10 Things That Make People My Age Smile (Day 12)

(photo credit: Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific! Photo taken by Twitchery. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode.)

My kids have no idea what several common items from the 1970s looked like. When they do, they can’t fathom how we managed with those things.  Rabbit ear television antennas? Manual typewriters? Rotary dial phones with extra long curly cords?

I made a long list of things I think of when I think back to the 1970s, but I’ve culled it down to 10 things that stand out for me.

  1. The Dorothy Hamill wedge haircut. I begged to get one and did, either right before the Shag or right after.
  2. The AMC Pacer. Remember that car? My friend Edye’s mom had one and I was beyond jealous. It looked like a jellybean-shaped spaceship.
  3. The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Every Friday night, when my parents went out, the babysitter let us sit in front of the TV with our TV dinners set on TV trays and watch those iconic TV shows.
  4. Jiffy Pop popcorn. If we were lucky, Mom or the babysitter would let us hold the handle and shake the foil package over the eye of the stove.
  5. Gas Station Lines. This one may not make others smile, but I remember a great day, waiting in a gas line with my grandfather for over two hours. A traveling salesman knocked on our window after about an hour and a half and presented me with a couple of stuffed animals (from his wares) because he couldn’t believe an 8-year old could be so well behaved for so long. Of course he didn’t know how much fun it was to have my comedian grandfather to myself.
  6. Free To Be You and Me. I loved Marlo Thomas in That Girl but when she came out with this album, I was head over heels. Sang those songs all day long. “William has a doll.”
  7. Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. I saved up all my money (and probably stole change from my mother’s purse or my father’s dresser) to buy all the lip smacker flavors. I loved the Hires Root Beer and the Tootsie Roll ones the best. Or maybe the Orange Crush. Or Sugar Plum. Oh the choices.
  8. Pong by Atari. Mesmerizing. That little ball of light slowly floating across the screen. Setting the racket bar at just the right place to return the ball to the opponent.  Only to wait again. This was advanced gaming for those of us used to the high intrigue of Operation and Trouble and Yahtzee.
  9. Saturday Night Fever Dance Moves. You look at it now and all you see is somebody pointing their finger up and then bringing it down to the opposite side of the body but when John Travolta did it in that smoking white leisure suit, it was pure artistry.
  10. Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific. Actually it smelled a little too perfumy for me, but I still used it for the cute bottle with the colorful bubble letters. I was also a fan of Lemon Up shampoo and conditioner. The smell was more my style and great packaging. That was after I outgrew Breck and Prell.

How can you not smile at what we loved in the 1970s? So simple. No instructions needed.

Do you have some favorites not on my list?


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16 thoughts on “10 Things That Make People My Age Smile (Day 12)

  1. I am a few years older than you, but I loved Lipton beef stroganoff, dehydrated beef and all! Do you remember the astronaut food? Sticks of something wrapped in foil? I also loved Love’s baby soft and Love’s Fresh lemon. (Also LOVED the Lemon Up shampoo, especially the plastic lemon on top!)

    1. Love’s Baby Soft. How could I have forgotten that? Great one. I remember the astronaut food but I don’t think my mother would buy that for me. 🙁

    2. Yes, I remember the Lipton’s Beef Stroganoff. Loved it prepared once a week it included a packet of wine to add, family loved it. I sure wish they made it today.

  2. Sara- I remember doing a lot of those things with you. You turned me onto lemon up , which I think made my hair red. Also the Dorothy Hamill didn’t exactly look the same on my wavy, frizzy hair. That was a bad decision that took years to grow out

  3. I found that Pacer so humiliating! Especially during the brief period I drove it! Glad to know you liked it! I assume John Denver was #11?? Who got the Dorothy Hamill first – you or me?? Love you! What a fun read on a snowy morning!

  4. They still sell Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at the Vermont Country Store (at least the last time I was there). Something like $8 a bottle for the privilege of experiencing that throwback! Cheryl, they sell Lemon Up too! LOL.

    My 1970s smiles (in addition to yours…)
    1. Red-white-and-blue seersucker, bell-bottom, hip huggers. I thought I was SO cool.
    2. Desert boots and Earth Shoes and Dr. Scholls.
    3. REAL Volkswagon Beatles, not the rip offs they sell today.
    4. Wooden tennis rackets that had to be screwed into a wood frame with wing-nuts. LOL.
    5. Three-speed bicycles, a big step up from banana bikes.
    6. All my teenaged neighbors, boys and girls, with beads, long hair, ripped jeans, and Indian shirts.
    7. Transistor radios with analog tuning.
    8. LPs and 33s played on record players.
    9. The smell of school handouts’ purple ink from the mimeograph machine.
    10. The Wonderful World of Disney (Sunday nights) and After School Specials, on B&W TV.

    1. Great list. I have a photo of my brother wearing a pair of those red white and blue hiphuggers. Little boys in hiphuggers was almost as awesome as I was in my purple hiphuggers. I LOVED those pants. Wooden tennis rackets and Earth shoes almost made this list. Glad you added them. I also thought of what we called Buffalo shoes, which basically were heavy platform sandals. Your list definitely makes me smile.

  5. Sara – Somebody needs to time capsule this! Yes, Lemon Up Shampoo. That was sooooo long ago.

    Trish! I remember Earth shoes! I traipsed all over Europe wearing those.

    And, wow, the smell of that purple ink of the mimeograph. Some people say that smell is one of the most powerful of the senses for evoking memories. That purple ink does for me.

    Thanks for the memories!

  6. I loved that Hamill haircut, too, and wore a variation of it for a while, and the “Free to Be…” Recording was a huge favorite at our house. Recently, I even told a variation of the “Sweet Young Thing” story to someone.

    1. I don’t remember you with the Dorothy Hamill haircut, then again, I was probably so self-centered at that age that I wouldn’t notice an adult’s hairstyle, unless it was my mother’s and I was embarrassed by it. 🙂

    1. I LOVED my Tretorn sneakers. I can’t believe you still have a pair. And, yes. Cat Stevens. A big part of that time of life.

  7. I don’t know, Sara, I just re-read the list and I am pretty sure the entire thing IS related to you and me! LOL! Love you!

So what do you think?