1970’s Memorabilia? No Thank You!

by Katy on June 15, 2011 · 33 comments

Me and my father. Circa 1974.

I stopped by the main Goodwill this afternoon and although my son found a couple of items to bring home, (a pair of jeans to turn into cutoffs and a Domo cup) I went home empty handed. Why? Because the store was full of Target castoffs and groovy 1970’s knick-knacks. For those younger than myself, the 1970’s bring about a misty nostalgia filled with Three’s Company-style mayhem.

Unfortunately, many of us are old enough to remember the decade, and we vividly recall uncomfortably squashy orange furniture and sunken living rooms filled with brown shag carpeting so thick it was un-vacuumable and therefor always filthy. The car trips lacked air conditioning or radio reception and our grandmothers wore unflattering polyester suits.

It was a bad decade.

So please, do not romanticize the 1970’s. I beg of you.

Leave the owls, frogs and mushrooms in the thrift shops.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne June 16, 2011 at 3:27 am

LOL that is was. 80’s wasn’t much better. LOL


Van June 16, 2011 at 3:51 am

I love and own more 70s kitsch than a gal born in 1986 should…but I’m a natural kitsch lover, attracted to gaudy mushrooms and owls like a moth to the flame. Send me to that thrift store, please!


Maarten June 16, 2011 at 5:44 am

On one of blogs (or books?) on Frugal living I read that “to save money spent on phone- and internet bills” one could use one of the ’70s CB transmitter/receivers (transceivers). I thought that was a good idea an I tried it. First on FM-VHF (148 and 440MHz) walky-talkies. After a couple of minutes the local fire-department C.Q.-ed in and soon the local riff-raff & punters made communications near impossible. Exit the VHF. Now I am considering to buy a CB-set from Ebay; a truly 70’s era item and therefore dirt cheap. Does anyone have experience with CB (27 MHz)? I know radio is not suitable for private communications, but does CB work for local/neighborhood or emergency use? Or are there, after 30-odd years, still Smokey’s, Bandits and Black Pearly Queens out there who will never again stop talking?


Lisa Under the Redwoods June 16, 2011 at 6:16 am

I don’t know Katy. I’m kinda digging the macrame plant hangers 😎

I r


Katy June 16, 2011 at 6:20 am

I learned how to make those in elementary school.



Ann June 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

I’m digging your Dad’s ‘fu and muttonchops. Reminds me of my husband as a young buck. Platform shoes, double knit slacks. Yummy! (We graduated college in ’74 – just as a notation to my ridiculous longings).


Jenny June 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

Ugh….and the orange and avocado and brown color scheme. Let’s hope that one enver comes around again!


Darcidoodle June 16, 2011 at 8:58 am

Don’t forget mustard!

Also, I’m still going to work the maxi dress! Not ALL of the 70s was gawdawful!


Trisha June 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I seriously LOVE brown orange and avocado. I love 70s decor. Maybe because I didn’t get to experience the 70s. Maybe because it makes me think of when we lived in a simpler time.


Lilypad July 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I was born in 1967 and the house I grew up was built in 1969. We had an avocado-colored sink, bathtub, and toilet. I was so traumatized, I literally could not eat avocado until 1996. 😉 True story.


Rachel in Portland June 16, 2011 at 8:33 am

Great orange enameled pans, though.


Su Mama June 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

From Katy’s Ma — those are genuine Descoware enameled cast iron cookware, I’ll have you know! Very pricey!


Rachel in Portland June 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm

worth every penny. I buy it whenever I can, even in orange.


Lisa June 16, 2011 at 8:44 am

What about lava lamps…or was that the ’60’s? I’m so old! Sometimes I get confused. 😉


Kira June 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

So, what exactly is decorating the area over the sliding back door? Pretty cool, man.


Su Mama June 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm

That would be New Yorker magazine covers pasted up there, and all over the rest of the walls.


Amy June 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

You forgot to mention those gawdawful carpet rakes for the puke green or orange shag. : D I still would rather suffer the 70s again instead of the disco era.


Nancy June 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

What… you didn’t enjoy dancing on the lighted dance floors to “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer. Maybe you should have had a dance with that Tom Selleck look alike with the supercharged 409 (he was a John Deere salesman, what a hunk ;0 )


Lindy June 16, 2011 at 10:17 am

Love the picture.

I was born in the 60’s and remember the 70’s very well. I hate the color orange to this day! My parents both had orange cars, bright orange kitchen counter tops and the list could go on! Oh, and the owls.

