I’ve been scanning old photos again, encouraged by Prompt 8 of True Stories. I’ve posted other scans here from time to time along with what I remember of them.
My mom, when she sees the blog posts, calls me up and tells me what I remembered wrong or adds details to things I wouldn’t have known at the time. We sometimes argue over who is correct. I tend to think it is me because being 28 years younger than her I have had less time to forget things & fewer memories to crowd them out.
This is from my folk’s house in 1975 (as if that is not totally obvious to everyone)
What makes this so obviously a photo from 1975?
Where to begin…
The phone my father is speaking on is mounted to the wall, with a short cord. You could just barely sit at the kitchen table while talking on the phone. Mostly though you had to stand, so make it a short conversation. Especially if dad was expecting a phone call, which was always. There was no call waiting back then.
You can just about make out on the right side of my dad’s face his sideburns. He had IMPRESSIVE side burns. Side burns were BIG in the 70’s He looked like Engelbert Humperdinck, or so I am told. I cannot find a photo of EH with the side burns for comparison.
Then there is the woman.
Not my mom.
One of our neighbors but I don’t know who. I rarely recognize any adults in that era.
She is wearing a sleeveless polyester pantsuit with an orange, yellow & brown striped shirt under it. The shirt collar is HUGE. So are her glasses. Note how the color of her hair matches the overall hue of the room.
She is SMOKING. In the HOUSE! Just off to the left of the photo is an enormous brown ceramic ashtray that would be just mounded with butts at the end of a visit from the neighbors. They all chain smoked. My parents chain smoked. I have that ashtray now. I use it as a candle holder with greenery for Xmas decor
That drink in front of her is called a highball. I once knew how to make them as a party trick when my dad hosted poker nights. (I was 8 in 1975, 8 year olds mixing drinks was a bit of ‘thing’ in our neighborhood. The kid across the street made a mean martini)
She is sitting at a round orange laminate table with white rounded plastic chairs. These chairs had orangy-tan cushions that were held in place by a single strip of velcro that often gave way if you wiggled at all in your seat, sending you sliding to the floor along with the cushion & if you were lucky you didn’t smack your chin on the table on the way down. Adults just found the cushions slippery. Kids who couldn’t reach the floor with their feet lived in fear of dinner time.
Because sliding off the chair & smacking your head on the table was proof you were “Goofing off at the table! Go to your room! no MASH reruns for you tonight”
But it was a useful place to hide green beans when no one was looking.
Then there is the serviceable brown fridge. We also could have gotten it in avocado green or harvest gold, but my parents liked the contrast of brown appliances with an orange & tan kitchen.
If you held the fridge door open longer than 2.5 seconds a voice from somewhere in the house would shout “Close the damn fridge door! You know what is in there! You were just looking in there 5 minutes ago!”
And I now find myself saying the exact same thing….
Last we have the wallpaper.
No one could mistake that wallpaper for anything other than exactly what it is. 1970’s kitchen wallpaper. I’ll bet a quarter of the people reading this blog, who were alive in the 1970’s, had that same wallpaper in their kitchens, or it was in their best friend’s kitchen. Admit it, most of you encountered that wall paper, in either gold/orange or green/brown at some point in the 70’s.
There were matching curtains on the kitchen window.
Not pictured is the flooring. Vinyl. It had an orange & tan pattern of interlocking squares.
Interesting coincidence… when I was 15 they remodeled this kitchen and went with a blue motif. New wall paper, new flooring, new cream colored appliances. When I was 30 we bought our house and the tile in our kitchen was the same pattern as my parent’s 70’s kitchen but in the blue and cream color of the redone kitchen.
Mom will no doubt let me know which of the neighbors that is and probably correct me that it’s not Engelbert Humperdinck but some other 70s singer that everyone thought my dad looked like.
And probably that isn’t a highball but a whiskey sour (a drink I still make).
But I am 99% those are Virginia Slims she is smoking.