During those wonderful days of the 60's, I can recall many wonderful peices of furniture and decorations around the house. Everything was sleek, new, space-age, and just plain fun. It was a pleasure to come home to furniture and furnishings that had absolute style! My parents had an old horse TV lamp like the one pictured here.
Remember pole lamps, velvet paintings, multi-colored ashtrays, and can openers? Remember how we used to open a can with those great old contraptions, punching a small hole first to let the air out, then a larger hole to drink out of. In my neighborhood, it was completely cool to shake up the can of pop , then punch the small air hole to create a spraying fountain of soda!
In our living room hung one of those wonderful old "sunburst" wall clocks so relevant to the 60's. We also had a console stereo, and I can remember listening to a mix of my Mom's music and my Dad's country and western. Songs like "El Paso" , "He's In the Jailhouse Now" , and "Crazy" always bring back the strongest of memories of those times. Console stereos were fun and had class. You could flip the top open to store albums inside, or sometimes the radio was on the inside. There was always some sort of interesting storage nooks and crannys.
Remember the old turntables" Remember stacking albums on the spindle? You could flip the little lever down below to drop the next one down. Does anybody remember "16" speed? There were 33 for albums, 45 for 45's and 78 for the oldies. 16 speed was for educational records, especially for LP's for the blind. We had a couple of "16's" in our household.
It's hard to believe that we actually had to dial our phones . How did we survive? Those old rotary dialers were commonplace--especially on the wall in the kitchen. The coil cords always tangled, driving everyone who used the phone nuts. They also had really loud rings, nothing like the phones of today. We also didn't have to go through a list of options when getting a telephone answering service, back then we were connected to an operator right away to help us with whatever we needed.
Our prefix was PR5 which stood for "Prospect" . Once I tried using the end of a pencil to dial like I'd seen done on TV. The eraser kept sticking to the plate causing me to screw up my dialing. Oh well, I guess I just wasn't cool enough.
It's fun for me to look back, remembering the retro furniture and the things we had in our house. Most of the things we had, cars, furniture etc., were relics from the 50's. I can remember our old bunk beds with the head and footboards that looked like wagon wheels. Fantasy in formica: I loved our formica dining room. Teardrop and Kidney shaped coffee tables were pretty darned cool too. My brother Kenny had one.
Post-Modern space age living. The 60's were a creative time and the lifestyles certainly reflected such. Design was innovative, a pleasant departure from the norm, yet mildly reminiscent of the 50's.
I can recall that there were many living room sets similiar to these in the neighborhood. However, the most of us who were of working class backgrounds, had carry-over furniture from the 50's. I'm not sure what was more fun--the old stuff, or the new. Everything was sleek and glamorous. I love this era.
Push that mower and get out that bamboo rake! It's yard work time, 1965. When I was younger, we still used those metal rakes. I got to be pretty good with one too. I would rake gently, just a milimeter above and beyond the surface so as not to dig up the lawn. No digging up the lawn! Can you dig it? I mean, I was hip to that whole yard maintenance thing. I loved mowing with those old push mowers. The grass smelled so good when it was freshly cut.
There was a great day indeed when you could tour the neighborhood on foot , dragging the mower behind you, going from house-to-house seeking fame and fortune. You could flip the blades up in reverse so it rolled easily, and didn't mow the street. What gets me the most nowadays is that I can't remember what a lawn mowing was worth. I think it was 50-75 cents. Of course, lawn mowing led to bigger and better things (well, not better), like weeding and other yard goodies.
I was just plain car crazy during my formative years in the 60's . Cars were big, sleek, shiny and made noise . They had big-ass steering wheels and simple dashboards. They didn't have the cockpits of F-17's like the cars of today. They had beauty and style; were gorgeous to look at and were ferocious.
Cars indeed had class , and as much as I adored cars, they always seemed to be in need of repair. I'm not sure if it was just fun to pop the hood and get all greasy, or if there really was a need. It seemed like there was always ample opportunity to cuss a tranny, or just change a sparkplug. My dad was a mechanic. My brothers, each and every one of them, disected their cars.
In fact, a fond memory for me is sitting around the kitchen table on a frosty morning with my dad and someone who came over to help him with the chev, or drop the tranny on the ford, or to put a new gasket in the Merc. Guys with grease black hands sat at the table slurping coffee and smoking cigarettes. Mom made toast and more coffee, while the men talked about everything under the sun. In the end, it all revolved back to that one special place of worship: the garage. sometimes I can still hear the loud clanging echo of a jack handle hitting concrete, or that "darh-harh-harh-harh..Vrooom-Vrooom!" of a successful automobile tune up.
Beer, cigarettes and coffee seemed to be the social regalia of the era. It's really hard to forget such loveable ad campaigns such as the "I'd rather fight than switch" and of course, the loveable "from the land of sky blue waters" Hamm's bear.
60's advertising was also great. I loved the idea that they actually used artistic renderings and illustrations to sell products. There was something to be said about the effort of such an endeavor, and the quality of confidence involved in artistic presentation.