Being a Kid in the Late 60s and Early 70s
As we get older we tend to think back to when we were younger and about all of the things that have changed over time. We call it reminiscing or remembering the good ol' days.
I am certainly grateful for the vast improvements in technology that have occurred just since I've been born, but sometimes I miss some of the simple things that got left behind. These things hold fond memories for me as I am sure most do for you as well.
This is basically my "remember when" hub. I hope you enjoy it as I take you down memory lane for a bit.
Sit back and see how many of these hold a memory for you. Do you remember these?
- Candy cigarettes-a box of little candy sticks colored to resemble cigarettes in a box. You can still buy them in small town country stores.
- Bottle Caps - popular soda-flavored candy discs shaped like the old metal caps found on glass bottles of soda.
- Pop Rocks -you can still buy these and are a lot of fun to try
- Mood Rings -I remember we bought my first one in the dead of winter. When we went outside, of course, it turned black. My mother was convinced it was somehow "broken". It didn't take long to change colors after we got in the car.
- The mosquito fogger truck -kids loved riding their bicycles in the rolling plumes of pesticide. I can still remember that distinctive smell.
- We called our Aunts and Uncles Aunt and Uncle, never by their first names only. It was a sign of respect.
- Shiny black panther statues sat on top of TVs
- Plaster of Paris kissing fish with bubbles for the bathroom wall
- Tupperware parties
- Drive-in movies - there are a few still around. I have two within 100 miles of me.
- Local TV stations signed off at midnight with the National Anthem
- You only had 3-5 channels on the TV
- No TV remote .....yes, we got up to change the channel. A lot less channel surfing.
- No microwave....heating things up was much more work.
- No central heat and air. (My parents didn't buy a window A/C unit until I had married and left home. This is a pretty big deal in Texas).
- Eating fastfood was a treat you got maybe once a month
- Sodas were a treat that you got maybe 2-3 times a month
- Shag carpet
- Harvest Gold and Avocado Green Appliances
- Glasses and towels that came free inside boxes of washing detergent
- S&H Green Stamps and redeeming the filled books at the S&H Green Stamps store for household items
- Wooden box purses with sequins
- Peacock jeweled purses
- Wooden console TVs
- TV Dinners on TV Trays in front of the TV
- Glass-ball Clackers (until they were banned)
- Skip Ball (ankle slips through a ring that has a bit of cord with a ball on the end. As you sling the ball around one ankle, you jump over the cord and ball with the other foot. Great exercise!)
- Wearing a seatbelt in a car was not required. I think I was in my teens before I ever had one on.
- Texas Blue Laws-many common items such as diapers and batteries could not be sold on Sundays. They actually corded off those sections in the store.
- Everything had a closing time, virtually nothing stayed open 24 hours
- Most businesses, that could, were closed on Sundays
- Home phones were called landlines
- Mercurochrome (aka Monkey Blood)
- Gas came in "regular" or "ethel" and it was cheap (compared to today)
- There was no "pay at the pump". You prepaid for everything.
- Most places didn't accept credit cards, if you even had a credit card.
- Getting homebaked treats for Halloween wasn't feared
- No video games
- No cable or satellite TV
- Rotary dial phones
- Played outside all day, no matter how hot or cold it was
- No bicycle helmets or knee pads
- No bottled water
- My Texas school didn't get air conditioning until I was in 5th grade
- Bayer chewable baby aspirin
- You only got to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings
- Joing The Monkees fan club
- Metal Slinkies
- Suzy Bake oven & washing machine
- Baby Small Talk
- Banana seat bicycles
- Charms sweet and sour pops (candy suckers)
A Music Video That Says It All
Some Personal Memories I Want to Share
I was an only child, but I had a cousin who was close in age and we often played together. She became more of a sister than a cousin. Pam and I were even dressed alike by our mothers.
I remember spending hours playing outside on the swingsets and teeter-totter my grandfather made me. We always had a tan and calluses on our hands. We never wore shoes while playing outside.
Pam and I each had a playhouse that was built by our fathers and grandfather. Hers was army green and mine was white. Both of them had a door and two windows with real glass. My windows were on the front and back, while her windows were on the front and one side. I was a bit jealous of that because she could play restaurant drive-thru with that window set-up.
My parents bought me a Suzy Homemaker Oven and Suzy Homemaker Washing Machine for my playhouse. I also had a plastic china hutch. The oven really baked little cakes with the use of a lightbulb, much like the EasyBake Ovens. But this really looked like an oven.
My parents owned a white wooden picnic table set that my grandfather built that we constantly used to make furnishings for our make-believe house. These pieces were too big for our playhouses so we would stack the benches on top of each other and turn the table on it's side to make things. It drove my mother nuts. Many a mud pie was made on that picnic table. We had Chinaberry trees behind the back fence and those made great garnishments for mud pies.
The front porch of my house was cracked down the middle. That provided a natural division for us to play house. The only problem was who would get the half that had a 'front door' AND a "side door"? Each half had a step from the front side, but only one half had a step to the side. Kids worry about that kind of stuff.
I remember one year when my Uncle Wendall was at our house. He was in our garage doing something and I accidentally found out what it was. He was putting together Pam's new bicycle she would be getting for Christmas! I was so jealous! I cried so much about that information that my parents finally told me about my new bicycle just to shut me up. Mine was prettier than hers. Hers was a yellow and green with a sparkling green banana seat. Mine was white and pink with a white banana seat. I loved that bicycle.
We were only allowed to ride our bikes as far as mama could see or holler. If she stepped outside and couldn't see us, or we couldn't hear her if she hollered at us, then we were in trouble. As I grew a bit older, the boy down the street was just at the end of mama's sight and hollering distance. I remember sitting in front of his house on my bicycle keeping an eye out for mama while talking to him.
Baby Small Talk came out in 1967. Pam and I would have been five years old. We each got one for Christmas. We both loved that doll. She had a pull string that allowed her to say "mama", "I want a drink of water", "I'm sleepy", etc. She was only 10 inches tall, but she holds a lot of memories for Pam and I. This past year, I found one on eBay that luckily still talked when you pull her string (many don't anymore) and gave it to Pam for Christmas. I don't think I could have gotten her a better present. So many memories came flooding back that night for both of us and our mothers.
It's good to take time to remember.
Questions & Answers
Did your mother let you bake in your easy bake oven by yourself?
No, I was always supervised.