I was a 1977 MHS Graduate. Minden High in the Seventies! What more do you need to say. Or better yet what more can you say and get away with it! It was a different era to say the least. I better described it in a story that I recently wrote for The Minute Magazine.
The ruts in the highway back in the early 70’s may not have been just typical Louisiana roads. I’m sure the Shreveport and Homer Road running through Minden was grooved out from a constant circle of teenagers. If we weren’t at the Dixie Cream on the Homer Road we were circling through the Dairy Queen Lot. It was an endless routine of cruising the streets in search of something better to do.
Making the loop used up probably half the nations oil reserve. I would sometimes put several hundred miles in a night on a car and never leave the city limits! You don’t see kids hanging out these days like we did. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. We weren’t sitting in front of a computer or a television that much. The one thing we did watch was something new and we thought sooo… cool. We came home to watch it and then headed back out to continue our gas consumption.
Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been broadcast by NBC nearly every Saturday night since its debut on October 11, 1975. It is one of the longest-running network entertainment programs in American television history. The original (1975-1980) repertory company was called the “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players”. The first cast members were Second City alumni Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner and National Lampoon "Lemmings" alumni Chevy Chase (whose trademark became his usual falls and opening spiel that ushered in the show's opening), Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, and Garrett Morris. The original theme music was written by future Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore, who--along with his "All Nurse Band"--was the original band leader on the show. Paul Shaffer who would go on to lead David Letterman's band on "Late Night" and then "The Late Show," was also band leader in the early years.
One of my favorite shows to catch every now and then is “That Seventies Show” the writers of this show were definitely in tune with that era. They have pretty much captured my life from 1974- until graduation in 1977 from “Dear Ole Minden High”! The seventies were fun and maybe the last of the somewhat innocent era of my life. The seventies were all about having fun and hanging out with friends. We gathered in large groups and we hung out till all hours of the night or early morning.
We went to outdoor music festivals and we never worried how we would get there or get back. We went to every Texas Jam in the Cotton Bowl! We traveled in cars that probably never should have left town. But somehow we usually made it to where we were going and most of the time we made it back on schedule. We loved music and were as comfortable listing to The Rolling Stones as well as Willie, Waylon and the boys. We headed to the Sound Company when we had a little money in our pockets, always in search of that new great album or tape.
It was the beginning of young adulthood for me. It was the beginning of growing up. It was right before I had to get a job and pay for my own gas!
The defination of the seventies from Wikepedia, encyclopedia:
The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive.
Societally, the United States, which had become an influential global power, experienced a significant transition. While the sixties saw social activism, society became more self-absorbed in the seventies. Analyst and writer Tom Wolfe epitomized this feeling in 1976, calling the seventies the "Me Decade." Music became at once more introspective with the singer-songwriter movement and more carefree with the rise of disco music. As the decade continued on, the American world view became apprehensive, with continuing inner-city poverty and rising urban crime rates, the Watergate hearings broadcast on television, and the Vietnam War still fresh in the national memory. Network, arguably one of the decade's most representative films, dealt with narcissism and paranoia as violence escalated in the Middle East and America was crippled by the Oil Shock of 1973. As the economy slipped, the use of recreational drugs increased and many began to fear purported cults such as the Children of God. 1977 saw the launch of the Star Wars phenomenon (although Woody Allen’s introspective Annie Hall shut Star Wars out of the Oscars.) By the end of the decade the feminist movement had helped improve women's working conditions and environmentalism had become a major cause in the United States and Europe.
If you grew up in the Seventies you know where I’m coming from! Some things in Minden are still the same. If you go to the D.Q., Freddie Green still will be a familiar face. Freddie has been with the D.Q. for thirty years! I also love the fact that bell bottom jeans are back! They make you seem thinner! It was the best of times and the worst of times. It was the Seventies!
This story is in the Summer 2006 The Minute Magazine issue.