Feeling Nostalgic: Growing Up In The 70’s

I grew up during the 70’s…a time when change was happening at a unprecedented rate.  Sort of like now, but with less technology.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table, eating my super-sugary cereal (my mom bought Cap’n Crunch and Lucky Charms!), and listening to the radio while the announcer discussed Watergate, and later, counting the days that the hostages were held in Iran, the women’s movement, racial equality, disco, drugs, a madman named Son of Sam, and a major New York City blackout on a hot summer night.  I played outside, unsupervised, with the kids in the neighborhood until dusk and walked the half-mile to my elementary school alone beginning in first grade.  At 10, I had a key to my house…I was a latchkey kid…and no one thought twice about it.  If I needed something, I would just go to the neighbors..after all, I had known them my entire life! Times have changed.

This wave of nostalgia was brought on by a catalog for kids toys that I received in the mail the other day.  It was a flimsy thing, highly designed in that modern “Apple-eqsue” way – clean, sparse, with lots of white space, and suddenly I remembered the Sears Christmas catalog, a.k.a., “The Wish Book.”  200+ pages chock full of everything a child could possibly want for Christmas.  When that book arrived, usually sometime in mid-November, I would pour over it for hours, it was eye candy to the ‘nth degree all there just waiting for Santa to bring it to me.  How could I possibly decide?

sears catalog

That started my trip down memory lane…care to take a walk?

I NEEDED to have the Dorothy Hamill haircut…mine never looked this good.  Maybe it was because my mom took me to a BARBER to get my haircut and he had no idea who Dorothy Hamill was.

dorothy hammil


I got a mood ring in the gumball machine at the grocery store.  It was always a murky blue/black color and never really changed color…maybe I was just a cranky adolescent.

mood ring

I had a very wide gap in between my front teeth (thanks for those genes, Dad) and wore braces from 11-13years old.  For 10 hours a day I had to wear a torture device known as “headgear.”  Nothing like a metal bar across your face to make a girl feel pretty.


And to draw more attention to my sparkly mouth, I wore gobs of a sticky substance known as Kissing Potion…as if.

kissing potion

Speaking of kissing…my idea hot guys went from safe:

sean cassidy
Sean Cassidy

To trouble.

lief garret
Leif Garrett


So I wore lots of this.

loves baby

And this.


And read books like this.

judy blume

And heard my mom talk about women like this, who were paving the road for girls like me.

gloria steinem

To become a woman like this.





9 thoughts on “Feeling Nostalgic: Growing Up In The 70’s

  1. I, too, coveted the Wish Book and I had the Dorothy Hammil haircut! Just about died laughing at the Tickle deodorant! Such a good walk down memory lane Ann!

  2. You have NO IDEA how much I love this post. I, too, am a child of the 70s. Seriously, it was the best time ever. I related to every single one of those pics (that lipgloss brought back SO many memories!!!). Do you remember Jordache Jeans and the first time Nike shoes made it into the US market (come to think of it, Nike might be an early 80s thing…). Such great memories!

    1. The other lipgloss that I couldn’t find a photo of that I was completely obsessed with, was from Avon and they came in cookie shaped containers (oreo, choc chip)…and Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers in Dr. Pepper and 7-Up flavor. I agree, such a fun and carefree time! Yes, I had Jordache jeans and Nikes (royal blue with a silver swoosh…they were so cool!).

      1. YES!!!!! Those lipglosses!!! They have the Bonne Bell Lip Smackers now in the drugstores. I look at it and keep thinking I’d love to get those for my girl…but am afraid she’d eat them (like I remember doing!).

        I had sky blue nikes with a darker sky blue swoosh. When I wore those around with my Jordache Jeans, I thought I was SO COOL!

  3. Loved this! Mood rings rocks and I feel your pain on the headgear. I too had to wear the very same piece of equipment, sucked big time.

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