Termed as the ‘Me Decade’, the 70’s ushered in the age of bra-burning, disco dancing and wallpapering excess. Born in 1970, I could easily blame my parents for my bell-bottomed pants and satin jacket fashion forays, but I know that I demanded them, just as I did the K-Tel 8-tracks that complemented them. I had to have the whole look. After shampooing with Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific I would make my way to my bureau to select a snappy JCPenney polyester combo, throw on a 45 and get ready for a day of Huffy riding, Charlie’s Angels card-swapping, ice cream truck chasing fun. Later I would sit by the tube and marvel at the dance routines of the best variety hours on TV. Lawrence Welk, Sonny & Cher, Captain & Tennille, and of course Donny & Marie would feed our superstardom fantasies for years. Then there were the non-varietal shows. Between the the jiggles and giggles of Charlie’s Angels and Three’s Company and the hellfire pathos and politics of Little House in the Prairie and All in the Family it was no wonder we were confused.
Fashion and music aside, the 70’s for me boiled down to one thing: Grandma’s parties. I hope that when I die I’ll find myself at the back porch door, open it up and be greeted by the rush of warmth, laughter and music only found at 120 Hartford Street in Natick, Mass. I’d squeeze in through all the relatives to grab a ham and pickle sandwich and perhaps a celery and cream cheese appetizer, and then wash it all down with Grandma’s famous holiday concoction of egg nog, 7up and vanilla ice cream. Delicious. I can hear Mama playing guitar in the background, Carol and Alison giggling on their way in to Grandma’s room and Bunny guffawing between cigarette inhalations. Everybody is here and everything is right on.