Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

I’d go back in time to – yes – the 1970s

In the book “11/22/63,” Stephen King’s protagonist becomes a man on a mission to correct a terrible historical tragedy, but finds out that things aren’t always what you’ve bargained for.

It’s actually an acquaintance who has the time portal and has tried to undo the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but he’s run out of time and asks his friend, a teacher, to go back and stop Lee Harvey Oswald.

He emerges in 1957 when he goes through the portal, which he does a few times before setting out to stop Oswald from shooting Kennedy, and eventually decides he’s going to “stay” in that time track before realizing he has to go back to his own time. He had met a woman and even planned on bringing her to 2011, but that was not to be.

Eventually, he sees the result of Kennedy not being assassinated, and goes back in time (everything reverts to the original time track when you go back again – it’s a long story) to make things go the way they were.

I was thinking last night during one of my walks about what time period I’d like to go back to, if I could, and have settled on the late 1970s; specifically, Jan. 1, 1976.

Except for one detail. I’d want to be 22, and not 15, on that day, and experience the late 1970s as an adult and not a teenager. Though I have fond memories of hanging out at the mall and doing other teenage things, it was a time of terrible frustration for me in so many ways. It just seems like the late 1970s was a perfect time to be a young adult.

The year 1976 was the year of the Bicentennial, and there were a lot of celebrations of the 200th birthday of independence. There was a feeling of relief over the end of Watergate in August 1974 with the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and people were feeling better about things. True, President Gerald Ford had drawn some anger after he pardoned Nixon, but that had mostly faded.

While things were not perfect in that past, I feel like they would have been good. The rock music was great, and some of my favorite groups’ best albums – real albums, not CDs — were just released, or about to be released. It’s true that there were no consumer VCRs yet, but there wasn’t much worth recording on TV anyway. Record stores still sold records, though they had departments for cassettes and 8-tracks.

Cars – and especially American cars — absolutely sucked, and you don’t see many 1970s model cars on the road today like you see cars from the 1950s and 1960s. They just were not that good, and people got rid of them as soon as they finished paying them off, and tried again.

By today’s standards, people dressed weird but that’s a given in any age.

I’d want to be 22 because I believe that, even if I had not served in the military, I’d be more confident and able to pursue things like a career. Maybe I’d go west and try to hook up with the nascent Apple Computer, or possibly Micro-soft. Perhaps I’d get in on the Altair in Albuquerque, N.M.

It just seems like a more innocent time – more so than the “Mad Men” era of the early 1960s. Maybe I’m just being a little silly here, but it would have been a fantastic time to be an adult and free and able to chase dreams.

But I guess I have to get back to reality. I’m stuck in the year 2012, 51, short and bald, and have to make the best of it.

Still, I can dream, can’t I?

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June 18, 2012 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , , , , , , ,

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