I got this in an e-mail from a good friend, Charity Madion, a little while back. It is hilarious, and I am SO a girl of the 1970's!


  • You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked. (I actually didn’t have this one)

  • You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it. (Sure did, see my painting “Bicycle with a Banana Seat”!)

  • You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels. (Yep, see my painting “Roller Derby Roller Skates”!)

  • You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!) (Yes, I did. Same with Ponch on “CHiPs” – I made a fake driver’s license with the name Brittany Estrada on it for myself!)

  • You had either a 'bowl cut' or 'pixie', not to mention the 'Dorothy Hamill'. People sometimes thought you were a boy. (People always thought I was a boy. When I was at Cindy Munie’s birthday party at Tally Hall in 7th grade, a girl about my same age said to me “Are you a boy, if you are, you’re really cute!”)

  • You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days. (Yes, and my Moon boots were soaking wet and weighed about 40 lbs. each the entire 3 days we were at Camp Tamarack in 6th grade!)

  • YEAH! You owned a 'Slip-n-Slide', on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once. (No, Mom wouldn’t get one of these for us, they were “too dangerous”. We got to run through the sprinklers instead.)

  • You owned 'Klick-Klacks' and smacked yourself in the face more than once! (Again, “too dangerous”)

  • Your Hollie Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession. (No, I had the purse with the miniature Holly Hobbie in the outside pocket.)

  • You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers. (Yes, yes, and yes.)

  • You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon. (For me it was Merlin, which I used as a fake telephone.)

  • You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or The Sunshine Family. (You KNOW I had that damn Sunshine Family, see the whole awful story on my Sunshine Family page.)

  • You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once. (We had an elevated fort instead. I thought it would be a good idea to take a giant tube that some carpeting came in and make it into a tube slide. It was not fun when that tube fell down 8’ with me inside of it)

  • You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. (Oh yeah!) (No, I had short hair. See the comment above.)

  • You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). You also had a pair of salt-water sandals. (What are salt-water sandals? I didn’t have the Doctor Scholl’s either, but Missy did. She whipped one at my head when she was made at me and I had to get stitches above my eye!)

  • You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson! (I think I wore that blouse in 7th grade!)

  • You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! (Definitely. With Xanadu playing in the background!)

  • PONG! ('video tennis' ) was the most remarkable futuristic game you've ever heard of. (Loved it!)

  • Your hairstyle was described as having 'wings' or 'feathers' and you kept it 'pretty' with the comb you kept in your back pocket. When you walked, the 'wings' flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna 'take off'. (No, my hair was still boy-short. I did have a bright yellow comb in my back pocket, though…)

  • You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie. (what happened to Lemon Meringue?) (I do, but I was getting a little too old by the time they came around --I was into Raggedy Ann and Andy when I was young…)

  • You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. With the thermos inside some were glass and broke the first time you dropped them. (I actually had Raggedy Ann and Hollie Hobbie lunchboxes. By 4th grade, NO ONE carried a lunchbox. Very uncool.)

  • You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend. (For me, it was Battlestar Galactica: I couldn’t decide between Starbuck, played by Dirk Benedict, or Apollo, played by Richard Hatch.)

  • YOU had Star Wars action figures, too! (Yes, and the Millenium Falcon!)

  • It was a big event in your household each year when the 'Wizard of Oz' would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags! (And “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang,” too!)

  • You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts! (Yes!)

  • You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker. (I still do J)

Fisher-Price Roly Poly Chime Ball

The Roly Poly Chime Ball was one of my first toys, and was later enjoyed by my little brother, Davi (he is Dave/David now, after going through a short “Dav” phase. Whatever.) I used to love to roll it and listen to it jingle, and to watch the carousel animals rock back and forth. It was a whole world in ball!

Suntan Tuesday Taylor by Ideal

My friend Missy’s Suntan Tuesday Taylor was glamorous and beautiful with her perfectly tanned skin and expertly-applied blue eyeshadow. Tuesday showed up at every mid-70’s Barbie pool party in her fashionable Pucci-inspired caftan and green lensed sunglasses, hanging with the Charlie's Angels dolls! Best of all, you could change her hair from blonde to brunette with just a twist of her scalp! Ouch.

