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REFLECTIONS

by Katie Butler Johnson



Remember the saying: “Everything old is new again?”

As the years slip by, it seems to me trends considered new may just be a repeat of some decades old trend.

Remember when harvest gold, pumpkin orange and avocado green were the “it” colors? That was in the 1970’s. Whole houses were designed using those colors. Our neighbors Carol and Sim had harvest gold appliances in their harvest gold kitchen. My husband and I had orange patterned flooring in our kitchen and one of the iconic 1970’s orange shag carpets in our family room. We thought that carpet was stylishly edgy and perfect for our wood-paneled family room. It didn’t take long before buyers’ remorse crept in. That orange carpet, which warmed up the room and made it cozy in the winter, made it feel hellishly hot in the summer. And Texas has way more summer than winter.

I’m starting to see harvest gold, pumpkin orange and avocado green again, often in muted tones, on all sorts of clothing, kitchen products and home décor. And, high-waisted bell bottom jeans, like the ones we wore in the 70’s, are marching back into our stores along with those “little house on the prairie” dresses. I guess 50 years is ample time to have to have passed for us to be ready to revisit things and memories from the 70’s.

For you “younger” seniors, I imagine the 70’s was a magical coming of age time filled with the wonder of discovering just who you were during what writer Tom Wolfe dubbed “the me decade.” For us “older” seniors, the 70’s was a time when what shocked everyone in the 60’s seemed to go mainstream. As mom of three adventurous teens, way smarter and quicker than I, the 70’s was an angst-filled era from which I managed to emerge, a bit scuffed, but, thankfully, intact. (My kids gave me karma payback for the drama I’d given my parents as a teen in the 50’s. Now I get to watch their kids deliver karma to them.)

Have you ever wondered if any of the iconic 70’s products are still sold? I did some research. Should you crave an original Gary Dahl pet rock in its custom designed cardboard box with ventilation holes and straw bedding, it’s available for $29.99 on Amazon today. (But you can get a knockoff pet rock complete with same accessories on Etsy for $5.)

When I think about the 70’s, it’s not its political movements, or scandals like Watergate, or the catastrophe of Three Mile Island meltdown, nor the technological and scientific advances of the decade that come to mind. It’s the music and the performing arts.

For over 50 years we’ve enjoyed 1970’s music. It still speaks to us today - music from greats like Elton John, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, Elvis Presley, Abba, The Village People, the Bee Gees, and on and on. We had fabulous movies in the 70’s. They’re classics now like “Saturday Night Fever, “The Way We Were”, “The Godfather,” “Star Wars.” “Jaws,” “Close encounters of the Third Kind”and “Rocky.” 70’s TV gave us “All in the Family,” “Mash”, “Happy Days,” “Roots,” “Columbo,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” “Dallas” and the list is too long to include them all. That music, those musicians and the performing artists from the 70’s who have stood the test of time are now a cultural part of our American heritage.

Wouldn’t it be fun to spend a few hours basking in that 70’s vibe? Want to take a trip down memory lane?? The Spectacular Follies is planning just such a treat for us. Their next production: “Stayin Alive: Our Flashback” is bringing the 1970’s to the Granville Arts Center in Garland this spring; April 25-28th with 5 matinee performances, one each day, plus an evening performance on April 27th.

Better get your tickets soon; It’s going to be a sell out! Tickets: 972-256-8712


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