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The ’70s Again. (Naturally.)

April 18, 2012

Oh, here we all are.  Together again.  Naturally.

Yes, just us and the ’70s.

Yes, just us and some ultra-smooth threads.

I see stripes high-fiving with plaid.  I see polyester jive-talking with wool.

And I see a lot of sharp collars that could pierce an organ (if you’re not careful).  And a lot of bell-bottomed pant legs that could catch in your bicycle spokes and cause you to be flung to the pavement (if you’re not careful).  And then you could pierce an organ on your sharp collar as you land on the pavement.  And then plenty of men here look to be attorneys who could sue the owner of the pavement.  And then plenty of men here would tell you to stop riding your bike while you’re high.  Because we were all high.  Because, after all, it was the ’70s.

Undoubtedly, the grooviest kid in the joint is the one clutching her stuffed dog, Bart.

You know you were thinking that.

I have a hunch there was a tantrum behind Bart.  And Bart was either the problem or the solution.  Probably a little of both.  But guess what, she’s smiling.  So let’s keep Bart in there.

On the other hand, I’m all but certain that Big Bart continued to cause Big Trouble.

Because I’m sure there were plenty of:

“Hey, if she gets to have Bart, then why can’t I hold my Thor hammer?”

Or, “Hey, then why can’t I wear my Farrah Fawcett t-shirt?”

Or, “Hey, then why do I have to put out my cigarette?”

Or just, “Hey, hey, hey.  It’s Fat Albert.”

Because we all liked that show.  But who didn’t.  Because, after all, it was the ’70s.


The quintessential ’70s theme song:


Thank you, Lenore, for inspiring me by posting your own groovy family portrait (here).

67 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 6:20 am

    Adorable little Angie! A classic family photo. Thank you for sharing it.

    • April 20, 2012 1:19 pm

      I don’t know about “adorable little Angie” but, aw shucks, look at adorable little Bart!

  2. April 18, 2012 6:24 am

    Is the child in front wearing an Austin Powers-type collar? Because that is awesome. Stripes need to high-five with plaids more often.

    • April 20, 2012 1:23 pm

      That would be my cousin Laurie and, holy cow, I think you’re right on the Austin Powers’ costume. “Oh be-have, ruffly collar!”

      Actually, aside from high-fiving, I believe stripes and plaid were meant to be each other’s everything. I think I may be quoting Andy Gibb here.

  3. April 18, 2012 6:58 am

    Angie! I can’t tell if that is a depressing song or a happy song. Naturally, I explore the idea alone. *sigh* By the way, my Dad was 65 when he died (just like Gilbert’s Dad). Thanks for reminding me. Again *sigh*.
    No worries, no worries – staring at the family photo really cheered me up nicely. Realizing that my family was not alone in their keen fashion sense. Mangunderful.

    • April 20, 2012 1:29 pm

      Good question, Lenore. I think I need the Cliffs Notes for this one. Since Gilbert mentions suicide I’m going to go with (A.) depressing. I’m glad my family’s groovy threads were able to pull you out of that funk. Naturally.

      So sorry for your family losing your dad at a fairly young age. A family member observed on my Facebook page that your family looked like a much more lively, fun bunch than ours.

  4. April 18, 2012 7:03 am

    There is some funky fashion going on in this place. Lovin’ the purple vest out front. Brings back some memories. My mom has most of my old photos, and that’s probably a good thing.

    • April 20, 2012 1:31 pm

      I didn’t even notice the purple vest and pants! How did I not notice that beautiful Easter egg color swimming in a sea of rust?

  5. April 18, 2012 7:04 am

    Good lookin’ family! Is that your grandmother in the very center? She is sparkling with joy!

    • April 20, 2012 1:33 pm

      That is my grandmother, Edith — that is so cool that you mentioned her “sparkling with joy”! That describes her perfectly — the jolliest, friendliest person I’ve ever known. She is gone now, and I love knowing that this side of her comes through in the photo, even to someone who never met her.