Pillsbury Space Food Sticks

The Pillsbury Space Food Sticks rank right up there with Tang as the ultimate space convenience food! We used to have these when we'd visit our cousins, Jeff and Sarah. A strange(!) and wonderful treat. This is chocolate?

Dressy Bessy by Playskool

I never had a Dressy Bessy doll…but I sure wanted one! I just couldn’t resist buttoning and un-buttoning, lacing and un-lacing, and snapping and unsnapping her clothes every time I happened across her (or her brother/friend Dapper Dan) at some lucky owner’s house. Good fun!

Dapper Dan by Playskool

Was Dapper Dan Dressy Bessy's boyfriend or brother? And how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.

Banana Seat Bicycle

In 1974, I was given a red Schwinn Bantam bicycle with a removable bar to convert it from a boy’s bike to a girl’s bike. My brother, David, got a blue Schwinn Typhoon shortly thereafter. A few years later, the Easter Bunny brought David and I banana seats and tall handlebars to upgrade our bikes to the latest fashion. My banana seat was sparkly red and David’s was sparkly blue, and the grips on our handlebars matched our seats. Stylin'!

Baby Crissy by Ideal

One of my favorite dolls was Baby Crissy. The best part about Baby Crissy was that you could make her hair long just by pulling her ponytail out, and then you could shorten it just by pulling a string on her back. And you could dress her in real baby clothes! Not to be outdone, Mattel came out with "Growing Up Skipper" a few years later. Skipper was a young teen doll whose arm you could turn to make her grow taller and (gasp!) make her grow a chest! The weirdest of the 1970's dolls, though, had to be Lazy Dazy by Ideal, maker of Baby Crissy. She slowly fell over and went to sleep!

Fisher-Price Play Family Houseboat

I didn’t have the Fisher-Price Houseboat. No fair, Mom! Occasionally, David and I would discover strange and fascinating new Fisher-Price Play Family toys like this one at our local drop-in babysitting center. Too bad this didn't come with the Gilligan's Island crew -- or at least The Captain and Tennille! Ha-Ha!

G.I. Joe Adventurer with Kung-Fu Grip by Hasbro

G.I. Joe with the Kung-Fu grip! The boys down the street, Kevin and John, had this multi-hued hair version of the classic G.I. Joe. If you had one, you know what I mean – he looked like he had brown hair, but it was actually hundreds of individual hairs in various shades of tan, green, blue, yellow, and red. And what was up with that facial hair? Was that really allowed?

Banquet Salisbury Steak T.V. Dinner

My mom used to let us each pick out a TV dinner when we were going to have a babysitter. We'd get to the local Great Scott! supermarket and my brother, David, and I would stand and stare at the frozen food cases for HOURS trying to pick out just the right dinner! My favorite was the Fried Chicken. The Banquet Salisbury Steak Dinner was usually my second choice. I don't ever remember trying the Libbyland TV Dinners, made just for kids. If I had, they'd have probably been my favorites!

The Sunshine Family: Steve and Steffie Sunshine

While my friends paraded around the neighborhood, plastic cases bulging with all manner of Barbies and fabulous Barbie gear, I was left to play with what must be the ugliest dolls ever invented: Steve and Steffie Sunshine. Ugh. Steffie Sunshine: she of the bulging blue eyes and white-aproned calico dress. And Steve? One word: CREEPY! Seriously, what was my mother thinking? Missy had the spectacular Barbie Country Camper. But poor little Jenni, with her barbershop haircut, was the (not-so-proud) owner of the Sunshine Family and their Family Van with the Craft Shack!

Instant Tang Breakfast Drink

Hey, if the astronauts drink Tang, it must be healthy! Not quite orange juice, not quite Kool-Aid, but a tasty treat all its own. And not to be outdone by Pillsbury's Space Food Sticks (whatever happened to those?), it’s still a perennial favorite around our house, even after all these years.

Lester the Ventriloquist Dummy

Remember Willie Tyler and Lester? Perennial favorites on The Mike Douglas Show and The Dinah Shore Show, as soon as I saw Lester in the JCPenney catalog, I had to have him. And have him I did! Thank you Santa Claus! Although I never learned to be a ventriloquist, Lester grew into a trusted friend and good buddy!

