Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes: The Nostalgia Edition

It's almost time to kiss 2011 goodbye.  I have to admit that, even during rougher years, there is always a part of me that hates to see the year go.  All those little moments that made up the year are really over.

Oh well, time keeps moving on, and as the wise Pocahontas once told me, "you can't step in the same river twice."   Can you tell we've been watching a lot of movies during the Great Infection of '11?

One of the movies Rob and I caught recently, of the non-animated kind, was "Super 8".  I thought this movie was great, and I dearly wish there was less swearing so that Francie could watch it.  (They say sh*t. A lot. And there may even be one f-bomb, I can't remember.  I'd block it for the kids on the sh*t alone.)  It reminded me very much of "E.T." in some ways, although "E.T." was a gentler movie.

Set in the '70s, the props, costumes, and sets of "Super 8" really struck a cord with Rob and me while we watched.  The painstaking dialing of a rotary phone when the caller is trying to move quickly, the huge television sets with the knobs, the three day "rush" job on the development of super 8 film  -- all of these things are long gone.

We laughed, because now I can press a button on my steering wheel and call anyone, I can watch television on a computer the size of a piece of paper that lays in my lap, and I haven't seen a film canister in years.

I remember my parents using those drive-through Fotomat kiosks that were in every grocery store parking lot, and I remember using the empty film cans for holding pennies.  My father used them for our baby teeth, and he would tease us and tell us he was going to make a teeth necklace when we finally lost them all.   We are an off-beat bunch.

Of course the movie sent us off into a round of "remember when,"  which seemed especially appropriate for this time of year.  We eventually ended up talking about the television shows that were on when we were kids in the '70s and early '80s.  Not the ones we watched, but the ones our parents enjoyed.  The ones whose theme songs play along in a loop reel to some of our most lasting memories.

Rob was born in '72, I was born in '76 -- a bi-centennial baby! -- and these are a few of the theme songs of our childhoods:


I vaguely remember seeing bits and pieces of this show as a child.  I never saw very much, though, since it was on at night and I don't even know if my parents really watched it.  (I'm sure my mom will set me straight in the comments if she reads this.)

But this theme song?  I heart it so much.  I have no idea why, but when I hear it I just feel like things are going to work out.  It makes me think of my parents when they were very young and being around them as a child.

I love the mournful whistle of the intro, and then the bridge to the heavier synthesizer sounds.  And the continuous looping shot of the taxi driving over the same part of the bridge.

I know, I'm a nut.

"WKRP in Cincinnati"

I've known all the words to this theme song for almost 30 years.  I don't know if that is epic or pathetic, but they're up there just the same.   And they aren't super happy lyrics, either, but I can't shake them.


If you watch that tiny Army medic helicopter come up over the mountain, while Alan Alda runs from stretcher to stretcher, and your brain can't immediately supply the opening bars of the acoustic guitar intro, then you need to get some intensive "M*A*S*H" therapy.

This show easily makes it into my top ten list of the best shows ever made.  It's probably in the top five.

"The Rockford Files"

I just don't know if you can get more '70s than that.  Really.

And I don't care what anyone says, James Garner was a fox.

"The A-Team"

This was the '80s, but I had to include it because my dear husband loved him some A-Team back in the day.   In fact, I still think he loves it.

He was appalled when I told him that I'd never seen an episode.  Or even a part of an episode.  In fact, I didn't even know the characters' names, except for Mr. T.  (I pity the fool who doesn't know Mr. T.)

He loves me anyway, despite the obvious gap in my cultural education.


Neither Rob nor I watched this show, and I don't even know if our parents did either, but this theme song is instantly recognizable.

Although, as I came to find out later, the lyrics are also not so great.  Good thing they only play the shortened version on t.v.!


We're fully into the '80s now, because I do remember seeing this on television with my parents, which meant that I was older.

I always thought this was such a light and happy theme song, with such pretty scenes of the Vermont countryside.

So there's a little trip down memory lane for you.  Or, if you are much younger than me, a trip in the Waaay-Back Machine.  

Feel free to add to the list in the combox and visit Conversion Diary for more of the final quick takes of 2011.   Have a happy weekend, my friends.  Hopefully you have something fun up your sleeve!


  1. Oh, I LOVE this trip down memory lane! I, too, remember WKRP, Cheers, and Newhart. Added to that list: Dallas (I'm only 2 years younger than you - yes, totally inappropriate ;), The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Facts of Life. I may have to do a post on this! Great one.

  2. Loved the theme songs from Taxi, MASH and Newhart!

  3. GeeGee9:34 AM

    Do you remember snuggling with your grandmom on her bed in her lovely lilac room to catch some "Love Boat" while Daddy and I went out?

    Do you remember snuggling with me in the apartment at Willowbrook? At the end of the day (work for me and "J.Day School" for you) while we waited for Daddy to come home from work, we'd chill with Mr. Rogers and his neighbors...

    Daddy and I also loved Mary Tyler Moore and the original Bob Newhart show with Suzanne Pleshette. You may not even have been born yet..

    And one of my especially favorite shows which you and I shared was "Belle and Sebastian"...remember?

    That's about the extent of our TV watching. We never watched Saturday or Sunday mornings. Nor did our children.

    I believe I watch more television now than I ever did as a young woman and I must say I don't do the sitcoms anymore. I think network TV is horrible now. Even the "news" isn't reliable...(more like the state-run programs the Russians used to get back in the U.S.S.R.) It's rare to find a good PBS program without a political agenda. I must say,however, that I do enjoy many of our BBC programs and I look forward to the next season on "Downton" starting soon.

  4. Oh that was fun! I totally remember those theme songs and still know some of the words. My word, how did you get out of the 80's without watching A-team? My hubby and I still use the phrase "I love it when a plan comes together..."

    We loved Super 8 here, too!


Go ahead and say it. You know you want to.