Home » Story Time » Day 9 (backdated) – Cars, Bitches, and the Spirit of ’76

Day 9 (backdated) – Cars, Bitches, and the Spirit of ’76

Today, we have a slice of time between 1975 and 1977, which I know thankfully because the rolls have dates printed on the back. I’ve even included a shot of the back of one of the prints, to show how patriotic we were even on our film for 1976.

The first shot here is from 1975, of me with my extremely young and thin dad in front of our house, with my dad’s white truck, of which I’ve often heard, but of which I have no remembrance. I’m holding a little puppy from our akita litter, but I’ll leave it to my dad to identify which dog had which name. Ah, the seventies were simpler times for us all.

Next, also 1975, we have me on my little red trike. I think I remember this little vehicle as my first sense of freedom. Notice the grease stains on the sidewalk, already scarred from my dad’s love of automobiles. What’s unusual is that there’s no car actually parked there. In my later years, the spaces in front of our house were constantly parked up (and down the street) with my dad’s vehicles, and it eventually became a game between him and the police on whether he could play musical cars and move the vehicles around in such a way that they couldn’t give him a ticket and impound his cars. Good times.

Next, I’ve got the first of a series of pictures from 1976 of me posing with my lunchbox. I can’t tell, but I think this one is my Holly Hobby lunchbox. I grew up in a ‘free to be you and me’ style home, with gender mixed toys. Damned hippies! :). At least I have a truck in the background to balance things out. Behind me is our holly bush gone wild. That tree is one thing I’ll always remember about our house. We had this gigantic front window, but it was always partially obscured by this tree. My mom did love her privacy.

Next is the back shot of the photo I told you about, displaying our country’s pride in being 200 years old. Thanks for the memories, Kodak.

Next, another shot from 1976, is me with another litter of puppies. Maybe this is the litter from the first puppy – I don’t keep all of these things straight.

Next is a shot of me on my dad’s lap, in the living room of our house, covered in more puppies. You can see our living room in the background, which is a slice of triptastic history for me. I can see some Time-Life books on the mantle, along with the family bible, and a bunch of other knick-knacks abound. My dad looks dead tired, probably at the end of a double shift. Back then, I think he was working two jobs, one as a substitute high school teacher, and then he worked the graveyard shift at the Huntz-Wessen canning factory. He did what he had to in order to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. It made for not seeing him much in those early years, but my dad was nothing if not responsible.

The next shot is me on the lawn reading – something that would become an early passion for me, and continue throughout my young life. My mom read to me often, so it wasn’t long until I picked up how to do it on my own. I think I made it to kindergarten already reading, and thus was pretty bored, and non-participatory. They even thought I had learning difficulties, but really I was just not wanting to be there. Yay public schools!

The next shot is me on my Big Wheel next to the family 1965 Mustang 2+2 fastback. This car will appear throughout the years in our photographs, so it’s a good place to introduce it to you. In this photo, I guess it’s only 12 years old or so, but the front fenders are already mangled from when my uncle Doug cut them with airplane snips to make room for tires that didn’t fit under the wheel wells. Nice going, Einstein! I had to find replacement fenders for that car when I finally got to own it in high school.

The next shot is of me hanging with my dad and my uncle Graham, who was probably around 17 in this photograph if I am doing my math correctly. Our white Volvo is parked on the yard, because that’s what you did in the ’70’s. Or, that’s at least what we did. No room in the driveway, full of other cars.

The next photo is me ‘working on’ my Big Wheel – trying my hardest to emulate my daddy. Getting his attention was tough back then, so doing cute things that I thought he’d appreciate became a way to bridge the gap.

The next photo, same moment, I stand to mug for the camera. Cheese!

The next shot, I’m back at the Volvo. Not sure what my dad and Graham are doing. Looking at some sort of paperwork. I can’t believe how thin my dad is.

Followed by one more shot of me working on my big wheel.

The next four shots are from 1977, a mini photo shoot from the front yard, me in my overalls and messing with sticks. I had a fondness for overalls and suspenders at this age.

In the second photo in the last series, I am standing next to the tree in the front yard of our house – this tree appears to have grown steadily in relation to me, staying proportionately the same size as me as I got bigger. My mom has given me rumors that they cut the tree down after the house was sold – I don’t want to go back and confirm the rumor.

 

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