Updated: Aug 2, 2021
When I think back to the summers of the 1970's all I can do is smile. It was so carefree and it felt like we literally did not have a care in the world. Then I started to really go down memory lane and really think about it all and I now think we romanticized it!
We all had a pair of Dr. Scholls. They were marketed to be an exercise sandal which would make your legs more muscular. There were really nothing more then walking on blocks of wood. I think they did more harm then good. They were so popular that they even came up with a clog for back to school.
Another big fashion trend were concert t-shirts or t-shirts with T.V. sayings on them. I had one with a picture of J-J Walker that said "Dyn O Mite".
Pair it with Levi's. There was a store in the mall that sold just Levi's, tons and tons of them!
But for those really hot summer days, there was nothing like a pair of terry cloth shorts. You could buy them at K-Mart for $3.96.
All I ever wanted was to look like Farrah Fawcett.
The only drink that was needed in the summer was Kool Aid. Each packet was 5 cents. I guess it wasn't the best choice since you had to add one whole cup of sugar. Everyone had their favorite flavor, mine was fruit punch. The Kool-Aid man who yelled "Oh Yeah" is not to be confused with the Hawaiian Punch man who yelled "Who wants a Hawaiian Punch". Also to note is that an entire cult "drank the Kool-Aid" and killed themselves.
For a cool treat out by the pool the only thing we had was an Otter Pop. No fancy organic fruit pops when we were kids.
A very special treat was when the ice cream man came and he came at the same time every night around 6:00. My favorite was a strawberry shortcake pop.
There were also pop rocks which were rumored to have killed Mikey when he ate them and then drank Coke and his stomach exploded.
Speaking of Coke -- I took the original Pepsi Challenge and picked Pepsi even though I love Coke because they served the Pepsi cold and fresh and the Coke warm and flat. What a scam.
As a child in the 70's there were so many fun, safe ways to play. Let us first look at our playgrounds. I personally got hurt so bad that I had to have 10 stitches in and out of my mouth from playing on these terrible, dangerous places.
Another fun activity that the boys played was to make a ramp and jump it with your bike. This was made popular by the one and only Evel Knieval who was rumored to have broken ever bone in his body. As girls we just stood back and watched and told the boys how stupid they were and that they were not that cool. Notice that nobody is wearing a helmet except for Evel.
Our city also had a free service in the summer called "Playground". A teenage girl and boy supervisor (who were complete strangers) would come and watch you free of charge and you would do arts and crafts or play sports. We walked there all by ourselves and nobody really knew if we were coming or going. The only art and craft we actually did was gimp and they only sport they played was baseball.
At home we could play Jarts which is actually now outlawed because it was so dangerous or Chinese jump rope.
If we were really lucky we would go to Rocky Point amusement park. My daughter cracked her head open there on the bumper cars. My favorite was the House of Horrors which reeked of gasoline and oil. Or you could swim in the humongous salt water pool that had a three story diving board in the middle of it. No, not dangerous at all!
Don't leave the park before taking the original selfie from a photo booth.
The three big movies of the 70's were Jaws, Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever. A shark eats everyone, your father tries to kill you and your friend jumps off a bridge.
The best nights were going to the drive-in. You could pack the entire car for $8 and bring your own snacks.
I would have to say that probably the most dangerous and disturbing thing from the 1970's summers were that people used to hitch hike. Can you imagine doing this now-a-days.
So as you can now see, we definitely romanticized our 1970's childhood summers -- but you know something . . . I would not have it any other way.