R: 1 / I: 0
What was the 70's like?
1. It was common to see people going around barefoot.
2. Most restaurants had a sign that "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".
3. Another common sign "No shirt, no shoes, no service."
4. Some girls didn't wear bras, and were intriguingly bouncy.
5. No one under 40 was fat, and girls were stunning. There wasn't a fast food joint on every corner, and high fructose corn syrup wasn't a thing. There were no cell phones, video games, or cable, so people spent their time riding bikes, playing Frisbee, doing casual sports, or just walking around.
6. We didn't sit in traffic. One side of Houston to the other was 15 minutes at a steady 70 mph. People moved over to let you in from the entrance ramp instead of cutting you off.
7. Everyone said "Hi" when you passed them on the street. There was a sense of community, even in a big city.
8. Streaking was a thing. The Rice U quad in particular.
9. Hitch hikers were common and unafraid.
10. We said man, and cool a lot, plus chill, baby, groovy, far out, right on, "trippin" "chick", "psychedelic", "bummer", "groove dog", and "jammin". "Far out man, like right on, that's a groovy chick - she's cool."
11. We didn't lock our cars or houses.
12. If someone robbed you it was their fault, instead of your fault for leaving the door unlocked.
13. Parents didn't have to worry about the children, we headed out in the morning and just had to be home by dark or when we got hungry.
14. Parking was never a problem.
15. You could get affordable concert tickets the day of the concert even for the Stones, Dylan, Led Zeppelin (two shows for Zeppelin).
16. Guns on gun racks were common.
17. A coffee cup filling scoop of vanilla at Borden Ice Cream factory was 25 cents.
18. Tuition at the University of Texas was $200/yr ($1,000 today) and Texas A&M was $198 ($996 today). Rice University was $1200/yr ($6,000 today).
19. My motorcycle had fiberglass bags and I once got 5 people on the bike and rode the sidewalks of Rice.
20. We had gazilcher wars. A bucket with long loops of surgical tubing would fire a water balloon 75 yards with athletes operating and an engineer specifying the firing angle.
21. Getting caught skinny dipping didn't make you a sex offender.
22. Someone pumped your gas, checked your oil, and cleaned your windshield for you. They had real, handy, free air hoses.
23. It's difficult to convey just how open and tolerant the atmosphere was back then. "It's yo thing, do what you wanna do". We'd been through the riots of the 60's, the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, and
it was a time for love and healing.
24. You could have a civil, logical discussion with a liberal, and remain friends.
25. People had a sense of humor. You didn't have to be politically correct - people could laugh at themselves as well as at others.
26. People enjoyed helping others.
27. The public had respect for the police and laws.
28. You didn't have to stay 6 feet apart with a mask on.
29. We had commercials teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony.
30. Jesus Christ was a SuperStar:
31. There was popular music was about being a child of the universe:
28. Rednecks and hippies met in the middle with "Cosmic Cowboys", like Willie Nelson.
32. Black music stars didn't rap. Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, and Sly Stone for example.
33. "In 1979, Houston Gay Pride Parade was first held in Neartown, Houston", and all the straights (including myself) turned out to watch. It was a hoot and a good time was had by all. Everything wasn't such a big deal back then. If you wanted to do your thing - why not? Paint some stuff on a bed sheet, get in a truck bed, wear a funny outfit, and go for it.
Note: Affirmative Action had been law since 1965 in the 70's. Women and minorities were already "protected classes" by federal law, and received preference in college admission, hiring, promotion, and government contracts, just like they do today. Gays were cool and we went dancing at gay bars. We didn't feel the need to go around hating people and calling them racists - "Just feel the love, man". Sadly, we wound up with another set of divisive, race-based laws, the effects of which we're experiencing today.
From Lorraine Fay:
*"Females had it good in the 70's. I applied and got into medical school with no difficulty. I was treated more as an equal by my peers more than people are now. Now there is so much politically-driven tension between everyone-whites, blacks, Latinos, women, men , atheists, Christians, Muslims, and on and on. I felt like a person in a world filled with other people, not as a victim in a world surrounded by haters. I feel bad that the young people today have not been able to experience that freedom."