What were The 70's really like?

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old soul

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I was born in 1970.

I remember hearing something about a Watergate in Washington, DC when I was ~4.

The only gate I knew about was the chain link fence on the side of our house. I thought, “That doesn’t make sense…water would just flow through it.”

I asked my mom what they were talking about, and she said, “It’s something where a bunch of people got caught doing something they weren’t supposed to do, and then they lied about it.”
“So did they open the watergate when they weren’t supposed to?”
“That is a better explanation than I have heard from anybody…”
“Well, that’s bad.”
“You’re right, that was bad! So don’t do stuff you aren’t supposed to and don’t lie and you won’t get into trouble.”
—————————
I grew up in a small town south of Fort Worth. A lot of things were blurry, not because it was so long ago but because I needed glasses but didn’t know it until 1983.

-Bad clothes for the most part.
-Good Outlaw Country
-I knew several old people who were born in the 19th century.
-We rode our bikes or roller skated constantly.
-We “chopped” our bikes to make them look like chopper motorcycles. Dad could weld, so he made us really cool-looking long forks and high handle bars for our Schwinns.
-Willie and Waylon and the Boys.
-People were afraid of my dad because he had a very neatly trimmed beard and rode a Harley, even though his hair was short and he wasn’t in a gang.
-We all had BB guns. By the time you were twelve to thirteen, you graduated to a 410 shotgun or a 22 rifle—usually single-shot. It never crossed our mind to shoot another person, but we were Hades on cans and crude homemade paper targets. Kenny, who lived around the corner, shot birds constantly until my dad told him to stop, psyching him out that he was breaking some kind of hunting law. Dad wasn’t against hunting, but he was against indiscriminate killing of animals for no reason.
-We rode in the backs of trucks (that went on until the 90’s!)
-Charlie’s Angels and Fantasy Island and All In The Family and Sanford & Son
-My Beagle (Lady) was my best friend, but was never allowed in the house unless there was snow or ice on the ground. We had a lot of adventures in the back yard.
-Peter Seller in the Pink Panther movies
-The original cast of SNL. I didn’t get half the jokes then.
-My aunt gave me a cheap little pocket knife when I was 4 or 5. My dad’s best friend gave me a good knife when I was 9. I still have both of them. We all carried pocket knives or fixed-blade knives to school, even when I was in high school in the 1980’s. Nobody thought about using it as a weapon.
-The high school had a smoking area for students—it wasn’t closed until the end of 1984, (halfway through my freshman year)
-Poorly edited/censored highly inappropriate movies (violence, sex) shown at 9:00 on the local independent TV station (channel 11). I got sent to bed pretty often less than ten minutes into these films.
-Walked to school or rode my bike to school from second grade. It was about a mile.
-KISS and Alice Cooper were the weirdest thing we’d ever seen on TV. I thought that *had* to be the most hardcore music, like death metal or something…then I heard them and thought, “That’s not nearly as wild as I thought it would be!”
-Roger Moore (the worst Bond) Bond movies on ABC two or three times a year.
-The Dallas Cowboys, especially Too Tall Jones, Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett. Randy White was the most fearsome man I’d ever seen on TV, but one of the nicest guys I ever met in person. Of course, we hated the Steelers.
-Joe Walsh was the coolest guy I ever heard on the radio.
-I saw my first in-person punk rocker in Dallas in 1978/9. Green Mohawk hair and a studded leather jacket. He literally stopped traffic just walking down the sidewalk, because nobody had ever seen such a thing in person.
-Steve Martin was a wild and crazy guy.
-Mom and Dad let my older brother and I walk to the Homecoming Football game by ourselves—about a mile and an half away. We walked home alone in the dark. We were seven and thirteen.
-Dad often had a beer between his legs while driving.
-Tom T. Hall
-People who smoked did it everywhere.
-The Von Erichs!
-The Armadillo World Headquarters was talked about a lot, but it seemed like a mythical place because my parents weren’t gonna drive halfway across the state to take us to a Honky Tonk.
-No seatbelts.
-Iranian Hostage Crisis and people putting signs in the back of their car/truck window with Mickey Mouse flipping the bird and the caption, “Hey, Iran!”
-I vaguely remember Nixon, remember Ford better and definitely remember Carter (first-hand memories).
Hell yeah, it was a good time to be a kid
 

old soul

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I backpacked through Turkey/Iran/Afghanistan in the summer of '78... I never had any problems with people along the way. I spent nearly 2 weeks in Tehran looking around... there were no anti western sentiments as I moved through the places.
Afghanistan was really a modern place in most of the 70s
 

4pickupguy

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I entered my teens in the mid 70’s. The 70’s had its problems too, but I would trade the problems we had back then for clown world any day.
 

