Monday, February 21, 2011

Remembering The 70s

I spent my childhood years (also known as the middle years, ages 6 - 12) and my early teens in the 1970s. It was the psychedelic, flower power, free love era that consisted of interesting things such as mood rings, lava lamps, disco balls, skateboards, strobe lights, 8-track tapes, CB radios, avocado green appliances, smiley faces, sea monkeys and pinball machines.

Fashion in the 70s was, for lack of a better word, wacky. Platform shoes, clogs, moon boots, bell bottoms, tank tops, big hair, feathered hair, crimped hair, hippie hair, mini skirts, iron-ons, striped tube socks, tube tops, hot pants, tattoos, tie-dye shirts, tie-dye pants, hip huggers, satin jackets, wallabees and jogging suits were just a few of the wacky styles. And who could forget the popular, highly-flammable polyester leisure suits with their flamboyant colours, winged collars and wide pockets on the legs of the pants?

Board games that we played included classic games, most of which are still around: Battleship, Checkers, Clue, Life, Monopoly, Operation, Parcheesi, Payday, Pick Up Sticks, Risk, Scrabble, Sorry and Trouble. Every little girl wanted an Easy-Bake Oven and a Barbie, and many young boys had a G.I Joe. BB guns were common, every kid had marbles, Rock’em Sock’em Robots were immensely popular, toy boxes contained a Barrel of Monkeys and Mr. Potato Head, and trading and collecting hockey and baseball cards was a favourite pastime. Furthermore, which youngster’s wish list didn’t include a Rubik’s Cube, a Lite-Brite, a slingshot, a slinky, a Spirograph or an Etch-a-Sketch? And who didn’t learn to ‘walk the dog’, go ‘around the world’ or ‘loop the loop’ with their yo-yo?

If you were a young girl, you dreamed of kissing a boy for the first time at a roller-skating rink, read Tiger Beat magazine while sitting on your bean bag chair and had crushes on teen idols like Leif Garrett, Andy Gibb, Shaun Cassidy, David Cassidy and Rick Springfield. You or your parents owned a pet rock, at least one room in your house had a shaggy carpet, there were designated smoking areas in your high school for students, girls passed Avon catalogues around the classroom and peace signs were drawn on notebooks.

There were many different music styles to suit many different tastes. Heavy metal was available for the rock music lovers, disco (popularized by John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever) ruled the dance floors in discotheques and punk rock became the rage in the late 70s for people who wanted nothing to do with either of the former.

From the outrageous eccentric to the stylish conservative, it was an ‘anything goes’ decade. And although there are many aspects of it that were stylish and interesting, it’s mostly an era that makes you ask:

“What the hell were they thinking?”

But no matter what any of us were thinking in that decade, one thing’s for sure: those years were some of the best years of my life. And if I could go back and do it all over again, you bet your avocado-coloured appliances that I would.

Now, let’s go back in time with a compilation of 70’s music.

A little extra trivia for the information junkies:

What are some of the shows we watched in the 70s?

AlienAmerican Graffiti
Animal HouseCarrie
Close Encounters of the Third KindDawn of the Dead
DeliveranceDirty Harry
JawsKramer vs. Kramer
Love StoryMad Max
MASHOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Rocky IISaturday Night Fever
Star Trek: The Motion PictureStar Wars
SupermanThe Deer Hunter
The ExorcistThe Godfather
The Godfather Part IIThe Omega Man
The OmenThe Poseidon Adventure
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

All in the FamilyOne Day at a Time
Barney MillerRhoda
BensonSanford & Son
Chico and the ManSoap
Diff'rent StrokesTaxi
Eight Is EnoughThe Bob Newhart Show
Facts of LifeThe Brady Bunch
Good TimesThe Jeffersons
Happy DaysThe Odd Couple
Laverne & ShirleyThe Partridge Family
M*A*S*HThree's Company
Mary Tyler Moore ShowWelcome Back Kotter
MaudeWKRP In Cincinnati
Mork & Mindy

ABC After School SpecialsNight Gallery
Adam-12Quincy M.E.
Emergency!Rockford Files
B.J. and the BearSonny & Cher
BarettaStarsky & Hutch
Charlie's AngelsThe Benny Hill Show
CHiPsThe Bionic Woman
ColumboThe Carol Burnett Show
DallasThe Dukes of Hazzard
Donny & MarieThe Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
Fantasy IslandThe Incredible Hulk
Hart to HartThe Love Boat
IronsideThe Rookies
Knots LandingThe Six Million Dollar Man
KojakThe Streets Of San Francisco
Kung FuThe Waltons
Little House on the PrairieThe White Shadow
Marcus Welby M.D.Wonder Woman

Family FeudThe Dating Game
Hollywood SquaresThe Gong Show
Let's Make A DealThe Joker's Wild
Match GameThe Newlywed Game
PasswordThe Price Is Right
The $20,000 Pyramid


  1. I also came of age (as an adolescent) during the 70's, Martha (though I'm a bit older than you). I would have to say, though, that they definitely were not the best years of my life. But I really enjoyed your description of them from the "highly-flammable polyester leisure suits" to the question "“What the hell were they thinking?” That made me laugh.:-)

