Remembering a 60's and 70's childhood

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Being born near the beginning of the 1960’s, one was launched into the era of the Beetles, free love, hippies, brightly coloured clothes, long flowing hair and free range kids. Well, not everyone lived life this way. But I knew many people who did.

Young people and adults were protesting about wars, we watched man land on the moon (as we ate Teddy Bear biscuits and drank a glass of milk in the lounge room of a friend’s house, with my fellow school classmates) and green living on communes was one of the coolest things I had heard some peace-loving dudes were doing.

I lived in suburbia with my family in a nice house and collected stray cats, abandoned baby field mice, baby birds that had fallen or been chucked out of their nests, sat in the highest bows of a huge tree in my front yard for hours on end, played cowboys and Indians with my brother and our friends, built incredibly precarious cubby and tree houses, rode my cool dragster bike with my equally cool friends and began collecting my still much-loved swap cards.

We also used to invite the neighbours kids and friends around for an outdoor movie night. We’d set up rows of chairs, which each excited movie buff brought from their backyard sheds, and the man operating the movie projector, my father, organised the rattly film equipment he needed to project all of the home made moving pictures anyone wished to contribute onto the big white wall at the back of my house. Home-made lemonade quenched the thirst of the attendees and many bowls of crisps stopped their stomachs from rumbling.

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By the end of the 60’s, the twenty or so kids who lived in my street formed a ‘gang’ of seriously radical skateboarders. When we weren’t performing all of our hang-fives, handstands or groovy moves on the boards, we were touring around like a swarm of bees on our two-wheeled, pedal powered ‘hot-rod’ bikes. My beloved dragster bike had the most awesome metallic blue padded seat and rubber handle grips. My skateboard had a swirly, hippy coloured pattern on top.

By the way, my teenage kids think it is hilarious and unbelievable that their ‘respectable’ mother was part of a cool skateboard ‘gang’. A ‘gang’ that was happy, well behaved and thrived on the companionship of the group. This ‘gang’ was really just a bunch of kids who grew up together and enjoyed each others company. To give you an idea of the type of cool skateboarder group we were, have you seen the video clip to the song “Forever Young”? That clip transports me back in time.

We had no home computers, internet, mobile phones, social networking (Facebook, MySpace or even HubPages to share our interests). If we wanted to see a friend, we rode our bikes, horses, skateboards or roller-skates to our buddy’s house and asked if they were free. Or we’d pick up the plastic telephone, spin the dial with our index finger and ring them up. Or, whilst our mums or dads picked us up from school, we’d ask our friend’s parent, with the best manners we had, if their son or daughter could come over to play. Mum or Dad had the final word and if they said ‘no’, then we accepted that without much disappointment. After all, we would see our best friend at school the next day.

The news of the day was limited as we watched it on our black-and-white TV. We, as kids, were blissfully unaware of what may have been happening in most parts of the rest of the world. Not like today, when disasters, wars and many other events are presented to us on the internet or TV as they happen. Were we happier in some obscure way, as kids in the 60’s, by maybe not knowing about a disaster on the other side of the world, or not availed of the many TV shows about serial killers and crime investigation for example, like we are today? Was life naively simpler back then? What you didn’t know didn’t ‘hurt’ you?

My school years, in the 60’s (flowing into the 70’s), were the best ones of my life. There was virtually no bullying and we really liked our teachers – even the quiet one who wore the same pullover each day – even on warm days. What he taught was interesting; he was different; he was fun and the facts about the stuff he would come up with had us riveted to our seats with intense concentration. He was never teased for being different and he had all of our respect.

At recess, each school day, we pealed back the metal lid on our small glass milk bottles and drank the warm milk with gusto. This milk was supplied to us by the school and it usually had a curious floating creamy, frothy layer bobbling about near the spout of the bottle. But we didn’t care or fuss over that. Some would shake the bottle to mix the cream back into the milk or the ‘brave’ ones scooped it out with a finger and ate it first. We all had our own styles of shifting that layer of cream.

Oh the memories of the bell-bottomed jeans, some with groovy embroidering on the outer edge, near the boots; the psychedelic patterns and colours of the tops, floral prints, tie-dyed t-shirts, heaps of colourful plastic bangles and ponchos and platform shoes; just to name a few.

So many younger people these days seem to like the fashion of the late 60’s, into the 70’s. I feel privileged to have grown up in that era and have many, many fond memories attached to that time. Still to this day, I occasionally take out my beautiful collection of 60’s/70’s swap cards; lovingly looking through them and admiring how each picture card captured the unique era I grew up in with.

Comments 12 comments

Al of the 70s 2 years ago

Hi

I was born in 66 and i simply hate the ways of living today.

