want to get away froom it all? then prepare yourself for a SHOCK!!!!!Makes me cringe just thinking about it. It scared the socks off of me every time!!

  4. “I think that was the last time I remember being happy. I mean, really unabashedly happy.”

    So sad. So true.

    The last time I remember being happy that way was 4th grade. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? But it’s not like my life is bad… I just that afterwards, I was always worried about something. Hmm.

  5. I just saw an infomercial this weekend hyping “The Midnight Special” dvd collector set. Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack was the first real music-focused rock-n-roll TV show (circa ’71 or ’72). I remember staying up past midnight at age 7 or 8 to see the Rolling Stones perform.

  6. Sorry Key, I would’ve commented eariler but I was transfixed by this most awesome blue lava lamp in my office.

    When I was a prosecutor I went with the vice squad one night on a raid of a local gentlemen’s VIP room and when they turned the black light on–the sight was so disgusting that my eyes starting bleeding.

    -Murphy

  7. Nothin, Juan, just waiting to collect on my office bets. I only bet beer and I’ve got 30 of them coming my way now that the Red Sox have done it to the Rockies. Good haul for me. That’s about it. Tried getting Laurie away from her diesel powered ‘parts’ buffer, but no success so far.

  8. This is a whole lot of nostalgia. I like your “tepid pants,” and I loved how your dad would walk in your room and say “Laurie’s damn marijuana art.” That’s funny. I also grew up on TV, and I guess I’m still growing up because I still love TV. However, I don’t know the names of the best boys who work on “The Office,” or “30 Rock.”

  9. Kathy was a good kid. The first born and last born are the ones people remember. It’s the middle child that no one knows.

  10. Did you ring??? Karol remember when you used to be called spider eyes? Didn’t you go five years without washing off your mascara? Laurie just told me to play ugly. wanna????

  11. Laurie? I know you weren’t responding to me but I’m confused about your comment about my beloved hometown of Corpus. Do you really feel that way about it?

  12. Kathy was the main character in a play in high school opposite her future boyfriend, Ken. I think that was the title of it. Laurie? Kathy? Am I right?

  13. Karol, are you already asleep? I’m learning as much as Laurie’s readers about you. Nothing is sacred with Little Laurie. By the way, remember when everything that was small was called a little laurie whatever….she threwup at every function of importance and then all the focus would be on her. Remember????I’m not bitter though.

  14. No Greg… I love Corpus. That was for my sister Karol. She spent the weekend in Corpus.

    Being from Karnes City, we;d go there alot. My family used to have a little summer place in Rockport.

    Greg…while I’m at it, meet my sisters,m Karol and Kathy!!

    Sisters, Greg is a friend of mine here in Houston

  15. someone asked about my weekend in Corpus. it was a wonderful two days until the valet who drove our 2001 BMW M5 up to us with the e-brake on the whole time. he burned up not only the front brakes, but also a gear. Needless to say my husband said everything “f” word that was ever invented. I ran into the lobby and hid.

  16. yes, show business does have it’s drawbacks. I did fall in love with my leading man. He also had a cool car. It was hard having two younger sistas snooping around. Laurie tell them about the time I was entertaining two guy friends and what you did to me!

  17. Hey there N-ter(pronounced NTR in south Texas) Are you a southern guy? Laurie says so. It’s nice to meet her friends. Texas is a big state and my sisters and I are scattered all over the place. Have you been here before? If you had you wouldn’t have left!!!!!

  18. maybe they feel they are intruding on a family feud. what they don’t know is that we let anyone in this family!!!! My kids have proven that.

  19. FYI, NTR we are a lot of fun sitting around drinking wine. In fact that is what we do when we can get together. You would never belive what can happen we are are all together.

  20. We will-I am hoping to around the Holidays. Second choice would be NYC but we have talked about going to Savannah for several years. Do you know Paula?????

  21. call mother, kathy, to set up the trip to savannah. see what she says.

    NTR, kathy bounces off beds and ends up in fetal positions and i see visions coming out of people’s mouths.

  22. Why me?? you live there and she likes you better. Let’s hit her up at Thanksgiving. She might want to go too. She would have her own room, right????

  23. It’s a done deal-Laurie you ask mother and N-ter will escort us around that wonderful city and we will behave ourselves and make Texas proud!

  24. LMAO @ Billy Jack. Whenever I see Billy Jack anymore, the two things I remember are the “One Tin Soldier” theme song and the after the fact knowledge that Howard “Dr. Johnny Fever” Hessman had a small part in the movie.
    *
    I loved the Captain Kangaroo clip. I always remember the ping-pong balls crashing down on him. I never realized how high water level his pants were before. That theme song still pops into my head at times for no reason at all.
    *
    The Brady Bunch, Barry “Greg” Williams often sings seventh inning stretch at the Chicago Cubs 70’s nights baseball games.
    *
    I hadn’t thought of “Nanny and the Professor” for years.
    *
    I had forgotten David Soul was one of the Bolt brothers and that Mark Lenard who played the brothers adversary also played Spock’s father on Star Trek. I also seem to remember Bobby Sherman; the youngest brother who sang the shows theme song (lol – I still remember most of the words to the song), playing a tone deaf would be musician for an episode of the Partridge Family.
    *
    Other remembered shows I miss – F-Troop, the Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Lost in Space (now that was a campy sci-fi show) and Disney’s Sunday Night Shows.

