I’m a product of the 70s. 1974 to be exact. The #1 song on the day I was born was ‘Billy Don’t Be a Hero’ by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. I’m pretty sure that song was about war. What a bummer. Not exactly the anthem you want announcing your arrival, but nothing I can do about it now (or then either).
The 70s rocked! So did the 80s. I still remember the cool clothes, music, and toys. I’m guessing my family was poor (that’s what my mom said) but I didn’t know it at the time. Us, poor? Hey, I had cool stuff. Really cool stuff. Those were the days of layaway, I guess. My mom probably put our Christmas gifts on layaway in March. Now folks just put it on a credit card. GUILTY.
My toys were the greatest. I wished I would have saved them. I remember laying in front of the television with my sister and brother looking through “The Wish Book” , planning what to put on our Christmas lists. By the way, that was one of the few times we got along. That catalog must have been mailed out in July because I swear I remember looking at it for months. If I would have saved my toys they would probably be worth a fortune and I could retire early if I sold ‘em. Right. Who am I kidding? I was a tomboy. Mostly I would cut their hair off, color on them or drop them off the porch to see if they would bounce. I bet my sister’s toys would still look new. Just sayin’.
Gosh, where do I start? I guess my absolute favorite toy was:
Yes, that’s right. Milky. As corny as it was, he came with a trough and little white ‘milk’ pills. You could pump his tail, he would drink water and then…you milked him. No, I’m not kidding. I thought this was the coolest thing ever! Eventually Milky’s udders dry-rotted. What a sad day.
Cabbage Patch Kids
I had several, but my very first was Gladys Raylean. Gladys has a pretty pink dress and curly, light-brown hair made of yarn. Her birth certificate indicated her date of birth was October 1st. I still have her, unless my mom gave her away to my niece. Later came Braden Felix who had a head gear and braces to match mine. (as if it wasn’t bad enough, I was the fat kid WITH a head gear).
My record player
I got this bad boy for Christmas one year. My sister got one too, just like it. Santa must have not wanted us to fight because he brought us matching record player and 2 records-both the same. Sad Eyes and Funky Town. My sister and I shared a room. Santa must have thought it would not be an issue with 2 kids playing 2 record players with different records at the same time. Boy, Santa should have discussed that with our mom. She sure was ill. Hmm…
Mr. Professor Calculator
He was awesome, although he really didn’t help improve my math skills. At 35 years old, I still use my fingers to count. My kid has tons of electronics that do amazing things…I had a calculator. WOW.
I’m not exactly sure what my obsession was with playdoh hair. Of course, I could only play with it on the back porch since my mom didn’t want me to ruin her harvest gold shag carpet. Anyway, it was cool.
My Jam Box
This thing must have weighed 15 pounds. It ran on batteries, D, I think. Maybe 6 of them. It had a cassette player which was an upgrade from the record and 8-track player. I remember it was “hip” to carry it on your shoulder. Not sure that was the best design considering the weight of the thing.
Okay, so you think this is not a big deal. Well in 1986, this was a BIG DEAL. VCRs were fairly new since most people still had BETAs. When I saw that Zenith VCR under the Christmas tree, I swear I heard angels. Christmas morning my uncle Jim drove over and hooked it up. My first recording was a re-run of Pee Wee Herman on the Joan Rivers Show. Yes, I remember that. In fact, I still have the VCR tape.
My TRAPPER KEEPER!
While not a toy, there is one thing I loved so much I carried it EVERYDAY. Kids today have no idea what this is, but I’m sure I’m not the only kid to have a Trapper Keeper. I loved it when we went school supply shopping but nothing could replace my Trapper Keeper.
What’s not to love about the 70s and 80s. If only I had a time machine…