When my kids ask me why I hate orange I tell them I had an overdose of it in the 70’s. ha.


Ellie June 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

Okay, I’m with Rachael – I dig those orange enamel pans! In fact, I inherited a pristine set of avocado enamel cookware – and I actually USE it!

Okay, I’m with you on TOO MUCH orange and avocado (some colors are best in moderation, no matter what the decade), and agree about the utter revolting nastiness of shag rugs . And muttonchops just gross me out (sorry, Katie’s Dad!).

But the owls? As with the enamel cookware in weird colors, I kind of have a soft spot for owls…will you judge me harshly if I admit I paid 75 cents for an owl pencil holder at a garage sale just last week? He’s just soooo cute….


Lori from Michigan June 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I love your Dad’s look! Very hip and groovy. And am I seeing New Yorker magazines in the background?


Sue June 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Amen, Katy. Amen! I dig the enamel pans, even the fondue sets, but please let’s leave the 70’s decor in the past (colors, textures and do-dads).


Lisa Under the Redwoods June 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

There is a house in town (or at least there was, I haven’t been that way in a long time) from the 70s that has a stain glass window with mushrooms on it. Now, best I recall from the local lore they weren’t exactly celebrating edible mushrooms.


E. Murphy June 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

The 70s, my legs were slim and twelve miles long and you could see most of them under my mini skirts.

I treasure those memories.


Rachel June 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Your dad looks like a pretty groovy guy!


mom to five June 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

You were just too young to appreciate the decade! I LOVED the 70s. I love shag carpet, earth toned appliances, sunken living rooms, macrame plant hangers, dirt colored muti-toned carpet squares in the kitchen, HUGE cars, Sarah Coventry jewelry, platform shoes, lava lamps, tie-died clothing and bell bottom jeans…. Levis, 30/30, big bell, dark blue ( I was a fat teen)….
In fact, I become almost teary when watching reruns of the Wonder Years. That was my youth, my beauty years…… first kiss, first prom, first you-know-what…..
You were just too young to appreciate that particular decade.


Madeline June 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I always say you can tell someone’s age by the COLOR of their tupperware! MY tupperware is orange and avocado.Most of us got our tupperware as young moms, yes I am 58 and my baby was born the year I had my first tupperware party. (And I still own and use that tupperware!!) Hey! A PARTY of any kind when you have a new baby is “groovy.” “Better than Sex cake” was the rave for our “demonstration parties” , and after having a newborn, yes, cake was better than sex, for a while…

I liked the 80’s much more: pink, purple, glam and shoulder pads!! Oh, and the kiddo was finally IN SCHOOL!!!!!!!

but I do have great memories…. and I do still love disco.


Tina (Tightwad Mom) June 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Your right there is nothing glamorous about the seventies. I was elementary school age during the seventies, and my Grandma had a fetish with crocheted ponchos, vests, mittens, hats – you name it. I wore more purple, brown, green, and orange yarn creations to school than any child should!!! I may be scarred for life! ; )


Jenny June 18, 2011 at 8:32 am

I forgot about the granny squares….and the ponchos. Mine was, of course, orange.


sandra jensen June 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

I love your’s Dad’s vest – and all the house plants!!! I graduated from high school in 1971. Yep – all that sure looks familiar!


Deb June 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Oh GAWWWD that pic is hilarious and tragic all at once. But you had long blond hair you could part in the middle – so Marcia Brady, you brat!
I was a child of the 70s, born in ’62. I well remember raking shag carpet, wearing bell bottoms with huge flowers on them in the brightest colors, and riding a metallic sea green sting ray with long tassles coming out of the handle grips. (okay, the bike was totally cool).
And I confess I succumbed to nostalgia at a thrift store and bought a set of owl mugs. Then I bought some other random owl themed coffee cups, and then, ultimate moment of insanity – a bright orange 70s fondue set. WHAT!?
The last time I went to a thrift store I took a friend who prevented me from further lapses of reason.


Tracy Balazy June 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Owls, frogs and mushrooms, hahahaha. I was born in 1967, and the ’70s was my era, too, Katy. Earth tones everywhere. My father had a silky shirt with a huge collar and blades of dewy grass silkscreened all over it, and my mother wore a lot of brown. And the crocheted vests and ponchos — I, too, had a relative who loved to crochet these items for me. Katy, I love the photo, please keep running photos like these on occasion!


Katie June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm

You guys look great! You and your dad are really working the look of the era! 🙂


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