    I still have a black light boxed up in an attic. I was a terror with that thing especially when around girls in white blouses; it would shine right through a white blouse. Plus it would show every freckle or blemish on a face. I never did have many black light posters. But I still have my wild-haired Farrah Fawcett in her bathing suit head tilted back poster put up somewhere.

  25. lala, what is key going to say when he reads all our comments and he wasn’t included. it’s been awhile since we all were in sinc on your blog.

  26. Karol, Kathy . . . pleased to meet you through this comment box.
    This is a question for all three of you. When you visited Corpus did you ever go out on the boats Capt. Clark or Sally D? The Flagship? The Gulf Clipper?

  27. He needs to do it at night around 8:00 when she is looped and have her give out her credit card number-she’ll never do the difference.

  28. Greg, I don’t think we went to Corpus for much recreation. We stayed in Rockport most of the time, but Karol lived there and Kathy lived in Calallan or Five points.

    Were you there for Celia Greg??

  29. hey, greg, the salina statue is near the L-head. i took a gander at it this weekend. she was a very pretty lady.

  30. Well, Greg I lived in Corpus for two years(actually Calallen) about 30 years ago. Were you born then??? I didn’t do much entertaining as I was busy taking care of kiddos. Gosh, suddenly I am feeling very old. Karnes City was about 85 or so miles from there so we are pretty familier with CP. Don’t like the humidity-that’s why I like living in north Texas.

  31. Laurie are you here? I know you are cause you don’t sleep. Karol have you taken your makeup off yet? Oh, I forgot—-you don’t.

  32. thank you sam. i never saw her in person. don’t know about her legs but she did look good in her bustier and jeans. i know that this comment must sound strange coming from a woman, but she did have a good figure.

  33. With the exception of one year spent in Casper, Wyoming I spent my entire life in Corpus until about 1988.
    Oh my God, yes. I was there during Celia. That was the scariest day of my life. I’m not joking when I say that that day still plays over and over in my mind. Ours was the only house on the block that stayed intact. We also spent two weeks without power.

    http://dissonanced.wordpress.com/

  34. We are really going to Savannah Georgia-I have made up my mind-now who’s going to take care of this??

  35. it’s hard to tell on this thing what we are. wouldn’t it be fun one day to have a texas size reunion and meet everyone in person?!?!?!?!

  36. What’s with all the guys here? Kendrick, don’t you have any women readers? I liked being the only guy. Darn!!

    Kathy,don;t get any ideas with this new guy or Greg. I still have a crush on you.

  37. Keeping up with this means not ever leaving the desk. I’m very familiar with the Selena statue. I used to work on four of those boats down there on the Peoples Street T-head. I go visit my former captain often.

  38. NTR, many years ago Laurie was doing a promo at at Walmart. It was on a Saturday. I told my (then) wife that I was going to meet her. I got all the way over there then chickened out, turned around and headed back home.;

  39. a pleasure to have met the ones who tuned in tonight and look forward to having you chime in whenever you can.

  40. greg, laurie has always sounded the same. she interviewed me about different things many many years ago and her voice was low even back then. he laugh was the same too.

  41. laurie, thanks for finding that cold duck commercial. my that brings back all those oldies but goodie times in our lives when life was simple.

  42. well I am back- who is this stranger that says he knows us-I can tell you two girls are worried. good thing I was the perfect child and have no past to speak of HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  43. I mean I BET he’s from Kenedy. If you remember me as a cheerleader, then you had to have gone to football games or maybe even played in some. You were probably in grade school then.

  44. we knew it was segregated and the family wiatrek and jarzombek and kendrick had their appointed pews.

  45. ok, who did I marry? what else can we ask him ,girls? Well I hope you are happy now, I am totally awake.

  46. t- hmmmm did you say you were younger than Karol and older than Laurie. Girls do you have any ideas?

  47. He’s Catholic….from the area. old enough to remember Kathy as a cheerleader yet younger than Karol and older than me. He knows BR and BR’s vet, albert and also who Kathy married.

    Are you Mexicano?

  48. he did say he was younger than me but older than laurie. could be a lot of people. i thought about p bordovsky. he sat in my section in the band.

  49. greg,, you got to understand that kc had a small population and if we three were popular, well, then there you go. not a big selection.

  50. If we sat on the far left side does that mean you sat on the far right side??? You had to have been in Jr. Hi when I was a senior. How do you know all this about us. If you are not from Kenedy then you must be from Panna Maria.

  51. if he was at our house once, then he’s laurie’s friend. i didn’t have any in high school.

  52. If this Nonie, then I will go ahead and ask for the trip to Savannah. It’s after 9:00 she’s good for it. Gosh, I hope it’s not Nonanel-then that means she knows too much.

  53. well I know he’s not my age-he probably came to one of you girl’s pot parties held in that house when our parents weren’t there. You don’t even remember most likely. things sure went to hell after I left home.

  54. yea, this is mother. remember when she wrote that threatening letter to the football team? that was lame, mom. everybody knew it was you!

  55. i think we kendrick girls should take an updated picture of ourselves when you are here at thanksgiving. what do you think?

  56. you had to pick that stupid picture of us. You just chose that one cause you think you looked good.

  57. I did look good. Big Brown Come hither eyes.

    That’s a good pic of all of us. Kathy, you don’t want don’t piss me off or I’ll post a few of your more recent ones.

  58. how well i remember. you especially jumping off the bed and landing in fetal position on the floor

  59. The pythagoreom theory is a(squared) + b (squared) = c (squared). It’s a formula for measuring the length of a side of a triangle when something happens. Hell I can’t remember.

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