I’m not one of those people who wish they could go back to the past and do things differently. We have to accept that was then and this is now and make the best of it. Life is for living and we should grab it with both hands, whilst we still can. That doesn’t, however, stop me reminiscing about years gone by and remembering how little things pleased me, like going to the roller rink on a Saturday morning or queuing up at the movie theatre to see Saturday Night Fever. That movie is still one of my all time favorites and I must have seen it a dozen times!
Step back into the past as we check out what was most definitely some of the highlights of the 70s and 80s – enjoy!
1 Paper Fortune Teller
Everyone remembers these from school. We would carefully fold a sheet of paper int the required shape and then write colors or numbers on the top and various phrases inside the hidden folds. We were always playing this in class, under the desk, to pass away the boredom of a Maths lesson. My dad said this little piece of origami was also used to catch flies!
It’s not surprising that kids, even now, are making these fortune tellers. The difference is that they can google the instructions nowadays.
2 Lite Brite
Who would have thought a lightbox with small, colored pegs would turn out to be such a hit! The pegs fitted into a panel and illuminated to create a picture. Hasbro also offered refills and new colors, apart from the usual green, yellow, pink, purple, orange, white, blue and red.
You could also get refill templates with characters such as My Little Pony (my personal favorite), as well as Scooby-Doo and Mickey Mouse.
3 Pom Pom Socks
Were tube socks not your thing – well, it didn’t matter as pom pom socks were sure to fit your fashion requirements. The sock only just covered the feet and ended below the ankle, displaying a tiny pom pom in a color of your choice. If I remember correctly, the socks were sold in packs of three, with different pom poms on each pair. This ensured the pom pom would match every outfit and there was no excuse for a wardrobe malfunction!
The only time I can recall when this footwear proved unsuitable was when I wore my roller skates when the pom-pom couldn’t be seen.
My dad never missed an episode. We saw the Cartwright family in one of the longest-running Westerns to be shown on US television. As soon as the opening theme tune sounded (I can still remember it now and I was really young when it was on) we had to stop chattering or leave the room as my father settled down in ‘his’ armchair, to watch the episode. When I was older and the re-runs were aired, I realised why he enjoyed it so much!
When I was older and watched the re-runs, I realised why he enjoyed it so much! Thinking back, dad always liked to watch a good Western movie.
You either loved it or you hated it! Even though it looked far from appetising, I ate every morsel on the plate. I even liked it in between 2 slices of Wonder Bread, on a Saturday lunchtime. This was one of the few things my dad could make, not that it took much making, just sticking it in the frying pan.
6 The Golden Girls
I loved the Golden Girls, aired on a Friday evening on NBC at 10 pm. The fact I could stay up late to watch it was as enjoyable as the actual show! It ran for 7 seasons and won just about every award it was up for. Funny and poignant, it had the perfect mix which wouldn’t have worked if it was not for the wonderful actresses. Did you know Dorothy’s mom was actually younger than her in real life! Thank you for being a friend …
Did you know Dorothy’s mom was actually younger than her in real life! They don’t make them like that anymore, shame. Thank you for being a friend…
7 Tootsie Pop Drops
There are certain candy bars and sweet treats that have always stuck in my mind and Tootsie Pop Drops are definitely one of them. I could never make my mind up which flavor to choose so I would alternate between the chocolate and grape flavors.
Mum used to tell me off for eating the whole packet but there was no way I was ever going to share them with my irritating brother!
8 Luden’s Cough Drops
Mom had some weird remedies in her medicine box, kept at the top of her kitchen cupboard, various potions and cough syrups, which gathered dust over the years. One item which didn’t let the dust settle was Luden’s Cough Drops. As soon as my sisters and I complained of a sore throat, or even just felt unwell, we were forced to pop these, like sweets, for a swift recovery.
I don’t know if they actually worked but they are tasted good! Mom would tell me not to bite the cough drops but I couldn’t resist..
9 Tony Orlando & Dawn
How is it that one of the most annoying songs on the planet could remain at number 1 in the charts and have us singing along, even if we didn’t want to! I’d find myself humming it, after hearing it on the radio and I couldn’t stop myself. Teen Beat often featured the group, with snippets of gossip about them and a giant poster for our bedroom walls.
This song was just as grating as their previous hit, Knock Three Times, but they obviously had the right formula as they sold millions of records.
10 Electric Youth
Who remembers this perfume? Well, I do, for sure. My sister was always spraying herself with this popular fragrance, designed by Debbie Gibson. It was one of the first celebrity perfumes around and was very sweet, perfect for my liking so I helped myself to it when she wasn’t around.
It was widely advertised and, as Debbie Gibson was at the height of her popularity, it became one of the top selling perfumes in 1989. Produced by Revlon, because it wasn’t overpriced, it appealed to the younger market, which is just what they wanted.