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I did it every day as a kid.

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For two years while writing the book I listened almost exclusively to the seventies on seven on satellite radio. While I was working on the book I got a working, retro-fitted banana yellow rotary dial phone with 40 feet of coiled cord you have to untangle, and the kids thought that was so cool.

They wanted to make phone calls on it and dial the phone. I have four kids. I think they find some of the lack of tech as something I missed out on. But I think they definitely would have liked to free roaming around the neighborhood until it was time to be called in for dinner. But that specific loss of freedom is a major loss for youth culture and society in general. What was it like growing up a fan in the seventies and how is it different today?

I get the sense that they were rough dudes, but they could still be heroes because the public lacked a direct line into their lives. Sports were more special.

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But those guys also lived in our town. Athletes felt local. Rod Carew was the one great player on a terrible Twins team in the 70s, but he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the cover of Time magazine, he was on the network news chasing , and that made me feel somehow part of it, because Bloomington was in the national news, and the Bloomington dateline was on eight piece stories in the newspaper. Do you think the experience now, with kids having more access to their sports heroes, is a good thing or a bad thing? They only have more access in a pretend way.

They come through social media or a video feature on their phone. In the seventies, on the backs of all these baseball cards, there was a little cartoon and a one sentence caption. A lot of that was what the guy did in the off-season.

What were the downsides? I mean obviously, things have gotten better in some ways. Oh my gosh, so much stuff is a lot better now. And things like not wearing seatbelts, who has nostalgia for that? I mean we were free-roaming around the back of the car, sleeping across the hump that concealed the drive-train. The vibrations would put you to sleep. The fact that became so iconic in part was because it was necessary.

Being a parent was different too. Obviously, neither of us were parents in the s, but I suppose that if I was it would have been different and I do look back with a twinge of jealousy because modern juggling just feels more involved. My dad would read the paper after dinner while watching the network news, and that was it, in like 30 minutes. Take pictures of your ipods today kids, tomorrow it will be glorious relic of the past like the cassette tape.

Things People Who Grew Up in the '70s Remember - s Throwback

It was so relaxing to pass by rows and rows of rubber trees. There were tin cans attached to the trees and sometimes we could see rubber tappers collecting the liquid rubber. I was horrified when my mum told me chewing gum was made from it since I often swallowed by chewing gum it was not banned then and we love chiclets. I had totally won the lottery when it came to my parents.

I had them on my first trip to HK as a little kid. I was obsessed, because I felt like such a badass chewing gum. I really loved that National Library building. The red-brick look of it all is just so… library-like! So much better than that huge white corporate monstrosity that is the NLB now.

I was so heart-broken when I first saw it. When you open a bookstore, can I work in it? Chiclets were the best huh? I also remember the strawberry bubble yum which was great to blowing huge bubbles as big as your face.

I would pack a couple into my mouth. I thought you would be too young to remember the wonderful red building. The plastic glass libraries today have absolutely no character. I hang out more at the bookstores too.

Yeah both of you open a bookstore, with a cafe in it. I love all those Enid Blyton books too!!! It must have been really fun. But to be able to study in Hogwarts would be the best of all!!!! I wonder why they never kept the old national library even though so many other buildings are preserved. I hardly visited it and I thought the building was nondescript…It is possible to climb over the Fort Canning Tunnel and stand where the library once stood. There was also an ice kachang stall that attracted loads of bees.

And further down the road we could walk to the beautiful book store MPH. It was an exclusive well stocked bookstore then. Oh yes! That shabby eatery smacked in that corner surrounded by over grown trees! I sure miss that!

How Did We Survive Growing Up in the ‘60s and ‘70s?

Besides the wanton mee, they had really good kaya toast with coffee too. And there was also a malay stall that sold the usual noodle stuffs. And that famous beef noodle stall was in there too! Then after this wonderful nostalgic place was gone.

More Books by Andy Botterill

One of the first food court took over that spot. It was called S J, thanks for jogging it. I did love that lil hawker centre. It was tiny and charming with my fave wan tan mee. I also had the daisy strawberry milk in glass bottle….


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Thank you so much for this wonderful journey down memory lane. I think we may be close in age. Thank you!