  6. April 18, 2012 7:07 am

    It’s like Clash of the Titans. With an emphasis on “Clash.” I had an amazing jumpsuit with the poky collar AND the bell bottoms. It had turtles on it. If I still had it, I would wear it everyday.

    • April 20, 2012 1:38 pm

      Oh, please, please find a photo of you in that jumpsuit and send it to me (anything described as a “jumpsuit” has gotta be good). I would love to put it on my blog for all visitors to see/love/ridicule. If it happens to be a photo of you wearing it as an adult, that would be even better.

  7. Tony permalink
    April 18, 2012 7:08 am

    I mustve worn that burnt orange turtleneck/plaid pants outfit in nearly half our family photos. I think I even wore the pants to my little league games with a baby blue team t-shirt. WTH, sis?? Why would any parent let their kid dress like this??

    • April 20, 2012 1:40 pm

      Yes, I think I’ve seen a hundred other photos of you in that outfit and, yes, I’ve seen that little league photo of you in the same plaid pants. I don’t know how you’d even run with those on. If you slid into home, you could kiss those pants goodbye.

  8. April 18, 2012 8:37 am

    And if you weren’t careful, you just might learn something…

    • April 20, 2012 1:43 pm

      Indeed. I know I learned a lot by not being careful on a bike. Like don’t take the curves of a cul-de-sac too sharply and that gravel can be picked out of your forehead with a good pair of tweezers.

  9. April 18, 2012 8:45 am

    Only someone truly groovy would think to name her cuddly dog – Bart. I’d have gone for Barky or Ruffles or something equally uninspired. That girl was clearly destined for greatness.

    I’m glad they don’t make clothes like that any more. Though the necklaces are surprisingly on-trend! ;)

    Great post. Fabulous as always!

    • April 20, 2012 1:47 pm

      Okay, so this is weird. Bart actually had a sewn-in nametag telling me his name was Bart. It was right at the spot where his lapel might be. Is that lame or what? Apparently, toy companies think kids can’t be trusted with coming up with their own names — they don’t want to risk anyone naming their stuffed dog something dumb like Barky or Ruffles.

      Ruffles — I like it. I might have to have another baby just to use it.

      The necklaces in this photo are rockin’ for sure. You can’t really see my mom’s (top, far right) but I recall she had a beauty on as well.

  10. April 18, 2012 9:17 am

    I used to own that song. On something called a “45”. It was a type of pre-MP3 player data storage device called a “record”. And I played it over and over and over again on my “turntable”. Because I was a miserable teenager and life was so unfair, and wouldn’t I show THEM if I climbed to the top and threw myself off, and that poor man, HE knew pain, too, sob,sob,sob!!!!

    • April 20, 2012 1:51 pm

      Gotta love teenage angst. Hey, I happened to own a few of those things you call 45s. I had a 45 of Sheena Easton, The Oakridge Boys, Hall & Oates and the guy who sang Believe It Or Not (The Greatest American Hero show theme song). I recall the flipsides always completely blew. Why did they bother having B sides?

      • April 20, 2012 2:02 pm

        Howdy stranger! Are you off work and enjoying a well-deserved glass of something fermented as you catch up on bloggy matters?

      • April 20, 2012 2:05 pm

        Off work, kids napping, catching up on blog reading, commenting, everything. I do need something fermented. Thanks for that suggestion. If you were here, I’d trouble you by making you get me a cold one from the fridge. Somehow I’ll have to find the energy to do it on my own. Somehow.

  11. April 18, 2012 9:21 am

    Excellent family photo! They probably caved on Bart because she was just so darn cute… :)

    • April 20, 2012 1:52 pm

      Or because she was just so darn bratty. But thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt, Audrey.

  12. April 18, 2012 9:24 am

    Awesome. “Or just, ‘Hey, hey, hey. It’s Fat Albert.'” made me snort!

    • April 20, 2012 1:54 pm

      I wonder whatever happened to Fat Albert and why we’ve never seen him on Celebrity Fit Club? What a shame.

  13. April 18, 2012 9:36 am

    I am so glad you were able to shimmy a Fat Albert reference into this post.