  2. I still miss my Shaun Cassidy t-shirt.

  3. I had a great laugh remembering all of this Martha .. and the leisure suit thing ? John wore that after we were married (he was in uniform for the ceremony) but a baby blue leisure suit and stacked shoes came out afterwards .. too funny eh ?
    Hey .. how are you doing at that end of town ?
    I have to drop into Home Sense and see if there is anything "Spring" there to hoard until I can put it in the garden !! hehehehe

  4. And I miss my all time fav. "Are you there God its me Margret"... I think we all read that book... it was the first book that talked about "our periods" and we thought that was so so naughty that we fell in love with it. You forgot one movie though... "Little Darlings" I think I saw it 16 times. As for the fashion... I remember wearing new Nikes and begging my friends to step on them so that they looked "worn in" anything that looked too new was uncool and I remember stealing my father's wacky funky purple shirt and pretending it to be my own. As for the music, Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel were my favorite groups, and it was also the time we began loving disco, secretly of course... because yeah... we were only rockers "yeah right". They were indeed the best of times... thanks for sharing Martha.

  5. I’m sorry to hear that those years were not your best ones, Beth; I guess we all have that type of period in our lives. Mine would have to be the 90s, more or less. They were great for the fact that my children were born during that decade, but I was married to someone I shouldn’t have been married to, so they were difficult as well.

    I did enjoy putting this together for all the wacky things that happened during that time. The leisure suit, which I’d forgotten about, had me in stitches!


    That's too funny, Liza! I'd completely forgotten about Shaun Cassidy. He was soooooo popular at one point!


    Ha ha! Oh my goodness, Joy, that is too funny. I'm trying to imagine John in a baby blue leisure suit and it's making me crack up. I remember young guys dressing in baby blue suits back then; it's too hilarious to think about now. It comes back to the "What the hell were they thinking?" LOL...

    Hey, I'm okay. I should be coming out of hibernation soon. I owe you an email. I feel so bad that I haven't sat down to write one yet. But winter does that to me. I lay low until spring, and then BAM, I'm all over the place. Can't wait till the gardening season kicks in!


    Hellas, you and I met in the fall of 76 (when we started 7th grade), so the 70s were special for that, too. I also loved the book "Are you there God, it's me Margaret". And it's still around! My own kids have read it. I have it here at home and will be reading it again very soon. It'll bring back sooooo many memories. Oh, and "Little Darlings". How can I forget that film? Every girl was madly in love with Matt Dillon back then and every girl wanted to be Kristy McNichol. The film, though, was released in 1980; that's why you didn't see it listed here.

    I laughed heartily with the Nikes. We all did that - beg our friend to step on our new shoes to make them look worn out, cooler. We had such a great time. I can never think about those years without thinking about you and all the other girls we hung out with. It was indeed a very special time in our lives. So many wonderful memories....

  6. I missed the whole era, but have similar feelings towards the 80's which were just as whacky in some ways. Seems like all those decades had a 'flavor' that the 90's didn't really have. I wonder what those folks will have to remember the decade by.

  7. Tatiana, the 80's were a huge part of my life, as well. I was only 15 in 1980, so I spent the remainder of my teens and the beginning of my early adult years in that decade. And I loved it! I especially loved the music in the 80's; it was amazing. Some great bands emerged during that period. I don't feel the same way about the 90's; not sure what they were all about, but nothing really stands out like it did in the previous two decades.

  8. Hey, Martha...just wanted to apologize for introducing a down note above in my comment. Your post was wonderfully light-hearted, then along comes Eeyore Me whining. I really am sorry---I need to stop just writing the first thing that pops into my head in my comments. I really did enjoy your post.

  9. Oh my goodness, Beth, don't be silly! That never even crossed my mind. Do not filter your comments; that would be terrible! I do not take offense to what people write, or get upset (unless they become abusive, or use bad language, at which point I would just delete the comments). And I do enjoy when people just say what's on their mind. So please don't give it a second thought; it's not an issue.

    I did get a chuckle out of the 'Eeyore' part; he's actually one of my favourite characters ;), just like Oscar the Grouch is on Sesame Street. Hmmm...that must say something about me!

    Anyway, the fact that you would think about this and come back to apologize speaks volumes about the type of person you are (thoughtful and sensitive)... You're alright in my book, Blue Ridge girl.

  10. Thank you, Martha! And I think the fact that you'd take the time to write such a nice comment back speaks volumes about who YOU are. No wonder I like you so much!

    And, by the way, I love Eeyore and Oscar the Grouch, too. :-)

  11. Thank you, Beth; that's the nicest comment I've seen so far :)

    I forgot to add Daffy Duck to my favourite characters. I really like him, much more than Bugs Bunny

  12. I agree with the whole 70s and 80s as being the greatest times of my life. The 70s were the best. It was all about having adventures during summer vacations and getting the most out of weekends before school started again. The only time you were ever inside the house was if it was raining or Saturday morning cartoons were on. You could fly out the door, grab your bike and ride into town and your mom wouldn't have worried one iota. If you were doing something wrong... somebody in town would let your parents know. (Lived in a real small country town.)

    The 80s for me was more about the music, movies, cars, and girls. A lot of great styles of music came about late 70s and early 80s. (Some of the first alternative music appeared as well such as punk and new wave. I loved new wave.)

    I have always said "If I could relive my life over, growing up in the 70s is the one thing I would not change."

  13. @WebDebris - If I could go back to that period in my life, I'd do it in a heartbeat! I have so many wonderful memories from those days that I'd love to experience all over again. It was a different time; a very special time.


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