Time In A Bottle (Please Pour It Out)

The Pied Piper and Her/His/Its Band of Loons
The Pied Piper and Her/His/Its Band of Loons

I realize one day I will have to defend the 1980s to my son. He will ask the big questions, and I will do my best to make sense of that decade. Everything in excess, big and sprayed and sparkly. But NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING can defend the 1970s. What were you thinking? The entire country did not collectively drop acid in 1973, but you could have fooled me. Witness this scene from Indiana University.


I realize the times, they were a-changing. The times are always a-changing. I understand that having your friends and family drop dead right and left in a war we didn’t win was no picnic. In fact, I read just today about a six-foot college man who weighed 145 lbs at the time he was drafted and forced himself to drop down to 123 (officially underweight) to fail his physical and consequently avoid service in Vietnam. Now that’s drastic. The fact that 145 was not underweight for a six-footer is equally absurd.

When the clock chimed New Year’s Day in 1973, our boys were still overseas. The stats are staggering: over 8 million GIs were on active duty during the Vietnam War from August 1964 to March 1973.  EIGHT MILLION.

Other things that happened in 1973:

  • Pong was the big arcade game.
  • The MRI was invented. Have you had one? I have. It’s like being trapped in a tube with a pounding hammer in your brain while time stands still. And then they bill you $7K and tell you the diagnosis isn’t certain. Awesome!
  • President Nixon asserted that he was not a crook.
  • Singer Jim Croce died in an airplane crash.
  • Bruce Lee suffered “death by misadventure” when his brain increased 13% in size.
  • The Best Actor Award went to Marlon Brando for The Godfather, but because he was rendered immobile from overcarbing and was overcome with white guilt about the treatment of Native Americans, he thought it would be a most excellent time to send the Mazola lady in his place (you call it corn; we call it maize). Oh, it wasn’t the Mazola lady? Sorry, it was in fact Marie Cruz (Sacheen Littlefeather was not real name) to graciously refuse Brandon’s award for him, because the Oscars was a super forum to do that.  Fortunately, his gesture healed all race relations, so it proved to be a great idea. And lest you think I’m harsh on Littlefeather, I refer you to her integrity-filled Playboy spread.
  • Speaking of air bags, they were first used in the Oldsmobile Toronado that year. I’ve never heard of it, either, but I am saying it with a proper Spanish accent. Toronado.

Anyway, this was what 1973 looked like in Bloomington, Indiana and perhaps most of the country. It’s enough to make a girl staple her knees together and live the celibate life.


I believe it was Grace Slick who said, “And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re bound to fall, well, tell ’em a hookah, a smoking caterpillar has given you the call.” What on earth?

You think that’s odd? These college kids listened to a sermon from a blind Viking named Moondog. I did not make that up.


These were college-educated lucid students who KNEW it was portrait day and yet CHOSE to show up looking like this.


Yummy! A Hollywood Squares of hot bachelors! You KNOW I choose Bachelor #2. I’ve never dated a scarecrow hybrid.


Inflation caused gas prices to skyrocket from 36 cents in 1972 to 40 cents in 1973. I know that’s like COINS, but it was a big deal at the time. They had to resort to alternatives.

come on and take a free ride
come on and take a free ride

Again I stand by my celibacy comment.

These folks may have missed a ticket all aboard the Love Train, but fortunately they found themselves (wasted) in the back of this Chevy truck. I guess The Levee wasn’t dry that day. If only that truck were a DeLorean, they could time-travel to the 1980s, put a clean Izod on, get a shave, a haircut and a hot shower! Far out, man.




  1. It was what we knew, Kerbey. Forgive us our trespasses. I turned 16 years old in 1973, scared to death of what the Woodstock generation had laid at me feet. The draft ended when I was 18. The lucky year. The fortunate sons. Weird we were. OK I think I am all these decades later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roth always struck me as a vain, self-absorbed, spandex-clad, self-proclaimed gigolo, but it’s so over-the-top that I could never dislike him. I see him in my mind doing his Texas T jump in the “Jump” video and I am in awe. Plus, his strut was always easier to watch than Mick Jagger’s. No one can deny Roth’s power to entertain. This clip is a testament to what a limber, gyrating bumblebee he truly was.


  2. That was embarrassing to watch. By ’73 I had short hair, a legit job, a wife and son and a new Cadillac car. Not gonna’ say a word about how I looked in 1970.