    • April 20, 2012 1:55 pm

      It’s been a long time coming. Fat Albert has earned his place on my blog and in the history books. And I like your use of shimmy in that sentence. Well played, friend.

  14. April 18, 2012 9:42 am

    The “fro”, back row center, reminds me of myself. Family portraits like these are priceless!

    • April 20, 2012 1:56 pm

      It may be hidden in the back, but you sure can’t miss that sweet ‘do. Yes, I love family portraits to remind us all of our fleeting styles and beauty.

  15. April 18, 2012 10:42 am

    Wow! That is a whole lot of ’70s fashion crammed into one fabulous photo.

    • April 20, 2012 1:57 pm

      That’s a good way to put it, Paprika. Yes, how in the world did we manage to fit all that fashion greatness into one tiny picture?

  16. April 18, 2012 1:51 pm

    Glad you stuck to your guns re: Bart. Where is he these days? Frolicking in polyester-filled dreams in the sky?

    • April 20, 2012 1:59 pm

      Good question. Now you have me wondering. I think after one of his amazing bushy eyebrows fell off, he became dead to me. Maybe I threw him in a garage sale basket. And now I’m thinking of The Velveteen Rabbit and feeling a tad guilty.

  17. April 18, 2012 1:56 pm

    At last, your brother is wearing a different color turtleneck — and great pants too!

    • April 18, 2012 4:18 pm

      Hahaha! Proof there was more than 1 turtleneck.

    • April 19, 2012 7:11 am

      First thing I noticed, too, Elyse.

      • April 20, 2012 2:03 pm

        I think my brother is really appreciating all the attention I’ve brought to his childhood wardrobe via this blog. He’s probably gone right out and bought himself a few new tan turtlenecks just to prove he can. Let’s hope he never wears them.

    • April 20, 2012 2:01 pm

      I believe his wardrobe might’ve been something like Fred Flintstone’s — and instead of having a closet filled with orange caveman frocks on hangers, his was a closet filled with rust and tan-colored turtlenecks.

      • April 20, 2012 2:08 pm

        As long as he didn’t wear Wilma’s pearls, it was probably ok.

  18. April 18, 2012 6:58 pm

    I’ve got family photos from across many decades, but the 70s has to be the worst. Were there no mirrors????

    • April 20, 2012 2:06 pm

      That’s a very good question. I think mirrors back then were just used for coke.

  19. April 18, 2012 7:28 pm

    Nice family photo! The faces are awesome. But I hope the people who inspired 70’s fashion were all FIRED. That is just some very wrong combinations for clothing. The purple vest? I think I had one just like it. With matching purple-houndstooth-high-water-bell-bottom pants. Those pants had perpetual bicycle chain marks at the cuff line…super-bells didn’t work well with bikes.

    • April 18, 2012 7:29 pm

      …and I just noticed you did it in less than 300 words. AND you worked in Fat Albert. You are a flippin’ genius.

      • April 20, 2012 2:18 pm

        I’ve kept Fat Albert off my blog for too long — he deserves some time on here. Now if I can only work in Mushmouth and Rudy, I’ll have accomplished something really amazing.

    • April 20, 2012 2:13 pm

      Who knew people in the late ’70s even had purple clothes? I thought we only had access to brown, rust, gold and avocado green. Purple must’ve been a color reserved only for roller skating parties, discos and other special occasions like this one.

      Shannon, why haven’t you submitted anything to me for my Dynomite! series? Why? To throw “purple-houndstooth-high-water-bell-bottom pants” in my face and not give me access to posting it on my blog for everyone to enjoy — that’s just cruel of you.

      • April 21, 2012 9:18 am

        When my parents divorced in the 80’s my brother somehow got all the photo albums and a few more were lost. That purple vest and pants combo was classic — I wore it three out of five days per week (my mom made me wash it!). Purple was indeed a fresh, bold look for the drab of the late 70’s.

        I need to find one of those photos. There are probably no less than 20 photos of me wearing it, since that’s all I wore for practically the entire 3rd grade.

