Bean bag chairs, lava lamps, fiber optic lights, flower power paintings or decals, bead curtains for doorways as well as love beads to be worn around the neck, “bubble gum” art (AKA psychedelic), shag carpet complete with a carpet rake to keep it looking groovy. There were black lights, Ouija boards, slogan buttons (Don’t trust anyone over 30 was my favorite), troll dolls, super balls….just a few of many items that many of us owned in the 60’s AND I WILL ADMIT I OWNED SEVERAL OF THOSE ITEMS AS WELL AS….
Hip hugger bell bottoms which depending on the color and style could be worn with a tie dyed T-shirt, Nehru jackets, tunics, mini skirts (and hot pants) which I proudly teamed up with my white go-go boots and green granny glasses. OH, AND MY PEACE NECKLACE ON A LEATHER CORD. Paisley was the choice of shirt for the guys. Then there was ironing my hair to make it straighter (funny but in 1969-1970 we were then setting our long hair on POP CANS for a smooth curl!). However, if we were not ironing our hair, we were teasing it (back combing) into high style hair dos. The lipsticks were pale in color (I preferred the shimmery extremely pale lilac…it appeared almost white against my dark tan. Oh, yes, we tanned IN THE SUN, not in an oven. And we used baby oil as “protection”! Some friends added iodine to the baby oil to make them appear darker quicker.)
There was the 60’s slang; groovy, cool, hip, pad, happening, gas, scarf, split, scene, far out, dig it, threads, three on a tree (back then, instead of being a floor shift, lots of times the standard transmission shift was a 3 speed on the steering column) wedges were a shoe style and thongs were something you wore on your feet! If something was bitchin’, that meant is was something "WAY COOL" or pretty fantastic, but the word ya used around your parents was twitchin (no wonder they couldn’t keep up!) If someone had a boss car, that person had a COOL car…way cool, man.
There were school dances held every other Friday night. The janitor would grudgingly throw down saw dust on the gym floor to protect it from the scuffing it would take during the dances. Some of the bleachers would be pulled out so you had a place to set (or to venture “under” to make out). The dances included the Twist, Hully Gully, Mashed Potato, Monster Mash (a variation of the Mashed Potato), the Skate, the Swim, the Monkey, the Pony, the Watusi, the Freddie, Hand Jive, Locomotion, the Jerk, the Boogaloo, THE FRUG (If ya ever watched Hullabaloo or Shindig, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!) and probably 100 others…but those were the ones WE danced….and a lot we made up as the night progressed.
And the music we danced to was as varied as the dances. And do you remember these records and the groups; Gimme Dat Ding by the Pipkins, Gimme, Gimme Good Lovin’ by Crazy Elephant. And of course, the Beatles who brought the British Invasion. I still have every single (AKA 45 RPM) the Beatles ever recorded, but I did “trade in” my albums for CD’s.
1967 was the “summer of love” and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Beatles) album was the anthem for that time. Sgt. Pepper was a complete and revolutionary album, full of weird effects and songs about drugs.
As I was growing up through all of this, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on my life or how I could come to view things later in life. There have been times that I thought it would have been “neat” to have grown up (meaning the teen years) in the 50’s but I am glad it was the 60's.
From 1967, things kind of went down hill….the previous post on Yooper Yarns was the lyrics to a protest song, The Eve of Destruction. In 1968 both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated. My Mom, Dad, sister and I happened to be in Chicago for a visit when that happened...a story for another time. And I won't forget that as long as I live. (It was 1963 when President J F K was assassinated) LBJ had so escalated America's involvement in the Viet Nam conflict that across the nation's campuses students were rioting, while the "war on poverty" seemed to be going nowhere. There were riots in the around the country (which would continue to occur each summer for the next several years). In Oakland the Black Panther movement, the extremist of the extreme, was born. Richard Nixon was elected president, and Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.
This isn’t the “end of the story” but it is where I am going to stop for now. I do want to add that growing up in America, you are hopefully brought up to believe that ANYONE CAN DO ANYTHING OR BECOME ANYTHING if they set their mind to it. I didn’t mention the equal rights issues for women (we already know about the civil unrest between Blacks and Whites), or the era of burning our bras to make a point. But here we are in 2008 with a woman AND a Black man running for President!
As a result of women striving to achieve independence in the 1960’s, Phillip Morris used this catchy slogan (to promote Virginia Slims cigarettes, made especially for women and targeting girls who hadn’t even reached their teen age years yet) “YOU’VE COME A LONG WAYS, BABY.” And so we have!
I haven’t decided if I will continue on with this “tool down memory lane” at a later time or not. (BTW, “tooling” was the same as cruising, or AKA, going for a ride.) What got me started on this was “channel surfing” the other night. On PBS, they are having their annual fund raiser and for at least 2 nights in a row, it was all about music and groups of the 60’s….brought back a LOT of memories!
A lot of die hard baby boomers feel if you can remember the 60’s, you didn’t really, TRULY experience the 60’s….how'm I doing so far???
- Cathy Clementz
- A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!