  3. all good, Kerbey! (your interpretation is good–styles, etc not so much good) Definitely no excuse for the hair, etc, though the long straight style is back. Clothes iron replaced by flat iron as method of straitening.

    Definitely would look forward to more of your take on the ’80s. Parachute pants, black-and-blue striped Zenas, Thriller (still good), Benneton bags, Glory Days. I didn’t necessarily enjoy those years, but have such a strong connection with all things ’80s. Like it was better then. Which of course it wasn’t–life is much better now. But oh the ’80s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, Eddie Money has said that he wants to go back and do it all over, but he can’t go back, I know. I agree life is better now, but my toosh and my girls were in much better shape then. Also, I could do things without lower back pain. I could do flip-flops and handsprings and dance ’til 4am. The music is so deeply imbedded in my heart that when Kevin Bacon remade his Footloose dance scenes on Friday on Jimmy Fallon, I nearly fell into a joyous coma, I was so giddy. Husband and children aside, what I wouldn’t give to once again backwards skate in a striped pastel Esprit boatneck shirt, wearing two (count them TWO) Swatches, a slinky bracelet, some Madonna half-gloves, blue eyeliner, Primo perfume/Jean Nate bath spray, and some tight Guess Jeans, drinking a can of Shasta. You remember when the Wonder Twins would activate their power and say “form of ice”? We two could activate our powers and form the united colors of Benetton.


      • lol, toosh and girls. Mine, too, I suppose though I didn’t know to appreciate it then. I was a bit of an anxious kid, so no dancing ’til 4 a.m. and handsprings and such. Now I will google Jimmy Fallon (whom I am madly in love with, btw–any chance you, too?) and Kevin Bacon Footloose dancing. Sounds like a must-see.

        Your outfit sounds gnarly and way cool. Bitchen’ even. Cool beans. Form of an MTV video star…. (in case this gets Lost in Translation, now is when you say “form of…” and then we say “Wonder Twin ’80s superpowers activate!” And then whoosh…Hot Tub Time Machine all over again.)


      • Back time with John Cusack LOL. Well, I would happily trade him for Jimmy bc how could you not be in love w/ someone handsome, hilarious, sings, raps, plays guitar, does impressions? Puleeze. You will not be disappointed at last Friday’s Bacon skit.


      • Kerbey, the KB/JF clip made me so happy I shed tears. And now I love JF even more. THANK YOU for the mention. That was the best ever. Ever.


  4. It’s crazy that so much changed between that decade and the next. Like… if you were to do a side by side picture comparison it would seem so drastic. And then the 90s seemed to kind of swing back more towards the 70s-ish style. Now I feel like we are kind of back in the 80s a bit with all of the bright colored neon styles. It frightens me but I am a willing participant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. It’s like ick, you are dirty longhaired hippies, so let’s be preppies. Ick, preps, let’s be grunge. Ick, grunge, let’s be metrosexuals. I reject yesterday and tomorrow rejects me. I admit I gave in finally and wore some Macy’s skinny jeans to church today (yes, with sequined ass pockets, not that I had the choice) and danged if every girl on stage today didn’t have the same tapered jeans on. It’s like we have no choice but to participate or we get left behind in a sea of old ladies with Rachel haircuts and mom jeans.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hated The Eighties (well, ‘Hate’ may be too strong a word or sentiment.
    Let us just say, I did not want The Seventies to End. Funny that I ended them in the Sinai desert and missed out on the whole disco thang.

    No matter. For me, the Seventies were just jim dandy.

    The Eighties lacked…what? Someting. Music for one. (save for a few)

    Yet, of course, (you may know this already), I was raised by a Hippie and took a stroll down Haight-Ashbury in ’68.

    Been uphill ever since.
    Love your post.
    Love this song (and you had to know that):

    “When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go….and the white knight’s talking backward…”

    Cheers Kerbey.


    • Well, understandably, there is a generational difference of perspective. “White Rabbit” gives me the heebeejeebees. We like what we grow up with, and what makes us feel nostalgic. Grace Slick was pretty here, but it looks like a nightmare. I know it’s Alice n Wonderland and all that. But just think if you were a GIRL then, how could you find a boy who did not look scraggly? I do not doubt that you had a jim dandy time. I bet you know how to find fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Right now. This moment. I am declaring détente between us Seventies Folks and us Eighties Folks.
        Let the reign of peace begin. Let’s call it “The Era of Good Vibes and Good Feelings”


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