I was born on a Friday forty-eight years ago today. It’s funny to figure out why you like what you like and the reasons you might hit it off with perfect strangers. I believe it has a lot to do with when and where you entered the world.

My first impressions were inside the confines of the Naval Hospital in Beaufort, S.C. The ocean was a stones throw away, so maybe that’s why I have an affinity to water. North Carolina is my home, but South Carolina will always be a close second.

Here is a snapshot of that time period:

  • Our president was Richard M. Nixon.
  • The average price of a house was $15,500 and a car $3,500. Of course, the average earnings were only $8,500 per year.
  • The Beatles had given their last live performance, but Woodstock and the moon landing were right around the corner!
  • PBS was established.
  • The very first withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Vietnam.

On a whole, the world was busting out of the sixties and getting ready for the seventies. I wish I had paid more attention.

 

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I always enjoyed art class. Finger painting wasn’t exactly my forte and still lifes were kind of boring. But man, did I like sculpting with clay! Especially when they fired up the kiln. I was always paranoid of leaving a bubble, the ones our instructors warned against. But making a fully functional creation was right up my alley. More specifically, ashtrays.

Ashtrays were as commonplace in the seventies as bottled water is today. If your folks didn’t smoke, your grandparents might. Maybe a friend, neighbor  or co-worker did. So the thoughtful thing to do, was have an ashtray at the ready.

Of course, times and traditions change, and the ash tray art project went the way of the chalkboard and overhead projector. Regardless of health precautions, I’d give a million bucks if one of my kids made me and ashtray.

And I don’t even smoke.

 

 

 

 

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I’m pretty sure this is the kind of phone mom and dad got for me in the early eighties. I was finally a teenager and needed my privacy😜 I remember digging the fact that it was mostly black and a great addition to my room.

It still had the kind of cord that’d get tangled up after a dozen or so calls. The thing to do was hold it at the opposite end and let the receiver spin until the cord was manageable again. Even then it reminded me of an amplifier cord, the same coil design and color.

Of course, I had heard about another kid in school who had their own line. That was pretty cool, but I was thankful enough not to ask for the moon. Besides, my folks were already forking out another payment to the phone company. You see, back then you kind of rented telephones per month. What a racket! That seems strange today in a world where everyone, kids and grown-ups alike, have their own personalized devices.

Maybe that’s why a landline still appeals to me. Even ones with tangled up cords.

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I remember when televisions were more than electronic devices. They were too heavy and cumbersome to hang on the wall like today’s plasma screens. School pictures, ashtrays and candy dishes adorned the top of our den’s centerpiece. Sometimes it would take a while to warm up. Conversely, I always enjoyed watching whatever show we turned off morph into a small white dot.

Whenever we fell asleep during the late, late show, the National Anthem or color grid might wake and remind us to go to bed. It’s hard to believe there were only three or four channels to choose. My brother and I loved spinning the UHF dial, that is until it broke and we were reduduced to turning it with a pair of pliers.

We had an antennae on the top of our house, but a few of my friends parents used rabbit ears. Sometimes folks would wrap tinfoil around them. I’m not a scientist, but guess it must have worked on making for better reception. Remote controls were still pretty neat.

Our family watched shows together, as a unit. I recall my mother always had dibs on the TV Guide crossword puzzle. Dad sat in his chair peeling an apple or peach. Sometimes he’d crack open pecans we had gathered in my grandparents yard.

Us kids would usually lay on their stomachs, feet dangling in the air. Mom would caution us not to sit too close. She also had a bad habit of vacuuming during the best part of a program.

I got a small black and white set when I was a teenager. It sat on my dresser up until I took it to college. I’d like to still have that dinosaur. I guess it help pave the way for something newer.

I miss the big console television set almost as much as I miss the seventies.

 

 

 

 

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🤔Too late for the British Invasion and Woodstock, we settled for Sesame Street and the Land of the Lost.  Many of our dads were returning from Vietnam. Some never made it home.

We watched Evel Kneivel rocket over the Snake River; Arthur Fonzerelli crash into a chicken stand; and Ali rope a dope. Barbie and Easy Bake Ovens were for girls. G.I. Joe, Stretch Armstrong and the Six-Million Dollar Man were for  boys.

We played with Slinkys and Viewfinders, and board games like Mousetrap, Chutes and Ladders and Operation. Sometimes we’d swing, ride bikes and climb trees. We’d soil our days with grass stain, dirty sweat beads and Kool-Aid mustaches.

We weren’t the greatest generation, beatniks or hippies. We wore cut-off blue jeans, tennis wristbands, and tube socks. Long hair, rock shows on the cheap and cool cars were still around.

So flip on your AM radio, adjust those rabbit ears or spin the UHF dial until she breaks. Maybe grab a friend and do the bump.

Our time machine awaits. Let’s get started. Can you dig it?