Mushrooms! Orange and yellow color themes! Sweet daisies! It's the '70s!
I was 11 as the 1970s began, and as I was the oldest child, and lacked older cousins or hip babysitters, I missed the Peace-Love '60s. I only knew what a "hippie" was from novels or from reading "Time" magazine. But I remember the 1970s! My 16-year-old daughter is taking an apparel class this semester in high school, and she is fascinated by the punk fashions of the late '70s.
Daisies...there were daisies everywhere in the 1970s.
She was disappointed when I explained that I never even saw punk fashion until I was out of college and was going to clubs. Alas, she doesn't realize that the 1970s was about Earth Shoes, Ditto jeans, baseball jersey tee shirts (my favorite one said "32", for some special reason that now eludes me), plaid pants, and lots and lots of polyester knits, especially for dresses and pant suits, which girls were allowed to wear to school in the 7th grade on Fridays only.
Remember the Ecology flag? Somewhere I have a patch with this design!
But, wait, there's more! The 1970s I remember the most was the "back to nature" world of Whole Earth Catalogs, Mother Earth News, the ecology flag and those "ecology collages," which were wooden boxes with various-sized compartments and a glass top.
This awesome book cover got me thinking about the 1970s.
Click the large size to appreciate the details.
We created primitive assemblages in those boxes, complete with seashells, river rocks and seed pods (or dry beans and popcorn kernels if you couldn't find the cool stuff) filling each little square. We'd hunt through magazines for a dreamy nature photo--a seashore or forest scene, then we'd add a niche-appropriate plastic animal. The boxes were hung in our dens and kitchens, next to a macrame piece woven on a real branch, until bugs ruined the corn kernels or the seed pods grew moldy fuzz.
Kwai Chang Caine, the Shaolin priest who wandered the American West.
My favorite part of the 1970s? Well, I was a huge, huge fan of "Kung Fu," the ABC show starring the late David Carradine. I wanted so much to be like the soft-spoken hero, Kwai Chang Caine. I spent hours drawing dragons and tigers on my inner arms (and the arms of my friends) with ball point pen. I watched the show, read the tie-in books and clipped any photos I could find. In late high school, I took Shotokan Karate, rising to a 3rd degree green belt (one level below brown belt), which was a testimony to my discipline because I have no natural athletic ability. Even today I still like the show--I have all three seasons in boxed DVD sets, but the first season and the first half of season two contain my favorite episodes.
I have to go find some apparel from the 1970s for my daughter's project--at this stage, all I think I have left is some costume jewelry and a couple Bicentennial scarves. I wore snap-front denim jumper and a "Spirit of '76" scarf knotted around my throat for my junior high school photo. Maybe I'll give my daughter that!
Invitation, daisies, ecology flag, and photo of "Kung Fu" lead David Carradine, courtesy of Google Search and Flickr. "How to Tell it's the 1970s" is a digital art piece created by C. Bruhn