Vans fixed up to be like a rolling living room: shag carpet, mini fridge, sofa bed, swivel captain's chair. My uncle had one with a faceted pop out diamond window. Some had airbrushed murals on the outside, I liked Aztec sacrifice or surf themed.
Swap meets with big lion blankets and clocks made of driftwood and tables full of incense.
Big mustaches and carpet remnant sideburns.
"Women's Lib" and 'battles of the sexes'. Battles of the Network Superstars!
Red Devil and Freedom Fireworks stands from June thru July 4, even though California was dry as hell then and just as likely to burn up.
Waking up super early & taking the OCTD bus from Yorba Linda to Newport Beach, a trip of 2+ hours....the wafting aromas of Coppertone, Bain De Soleil, baby oil & Hawaiian tropic tanning products and the sound of "Baker Street" saxophone echoing up and down the beach on everyone's radio, tuned to KMET.
The Dr Demento Show
Smog alerts: days when you were told to "walk home from school and stay inside". Or on summer days at the local high school pool, free swim afternoons when you'd take a deep breath and feel like a fist was in your chest trying to punch its way out. It would still feel that way at night in bed trying to fall asleep.
Wanting to be a professional tetherball player. (It's not even an olympic sport).
Savings and loan passbooks.
Earth tones. Graphic wall murals. Sunset colored stripes.
Saying, "Dimes credit," to the operator and making a free call at a pay phone. Plus phone BOOTHS.
Dittos, Jordasche and other 'designer' pants for girls/women; Angels Flight pants & jackets for guys. Danskin leotards and wrap around skirt combinations.
"Surf" wear: Hang Ten, Ocean Pacific, Lightningbolt
The vicious rumor that the Ice Cream Man sold drugs off his truck.
"We T.I.P. "(Turn In Pushers) posters at school.
Feathered hair and Dorothy Hammel bobs and Unisex Salons
Graduating from a banana seat, sissy bar kid bike to a 10-speed , turning the handlebars upward like horns.
Actual open space, unincorporated areas, orange groves and random grasshopper oil pumps surrounded by chainlink.
Being able to ride my bike with friends several miles to a horse stable where we paid to rent horses and were let go into the hills to do our own thing for the amount of time we purchased without any supervision.
Collecting soda bottles and cans to redeem at the store for cash to buy candy (7 cents a candy bar) Fizzy candies like zotz and Fizzies.
Weird desk toys like the rack of steel balls hanging from string that would bounce the balls in various patterns, depending on how many you lifted and swung.
Looking at patten books and choosing fabric for something for my mom or Nana would sew.
Instant Breakfast, Tang, Space Food Sticks, Jello 1-2-3, Ayds weight loss candies, Brach's Pick a Mix, smooshing and pulling a big marshmallow between your fingers to make "taffy," Hostess Tiger Tails, Tasty Kakes, little cans of Snack Pack pudding.
Knit & crocheted afghans
Cigarette commercials on tv with jingles I can still sing ("Taste me, taste me, come on and taste me, take a puff and let me do my stuff!" = Dorals, bought for Nana at Skagg's Drugstore with a note.)
The weird sadness of tall, skinny, leaning palm trees silhouetted by a smoggy sunset.