WireLine

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For me, it was the best of times, the worst of times. By far the best music in rock, country, and everything in between…we were celebrating the end of the stupidest war in US history (up to that point) and people were a LOT nicer.

In 76 things went downhill really fast…broom riding ex wife, in the army, etc. All I had to show for it was bad memories.
 

Ed Driscoll

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Afghanistan was really a modern place in most of the 70s
Period photos of Afghanistan are just astonishing:

afghanistan-1-2.jpg


main-qimg-85f95896e4d4ca8e7f11b4880c051657-lq
 

old soul

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Actually, I got my first ATM card in the fall of 1975 when I started college. First Atlanta Bank had a teller machine in the student center and it was called Tillie, the All Time Teller. When Tillie wouldn’t put out on a Friday night, it was a disaster.
I remember Ms X machines
 

Ed Driscoll

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probably yeah but somehow the lamest of the 70s outlames everything lame from any other time, ever

that's a sure inevitability when you have a "me" decade
Speaking of which, for those who haven't read it, Tom Wolfe's "Me Decade" article, from New York magazine in August of 1976, is an excellent introduction to the zeitgeist of America in the 1970s.
 

staxman

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This thread is classic TDPRI--love it! I haven't read this much negativity and derision since my infamous "Hootie & the Blowfish" post... oh wait, that was the 90s.:D
 

Recce

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I was too young, but a friend of mine was in the first high school class that didn't get drafted ('73, I think). He said it was like a weight he hadn't even known he was carrying being lifted from his shoulders. Subsequently, he and his friends made the most of their new lease on life.

I was in a dive bar in Miami a couple of years ago, and they still had a cigarette machine. We all went and stared at it.
You graduated from high school in 74 or 75 to not be drafted. I was born in 56 and graduated high school in 1975. Most born in 1956 graduated in 1974. I had to get a draft card but those born in 1956 were the first year none were drafted.
 

ScottJPatrick

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White dog sh*t, violence and cheap beer, glam, prog, disco and punk, saw the Bay City Rollers play at my school in 1974, saw the Jam when I moved to Aberdeen in 1978, got a Peugeot 5 speed racing bike in 1975 for my 14th birthday, paid for half of it out of my paper round money, still got it, strikes, 3 day weeks, power cuts, Scotland actually had a decent football team, the 70's had it all, you had to be there.
 

Oxidao

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I had 12 in 1975. I was a happy kid.
Today's Music legends were releasing their Albums every year. That! was ROCK.
Led Zepp, Pink Floyd, B.Sabbath, etc

And then... AOR (aargh), and SUPER BANDS (uurgh). I can see how Punk came in to put all down, including myself.

We though we were going to ride flying saucers in 2000.
 

telemnemonics

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Bellbottoms and music cool in beginning. Then disco came in at end of 70s and ruined it all.
Oh man I was mad as hell about the sudden takeover of music by white collar disco dancing squares.

To be fair, some of that music was good, it was Soul music and great.
But the polyester look alike dressup totally unhip disco dancing crowd had no taste and would dance to total crap as happily as to good groove music.

Looking at those seemingly brain dead dancing fools (nope, I did not make this up) it really made no difference if the song was good or bad, because the scene was soooooo dismal.
Of course those are the people who run the world now.
Maybe not so dumb?
Lets look at the world, smart folks been running it?
Made lots of money, that seems smart?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
 

telemnemonics

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You graduated from high school in 74 or 75 to not be drafted. I was born in 56 and graduated high school in 1975. Most born in 1956 graduated in 1974. I had to get a draft card but those born in 1956 were the first year none were drafted.
Yeah born in 59, by 66 I was certain I would die in Vietnam but was not interested in dodging either.
Odd times, but after that date (I was at a school dance and they stopped the music to announce we were pulling out) I guess party time changed for a lot of us.
Plenty of other concerns too though, civil rights and the ERA etc, still serious times despite being party times.
 

Knows3Chords

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I was just a wee pup, but I remember polyester, shag carpet, wicker furniture, wood paneling, ferns everywhere, and lots of orange, yellow, and brown.

Everything is polyester now. They just have come up with fancy names for it now so they can charge us more.:)
 
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