So much stress and protection of society, so much competition, so much endless news that we don't need to know. As mentioned in this hub, what we don't need to hear wont hurt us. No one walking out in the streets anymore especially kids. All cooped up in the house in front of the internet or punching keys on the mobile.

The roads filtered with cars and trucks after 5 pm and after because shopping centers are open 24/7

Where are the days of coming home from school or work having dinner with the family watching get smart, bewitched or even sale of the century. Where are live talk shows such as The Don Lane Show

Where are the CORNER MILKBARS??? Just shopping hubs that we all need to drive to.

Life was so much better in the 70s so much more social and innocent

Where the sunday drives to a destination for something to do? 'ooops' petrol too expensive

Somebody please build me a TIME MACHINE!!!!

Crap music of today has no character, No meaning, all computer

generated

Where are all the individual cafes and Gothic looking churches

Bless the 70s

Al


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia Author

Hi rontlog :)

Life was pretty uncomplicated back then.

The fashions were fun and vibrant; friends were not in short supply; we communicated face-to-face (and occaisionally on the phone); we rode our bikes or horses to visit another; or we walked for miles to socialize.

So many fond memories for me, and I'm sure for you and many others who grew up in this awesome era.

Cheers, Louise ;)


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia Author

Hi Elwood Blues ;)

Oh....yes... the view masters! Love them. I have a couple of them and all of their 'viewing cards'.

'Those were the days' :)

The bands (and their music) from that era are etched firmly in history. Today, when I hear the Beetles (and sooo many others), something 'twangs' in the heart and soul, transporting one back in time.

Thanks for your comment, cheers Louise ;)


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia Author

Hi A Little TRUTH ;)

'Today' is definitely different to 'yesterday'.

The 'world' can be so impatient, judgemental and stressful to live in these days. Competition is rife and many of the family/community values of yesteryear are vanishing.

It is a fascinating topic and I love to read about it and hypothesise as to why 'things' are the way they are. (I'm interested in philosophy too).

Cheers to you, Louise ;)


A Little TRUTH profile image

A Little TRUTH 5 years ago

Yes, nicely written, it certainly brings back pleasant memories. I don't think anyone old enough would disagree that those times were much simpler and more innocent and peaceful. But the question is why? Why the gradual but steady change away from freedom and peace in our daily lives? This is the question that more and more thinking people are asking as it becomes more and more apparent. There is a reason for this gradual change, and it is being done purposefully. It is also being counteracted by some who love freedom and individuality. There is much info on this - search and you will find. I just might write a hub on it someday.


Elwood Blues 5 years ago

Life definitely was simpler then. Since there was no internet, everything was stacked in warehouses. Do you remember the old viewmasters? We got them every single christmas and for our birthdays and when we got older, we would buy them ourselves but Christmas was the bigger deal, like nowadays they would display 50% off. :)

We always went to concerts and if they were huge events that we couldn't pay for a number of people then we went to smaller events and waited for the bigger bands to go on tour or we saw a tribute band. The Bealtes were one of my all time favourite bands. Everyone loved them, they raised money for charity, there would be band stands as well with a number of other singers, what a fab time it was! Why don't they do that nowadays?


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia Author

Hi Earl.

I wish I could take my kids back in time for a day and show them a little about what life was like in 'my day'.

I loved the 60's/70's and really miss them.

Cheers, Louise ;)


Earl Flournoy 5 years ago

It is fun to recollect our memories of the 70's. My wife and I also grew up in that decade, and whenever I recall the things that happened then, they flash through my head in sepia tone. The bright-colored clothes, the wigs, the sidewalk games, the music -- they're all worth coming back to. That's why my wife and I are slowly introducing those things to our kids.


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia Author

Hi again rontlog ;)

It is fun to reminisce when and as life gets a bit hectic these days. It can take us back to an era which formed part of who we are. I just wish I could momentarily take my kids back in time and treat them to life as it was in my childhood. I bet they would want to race back to 2011 with their computers etc., as they may feel they had just visited a strange world :0 ;)

Cheers, Louise ;)


rontlog profile image

rontlog 5 years ago from England

Hi La Papillon,

I'm English but my parents immigrated to Australia in 1972. We were £10 POMS and lived near Adelaide. After 2 years we moved back to the UK as my Dad missed his family.

So the rest of my childhood was spent in the UK.

Maybe I will write about my childhood - it would be fun to reminisce :)


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia Author

Thankyou rontlog ;)

The 60's/70's in Australia was a really unique time. I have such fond memories of my childhood. Life was definitely simpler and more innocent than it is today.

Please write a hub on your childhood in the 70's. I'd love to read it ;)

Cheers, Louise :)


rontlog profile image

rontlog 5 years ago from England

A few days ago I was thinking about writing a hub on being a child in the 70's but you have captured the spirt of it beautifully.

Basically it was very simple and innocent.

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