The Best Part of the ’70s

After I wrote this post about making peace with the ’70s, I wrote several posts about songs from the decade and the memories they generated. So far, I’ve talked mostly about the difficult times. What I haven’t examined at all are the good times, which is grossly unfair.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the 1970s for our family was the birth of Diamondqueen (family name, Shannon). This momentous event occurred in March of the very first year of the decade. Once baby Shannon arrived, everything changed. Sure, she cried a lot and got wilder with each passing year, but overall the impact was positive–for all of us. The other day Mom reminded me of the time our brother Johnny, then 10, remarked, “What did we do for fun before Shannon came?” We all felt that way. Grandma Martha often said she didn’t know what would have become of her at that point in her life if she hadn’t had Shannon to take care of.

It was like that for me as well. I was just short of 16 when Diamondqueen was born (the same age difference as between Mom and Grandma Martha). As the video below shows, I had Diamondqueen welded to my hip whenever possible until she finally became too big to carry. When she was tiny, I’d walk her back and forth in the big bedroom while I played albums. Unfortunately, she developed her own taste in music; I’m not the one who encouraged her affection for David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman and the like. I exposed the baby to Carole King, Cat Stevens, and Don McLean, not to mention soundtracks such as “The Rievers,” “Oliver,” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

At worst, Diamondqueen as an infant and toddler kept me preoccupied. At best, she added light and excitement to everything we did. Even in my darkest moments, Diamondqueen reminded me that life could still hold enjoyment, laughter, and zest. She gave my life purpose. I just can’t imagine what would have happened to me if she hadn’t come along when she did.

The video below provides glimpses of Diamondqueen and me from 1970 to 1978, about the time Mom started taking fewer and fewer movies. Everyone but Diamondqueen had grown up, and she was becoming a pretty big kid all on her own. Mom and Dad divorced in 1976; that year my brother Frankie joined the Army. In 1978 Johnny went away to college and never really came back, at least not to live. Later, videos would replace the old 8mm home movies, but that was still in the future.

I’m grateful Mom took so many movies of Diamondqueen growing up. The memories flood back, and I gasp to recall just how much was good about the ’70s decade.

Note: I had intended to post this in time for Diamondqueen’s birthday last week. However, I was totally bogged down making clothes and accessories for her American Girl-style doll. Very ’70s-inspired clothes and accessories. I could either finish those presents on time or get distracted editing the video and writing this post. I chose to have presents so Diamondqueen could relive some of the glories of the ’70s with her damn doll.



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