People my age have entered their nostalgic years. The minor events
from our youth have now become milestones and items we consumed
with little consideration are now personal icons. I have decided after much self-evaluation that the decade from January 1, 1970 to
New Year’s Eve, 1979 was my favorite. I am a seventies’ kid.
I don’t want to live in the seventies, I like my modern conveniences.
The internet is a superior way to communicate than party-line
telephones or the mail, I prefer fuel injection to carburetors and
electronic ignition wins hands-down over points. A few weeks ago, I
advised that people shouldn’t hate as it was a time-consuming emotion
however I do HATE something from the seventies-polyester. Polyester
clothes are cold in the winter and hot in the summer. I even walk
stiff when encased in polyester. The seventies should have been
I like cars from the seventies, I wouldn’t want one for a daily
driver but I have a nostalgic love for them. Seventies cars had more
styling than today’s vehicles as they didn’t have the constraints
under which today’s car design labors. Seventies cars had a lot more
steel in them and could use all of that steel to make massive hoods,
hunch-shouldered quarter-panels and chunky wheel-skirts. I would
compare a seventies car designer to his/her contemporary in the same
way I would compare a painter who has an unlimited amount of paint to
one who only has a little. Larger vehicles meant larger interiors and
back seats that were roughly the same size as the living-room couch,
which meant not only more comfort but a boost to the furtherance of
increasing humanity’s numbers.
Seventies music- man don’t even get me started. Seals and Crofts,
Bread, the Allman Brothers, Waylon and Willie, Suzi Quattro, Chicago,
Johnny Cash, Neil Sedaka, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt,
Kansas, Meatloaf-did I miss any? Your list would be different than
mine but I bet there’d be an emotion or specific event tied to each
song. I remember sitting in front of the old Viking Post Office
listening to Meatloaf with Derrick Gabrielson while Neil Sedaka
reminds me of school nights doing my homework. The music of Kansas
triggers memories of loading hay bales on an elevator bound for the
barn loft. The best radio on the farm was mounted to the Allis
Chalmers tractor which was the one we used to pull the bale wagon so
you could always listen to music while you worked. I remember how
Johnny Cash’ “A boy named Sue” really got my hair growin’ while the
music of Waylon and Willie made me want to smoke cigarettes and go to
Carpenters Corner although I was too young for such endeavors.
I ride bike now for exercise but I rode bike in the seventies for
peace of mind. I grew up in a tiny home and if you wanted a little
time to yourself, a bicycle was a good way to find it. I rode a gold
20 inch bike with a banana-seat until I got brother Steve’s larger
green model. When I finally purchased a ten-speed bike, I truly inherited my
piece of the American road. I once rode from Viking to Newfolden,
played baseball then cycled my way back. I thought nothing of the
effort however today I might find my peace more efficiently and with
a bit less work. I saw every piece of gravel and tar within a 3 mile
radius of Viking from the seat of my bike and left the problems and
questions of a young man in those same ditches.
You pick your friends but not your family; maybe it is the same way
with the decade that defines you. I prefer the here and now but would
love to bring a few of the icons which helped form me along for the
rest of the ride. Big cars, big music and big bicycles-they’re all I
need. Oh yeah, no polyester either-absolutely NO polyester.
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