Monday, August 05, 2013

I don't remember what I didn't see

I posted this originally in June, 2009. I'm re-posting it with some minor edits.

The famous drug reference quote by the Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner is, "If you can remember anything about the sixties, you weren't really there." Looking at a 1965 book, Interior Decoration A-Z by Betty Pepis made me realize I don't remember some things about the sixties, but it has nothing to do with drugs. In that era I didn't pay any attention to my surroundings. I walked into a house and didn't notice anything but people. I never looked at furniture or floor coverings or wall decorations or...say, isn't that just like a guy?

So I looked at this book with some curiosity, and some memories came back but they are almost false memories; I recognize some of these things because you can still find them in thrift stores and antique shops. The sixties are now part of a bygone era, gone long enough that what came out of it is cool again. In that respect I appreciate what I didn't see at the time.

What I do recall about furniture in my parents' house is that we were shabby chic long before shabby chic was hip. A couch developed a deep rip in a cushion and the stuffing came out, so Mom had us move it into the basement TV room. That was our version of recycling. Raised during the Depression when people made do, Mom seldom threw anything away. She lived with an avocado green sofa from the early sixties until 2004 when Mom went into the nursing home, and the couch was donated to a thrift store.

Mom and Dad bought a 1950 RCA television when it was new, and it was our only set until 1962 when Dad got a deal on an RCA color TV. It lasted until Mom sold the house in '72. I don't see TVs in any of these pictures, but I see an interesting stereo/radio built into a coffee table.

I also like the built-in bookshelves. I don't think people have those anymore. What would they do with them? Does anyone have books anymore? Kindle, anyone?

Something my wife does now is buy sixties clothes in consignment stores. Personally, most of what she tells me is from the sixties I don't recognize. So I just nod and say, "hey, very cool!" I remember her in the sixties. She was a really cute girl no matter what she wore; still is.

Just as clothes in the late sixties were very colorful, so are the color schemes of these room designs. I love how vibrant they are.

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