Inspired by NaBloPoMo writing prompt for Monday, July 7, 2014:
Which former decade do you wish you could time travel and visit? Why?
While I’m sure I’d answer this question differently on another day, today I’m going to vote for taking a quick trip back in time to the 1970s. Why the ’70s? Just because I think it would be great fun to look in on my childhood self and revisit some of the things I did and the life I lived back in the day. Since time travel isn’t yet possible, however (too bad!), I think I’ll satisfy my nostalgic impulses by indulging in a thoroughly random, rambling little “Remember when…” session here on Alphabet Salad.
Perhaps (some of) you will be able to relate to (some of) my memories!
As a kid, my allowance of $1.00 per week was given to me every Saturday morning. The hardest part was deciding how to spend it and get the very most out of every penny. Of course, a trip to the corner store for candy always figured into the picture! One of my favourite treats was Dubble Bubble – a hard piece of pink bubble gum that included a tiny printed comic tucked between the gum and the outer wrapper, all for just a penny. I remember my first experience with inflation – the day when the cost of a piece of my beloved gum increased to 2¢. Oh, the tragedy!
Hours, upon hours, upon HOURS were spent playing what Wikipedia calls Chinese jump rope but which my cohorts and I knew as Chinese skipping. I think this may have been a game played mostly by girls – each of whom had their own set of elastics – though I do remember some neighbourhood boys joining in on occasion. Chinese skipping involved an elaborate set of routines and rules, some of which we made up as we went along (“tag, tag, no erasies!”), and “good elastics” (not too thick, not too thin, and just the right amount of tension) were highly coveted treasures.
We didn’t get a whole lot of channels when I was growing up, but the favourites from my (Canadian) childhood included Sesame Street, Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant, Little House on the Prairie, Gilligan’s Island, and the Brady Bunch.
Hot Dog Days
None of the elementary schools I attended had a cafeteria, so kids either went home for lunch or were herded into the school gymnasium where we hurriedly wolfed down the meal our moms had packed in a plastic lunchbox or brown paper bag – usually a sandwich, an apple, and some cookies – before rushing outside to play. A few times throughout the year, however, came the much-loved and long-anticipated Hot Dog Days. Even though our choices were usually limited to nothing more than a hot dog or two with a drink to wash it all down, we were always tremendously excited by the novelty of these special days! A week or so ahead of time an order form was sent home with each of us for our parents to fill out and return to the school along with the appropriate amount of money to pay for our lunch. Drink choices were regular milk, chocolate milk, or raspberry cocktail, each presented in a little square carton – since this was LONG before the days of juice boxes! (I wonder if you can guess which drink was always my first choice?)
Dixie Cups – little plastic containers of vanilla ice cream accompanied by a small, flat, wooden spoon – were a fixture on our school Sports Days (usually held right before we broke up for summer), and sometimes even featured in the aforementioned Hot Dog Days. They were tiny – not more than a few bites, really – but we loved them.
Toys & Games
Anyone remember Spirograph, Silly Putty, Etch-A-Sketch, Doodle Art, Lite-Brite, Tinkertoys, or Magic Slate? How about Sorry!, Battleship, Clue, or Payday? All favourites of mine.
So, there you have it – a random handful of my 1970s childhood memories. (P.S. – Want some visuals? Check out the “My Childhood Memories” board I’m curating on Pinterest!)
Now, what are some of your childhood memories, 1970s or otherwise?