  20. April 19, 2012 7:13 am

    Aw, you and sweet little Bart WERE the grooviest in the bunch! I love looking at these pictures because I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that everyone was so confident in these duds and genuinely thought they looked super cool. Little did we know we’d all be made fun of decades later. Good times.

    • April 20, 2012 2:24 pm

      It’s photos like these that make me worry for our future, Darla. Because, if these people can stand confidently in their butterfly collars and polyester pants, what will today’s chic fashions look like in 30 years? I’m sure my endless supply of cardigan sweaters will make me nothing but proud.

  21. April 19, 2012 9:38 pm

    I had a teddy bear called James… I got him when I was six for Christmas. I took one look at him and just said “James” – I still have him today (and no, I didn’t name my son after my teddy bear :P )

    • April 20, 2012 2:26 pm

      Aw, that’s so sweet. James is a very handsome name for a teddy bear. I had a Percy, a Cambridge and a Boston. All names selected by my brother because I was never capable of coming up with anything more imaginative than Teddy and Paddington.

      • April 20, 2012 7:59 pm

        LOL I’m surprised you had Paddington Bear here in the US…

      • April 20, 2012 8:04 pm

        Why in my mind was it a claymation show (aside from being books)? Is that right? We also watched Simon the English kid who did chalk drawings. What was his chalk friend’s name? Ooh, this is killing me. Both shows had elements of sadness involved.

      • April 20, 2012 8:41 pm

        Paddington wasn’t claymation… or at least the bear wasn’t… I don’t know anything about the Simon show LOL That was probably an American thing LOL

        BTW I just noticed your Comment box says “Please raise your hand before speaking.” – hahahaha!! No.

      • April 20, 2012 9:49 pm

        Yeah, don’t worry because I’m not monitoring it if you’re speaking out of turn. But God is.

        Simon? Are you kidding me? I don’t think you’re British in your heart of hearts then because this might be the most British-seeming show I’ve ever watched in my life (I’ve now had to youtube it and watch it of course.) See for yourself.

  22. April 20, 2012 6:33 pm

    I love old photos. Your posts are the best. I used to drag my Pooh Bear with me everywhere until I set him down in a Gemco and lost him. It was a sad, sad day. :( No one turned him in to Lost and Found.

    • April 20, 2012 10:04 pm

      Thanks, Debra. And what a sad, sad story about your lost Pooh Bear. What kind of jerks would not take the time to turn that into the Lost & Found? After recently rereading the old book Corduroy (about the bear who gets lost in the laundromat) to my daughter, I feel sad once again thinking about lost teddy bears. Scared and alone. No one to love them. There needs to be a Lifetime movie about this.

      • April 20, 2012 10:16 pm

        I think you’re on to something. My mother dragged home one sad little girl that day. After working in retail later in life I now have nightmares of him in some back room being tortured by the sales associates. Poor little Pooh.

  23. April 20, 2012 8:47 pm

    Now wait just a minute. Paddington Bear was named already. In the book. In the story. On the tag that he came with. It is not wrong to call someone by their given name.

    I am sure that this comment will not, I repeat, not appear anywhere near the Paddington Bear comments. But that’s ok. I will sit here in the fetal position knowing I am right about myself and my bear.

    • April 20, 2012 9:54 pm

      I love that about blog commenting. I sometimes will reply to a comment about pop rocks and then notice it is placed waaaaaay down next to a comment about someone’s parakeet dying. It makes for great reading.

      Paddington the show (I can remember the book a bit better) is so vaguely familiar to me. I remember a blue coat and a hat and not much in between. Well, that is until I found this gem on youtube — and now the memories are all coming back.

  24. April 21, 2012 9:58 am

    Pure awesomeness! Nothing says 70s like a jumble of plaid, polyester and pointy collars. Love it!

  25. April 23, 2012 10:48 pm

    I’m getting so far behind I’m going to be in one of your family photos. But this was a good post. What a family! And I cannot get past Gilbert’s left piano hand technique. I guess he has arthritis.

    • April 24, 2012 11:37 am

      I’m so glad you mentioned this — because I noticed the same thing and was wondering what the heck was going on there. Arthritis of some sort most likely. I’ll have to google it.


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