Marx Big Wheel

We had the Sport Wheel version of the Marx Big Wheel. Ours had that awesome brake on the right side: you’d get going down the sidewalk as fast as you could (at least 80 mph) and then you’d pull up on that brake and cause yourself to violently spin out. After a few months, there’d be a huge wear-hole in your tire and you were (wah-wah) out of business.


Mon-Chi-Chi (or is it Monchichi?), Mon-Chi-Chi, oh so soft and cuddly...
Grandma Joyce bought me my Mon-Chi-Chi at the gift shop at Farrell's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour. What fun we used to have there -- they had all the best stuff!
Too bad she never did buy us that baseball-sized jawbreaker that we were DYING for!

Fisher-Price Little People: Gordon and Susan Robinson

I loved Sesame Street as a kid. And I loved my Fisher-Price Little People. Hey! You got Sesame Street on my Little-People! And you got Little-People in my Sesame Street! Two great tastes that taste great together! But I digress. And I loved Gordon and Susan Robinson most of all!

Fisher-Price ATV Explorer

A few of us cousins got the Fisher-Price ATV Explorer for Christmas in 1971. What a great time we had riding around Grandpa Dan and Grandma Joyce’s living room on our new wheels. Too bad the sculptured wall-to-wall carpeting slowed us down! Ah well. Note that I my painting does NOT include the two construction workers in the cab. Construction workers? In a moon rover? As if.

Post Raisin Bran Cereal

We weren’t much into “sweetened cereal” at our house (well, we were, but my mom wasn’t!) This was my “healthy” alternative -- with the sugar-coated raisins -- and I ate it like it was going out of style. If you are what you eat, then I am a big bowl of Post Raisin Bran.

Swanson English-Style Fish 'N' Chips T.V. Dinner

To this day, I’m not a big “fish person.” Oh, I enjoy the occasional grilled salmon or tuna, and sushi (of course!) but keep that white-fleshed fish away from me – too many memories of frozen fish sticks and tartar sauce… It probably doesn't help that my college roommate accidentally left a tray of fish sticks in the oven for weeks before we figured out what the awful smell was! I’m getting the heebie-jeebies just thinking about the Swanson English-Style Fish 'N' Chips!

Post Super Sugar Crisp Cereal

Mom rarely caved in and bought us sweetened cereal. When she did, Post Super Sugar Crisp was one of our favorites! Funny thing how the cereal makers ditched the “sugar” moniker in all these fabulous cereals, like we are so easily fooled! Super SugarCrisp is now Golden Crisp. Sugar Smacks are now Honey Smacks (honey is sooo much better for you!). Sugar Corn Pops are now just Corn Pops. Whatever!

Fisher-Price Play Family Airport

My brother, David, and I were lucky enough to own the Fisher-Price Play Family Airport. We had hours of fun pumping gas into the plane and seeing how many Fisher-Price Little People we could cram aboard. We'd put together a little city with all the Fisher-Price Little People sets we had: the Play Family Sesame Street, the Play Family Farm, and the Play Family Action Garage; and with the Child Guidance Let's Play at Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant play set. Those were good times!

Baby Beans by Mattel

Kind of like a Beanie Baby before there were Beanie Babies.
My Baby Beans had a beanbag body and a vinyl head with a permanent hood. She loved to ride around in my white-flowered bicycle basket as I patrolled the neighborhood (always riding on the sidewalk, never in the street!)

Borden Elsie Stix Ice Milk Bars

Theora Design of Tel Aviv, Israel invented these fantastic plastic popsicle building sticks and then licensed them to Borden for their line of Borden Elsie Stix frozen treats. Too bad they’re not still around.
hat a treat to get them when we visited Grandma Joyce (I don't think we EVER ate anything healthy at her house!) And they sure beat the "Sunshine on a Stick" we made with orange juice!

Roller Derby Fireball Roller Skates

My friend, Missy, and I spent much of our late seventies summers cruising up and down the sidewalk on our Roller Derby Roller Skates. Not only were the translucent red wheels beautiful, they were functional, too! We imagined ourselves as roller skating Olympians as we tirelessly practiced our elaborate routines.
Too bad there were so many cracks in the asphalt and holes in the cement…but for that, we’d surely have made it all the way to the top of the roller skating world. Or at least to Xanadu!