Prints And The Revolution

Cactus 1976
Cactus 1976

Well, y’all, it’s hard to believe the bicentennial was nigh on 40 years ago. Some of you were already married, some weren’t even born, and I was in pre-school, oblivious to the fashion faux-pas going on in society. Scarves and bandanas for women, pointed shirt collars for men. And prints so loud coming together in a dangerous cacophony such as this! It’s as though clothing designers suddenly decided to make garments of sofa and wallpaper material.

Other fun facts of ’76 include:

  • Apple Computers was formed by double Steves, Jobs and Wozniak.
  • Gymnast Nadia Comaneci earned her first Perfect 10.
  • Eva Peron told Argentina not to cry for her.
  • North and South Vietnam united to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
  • The United States Treasury Department reintroduced the two dollar bill. I still have several!
  • Jimmy Carter won the Presidential election.
  • The world’s first laser printer was introduced by IBM.
  • Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes dropped dead at the age of 70.
  • The musical groups Black FlagThe Clash, U2, The CureForeignerJoy Division, and Madness were all formed in 1976. (source:

When I think about bands forming, I think about a group of dudes (yes, I realize that’s sexist) in a basement, slowly getting gigs and paying their dues for years until being launched out of obscurity. Right? But Foreigner had major hits the following year, selling four million with songs like “Feels Like The First Time.” Way to get it going right off the bat, Foreigner!

Per, the cost of living was much lower:

Average Cost of new house $43,400.00
Average Income per year $16,000.00
Average Monthly Rent $220.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 59 cents

And a microwave oven cost $169.00. I could buy one for that price now. Although the interwebs says that sales of microwave ovens exceeded that of gas ranges in 1975, I didn’t know ANYONE who had a microwave then. I didn’t know anyone who had one in the 1970s at all. And I didn’t have one until my first college apartment. Do you recall Tappan microwaves?

As far as music goes, these were the songs the people requested on heavy rotation:

1. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney and Wings
2. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee
3. Disco Lady, Johnnie Taylor
4. December 1963 (Oh What a Night), The Four Seasons
5. Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry
6. Kiss and Say Goodbye, The Manhattans
7. Love Machine, Pt. 1, The Miracles
8. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon
9. Love Is Alive, Gary Wright
10. A Fifth of Beethoven, Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band

So tell me–when did you get your first microwave? Did you have awful yellow and avocado green tupperware dishes to put inside it? Do you remember when earning 16K was a decent salary, and not the price of a used car? Did you vote for Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford? Did you know the popular vote for Carter was 40 million and for Ford it was 39 million? That’s a pretty close call.


And did you know Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital? Wow! Were you born in a hospital?


16 thoughts on “Prints And The Revolution

  1. I had my first microwave in the early nineties! I remember people who had them back in the day and they were big and loud and had dials and when you used them lights would light up the whole room and they weighed as much as a small fridge haha! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me, too. Early 90s. Yes, I think my grandparents had dials on theirs. They were huge, weren’t they? I wonder when they started putting them above stoves as standard. Do you use yours now? I just reheated my Christmas leftovers.


  2. LOL. I love your title. A brilliant play on words. That picture! What an incredible find. I cannot imagine it in color. Peak collars, vibrant prints and bell bottomed pants were oh so in vogue. I had more than my share. I think it was around ’76 that I gravitated more to Pendleton wool sports jackets and more subdued colored 3 piece suits. I do recall that I traded in my 73 Cadillac Seville and bought two Fords. After all I was a family man. I did not vote for Carter. I have done a lot of things wrong but that wasn’t one of them. I remember when 10K was a good income for a family. I was making about $30K in ’76. I bought a big ol’ microwave in ’78 when my oven went out the day before Thanksgiving,and I couldn’t find the part. Of course I wanted to use my Weber grill but was out voted. Love your music list;especially 5,6 & 8. Sorry to ramble. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bought two Fords at the same time? You had a Cadillac? Your sports jackets make me picture you like an anchorman. 🙂 What a neat microwave story! Perfect timing, although you can’t cook a turkey in it. We had a great Christmas; I still have leftovers. I’m about to pop, full of yams, turkey, cranberry, stuffing, bacon green bean casserole, and jalapeno cheese grits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I did cook a 20 pound turkey in the microwave. That is why I bought a big one. I am so glad you had a Merry Christmas. I love green chile grits,and left overs. Not a big fan of green bean casserole. However I do like those onion thingies folks use. I hope you have a Happy New Year.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The first microwave oven I saw was when I worked as a short order cook in 1965. Back then it was called a Radar Range. We had to keep a bowl of water in the oven. None of us owned one back then, so mistakes were occasionally made, such as the time a customer asked us to warm a bottle of baby food. One of my co-workers decided he would do it the quick way, so he put the jar in the oven, leaving the metal lid screwed on tightly. Of course the jar exploded in the oven.

    I wasn’t a fan of the clothing styles in the 70’s, nor the popular music. My vote is a secret. I don’t know when my parents bought their first microwave. I got by without one until I got married in 1990. And yes, hospitals existed when I was born.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine the sparks that flew off of that lid! You don’t have to share your vote. I was too young to have an opinion then or now, so I wouldn’t count it against you either way. I know they EXISTED when you were born, but some people still have babies at home with midwives and whatnot. Or the hospital awas far away…


  4. Love the walk down memory lane. My parents bought one of the first Amana Radar Ranges back in ’72. It weighed a ton and lasted nearly 15 years before the big “ZZZZZT” when it bought the farm in spectacular style.

    Liked by 1 person

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