With each passing year of my life, I go backwards. Kind of like the movie ‘Back to the Future’. You see, I find myself embracing and coveting all that was good and memorable for me about the 1960s and into the 70s. College was full of new adventures, friends, experiences and wonderment. It was a time to be carefree and do what I wanted to do. Oh, yes, I worked really hard and long hours. After college, I was a teacher by day, and I slung hash by night. Yes, I was a waitress for 9 years working hard for tips and trying to achieve the American dream. For many years there weren’t those ‘big’ and forever responsibilities like children and family. The 60s and 70s were decades that changed the landscape of social and political culture in America. Yes, I was sure to wear flowers in my hair.
When I was encapsulated in that time period, I, nor probably many of my friends, had no idea that we was part of a generation that would re-define so many things about life and living. We were major fashion changers–our leather and fringe, tie-dyed clothing,long flowing dresses, mini skirts, long scarves, vests, mis-matched clothing, bell bottoms, turtlenecks, psychedelic patterns, fringed and torn jeans, boots, granny glasses, suede suits, wedged shoes, headbands and jewelry, yes, the jewelry! Today many Millenials and GenX’ers feel a real connection with our era–no, they weren’t even born then, but their lifestyles and attitudes embrace this unconventional thinking, this desire to be unique, this quest to push to the edge of what life has to offer. It’s anchored in retailers like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Sundance, and Ralph Lauren.
1960 was the beginning of JFK’s ‘New Frontier’. Change was uh comin’ and it would rock our worlds. I remember JFK campaigning. Yes, he came to our small Southern Appalachian town of Man, WV. He rode in a convertible. It was like seeing royalty. I remember the day he was assassinated. The world stood still. I was in junior high. I cried.
Even the food was changing in the 1960s. The casseroles of the 1950s were boring. It was time for backyard BBQs, fancy stuff from Julia, more global foods, fondue, cocktail parties, birthday parties, buffets. Then there was the emergence of junk foods and new packaged food products like Shake n’ Bake, Tang, instant oatmeal, Coke in cans, BakOs, and chunky canned soups. Our grooovy appliances were things like the toaster, coffee maker, hand mixer and electric can opener! Yes, things that I still use today that have been upscaled and improved.
There were so many other things that riveted our lives as teenagers in the 1960s. The Vietnam war. I saw many of my high school friends drafted and sent halfway around the globe, some came home, some didn’t. My brother was drafted and sent. He was shot, paralyzed and awarded a Purple Heart. These boys, yes, just boys, were brave beyond words. They served valiantly~duty, honor, country.
The 1960s and into the 70s. A period in history that brought pain and sacrifice. Decades that brought change and hope. A time that burst forth with great music, pop art, charming idealism and counter culture thinking. An era that we ‘children of the 60s’ who are now in our 60s remember well.
Our ‘world’ of things like Woodstock, feminism, the Peace Corps, Twiggy, Nehru jackets, Barbie dolls, GI Joes, the Beverley Hillbillies, Janis Joplin, Led Zeplin, Andy Warhol, hippies and so much more leaves its indelible and formidable stamp on today’s society. Yes, we were flower children with flower power~be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
And, please leave a comment! I love hearing your memories! ooxo ~peace love & namaste~ ally