About Harvest Gold Memories

Welcome to my blog!

This blog is a labor of love for me, nothing more.  I already have another successful blog in the health space, so this is kind of a diversion, but I don't expect to turn this into a business (although I'd be willing to entertain any offers I might receive).  I simply wanted to bring together all these "nuggets" of retro pop culture I've found online and elsewhere and share it with others who might enjoy finding it in a single location.  I'd imagine fellow Gen Xers would find the most appeal, but some Baby Boomers might also find pieces they enjoy, and maybe others, too.

Once upon a time, we had just three major [commercial] television networks (four if one includes PBS, too!) to choose from.  I am referring, of course, to people who grew up in the 1970's and into the 1980's  referred to as Generation X (we can thank a Canadian named Douglas Coupland for that term  incidentally, he's kind of divorced himself from having written that now [in]famous book).  That meant that our collective experiences (when it came to one of the biggest influences in pop-culture: namely television) had more in common than kids growing up today have  most now have hundreds of TV channels to pick from!  As a result, I think it's fair to say, that Gen X's collective experiences were more similar than kids growing up today have.  We were really the last generation to really have that collective experience!

Without getting too nostalgic, that's one reason I started this blog: to share my discoveries about our collective pop-culture experience.  I'm certainly not the only one who has tried, and I can (and will) refer to some others' efforts to share those collective experiences.  But I like to think I'll do a better job of identifying and using sources that will be around for a while, so chances are, if I put a link in my blog, or a video or audio clip, those I share will work for many years to come.  I've also come to rely on services like the Internet Archive [http://www.archive.org] which I've written about in an early post at this blog.

Of course, TV is but one component of pop-culture, there's all the other stuff, too, like shopping, movies, music, toys, food and probably a few things I don't even remember now but but will when I write about it.  Hell, we may also be the last group (at least some of us) to learn to read on textbooks featuring the now infamous Dick and Jane (or in the case of those of us who learned on Ginn readers, Tom and Betty), although by the 1970's (actually, it began in 1965 according to Wikipedia), if you can believe that as a source, publishers tried to be more sensitive by including token minority populations in their books, even though most of us knew as kids that those efforts were not genuine by any stretch of the imagination.  I recall after my second-grade class used the Tom and Betty reading textbooks, the school ended up giving the textbook to us (for any kid willing to take them) because brand new textbooks had been acquired.  As I already said, I believe we were really the last generation of Americans around to experience those things, first-hand!

When I say Harvest Gold Memories is "labor of love", I mean that I enjoy tinkering with the blog design, the look and feel by adding anything I may discover along the way.  I don't plan to change the world here, just provide someone else with a look at the stuff I grew up with during the seventies and eighties now that I'm a bit older.

About the Blog Design

As for my blog design, note that I have no graphic design background, nor do I have any html programming skills.  Instead, I have what I'd describe as "enough knowledge to be dangerous".  I purchased this blog design template from a legitimate blog designer and made a number of changes along the way.  In my post entitled "Pop Culture Reunion: The Partridge Family" (http://goo.gl/yuqQN), I described how I managed to stumble upon the background graphic I used on the actual blog which I still love!  The next paragraph is a relevant excerpt:

Blog Design Revisions

When I began this blog, my objective was for a design that had elements of pop culture (and more specifically, seventies pop culture) all over it. I opted for a custom design, but settled on a mult-colored polka dot shopping bag design as the background, but always planned to replace the background image when I found something better suited. Then, I found it: the pattern painted on the bus from The Partridge Family!  As I noted in my post (see the preceding paragraph for details), it is believed the design on the bus was based on one from artist Piet Mondrian, who was known for his geometric designs, specifically the one known as Composizione created in 1921, although the bus design was not an exact replica.  You may also note that one of his paintings is featured hanging on the wall of another house featured late 1960's sitcom: "Green Acres", namely the one that belonged to Oliver and Lisa Douglas, but that's a different sitcom for another post.  That will be the background until I decide to replace it with something else. You might also have noticed the Pacman/ghosts at the top of the page, something else I "borrowed", too, but that's been in place since day one.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the design (I've made considerable revisions to the layout I bought, and it's the revisions I'm happiest with) as it stands now.  Is the design complete?  I never say never, but I'm pretty happy with the design today.

About The Blog Title

As for the title "Harvest Gold Memories", honestly, that wasn't something I spent hours thinking about or agonizing over what I should call this.  I needed a title, and this one came to mind quickly.  Under the "Links I Like" in the right-hand margin of the main page of this blog, you may even note some similar themed titles, including "Plaid Stallions" and "Bionic Disco", although in truth, a blog I don't include in "Links I Like" (in part, because it kind of predates the stuff I cover here), but the title was inspired a little bit by Wes Clark's Avocado Memories [http://wesclark.com/am/].  Wes grew up in Southern California during the sixties and seventies (I grew up in the seventies and eighties), but the whole notion of naming his blog after those odd appliance colors that were marketed during that era really describes things pretty well.

Avocado Green, Coppertone Brown and Harvest Gold were widespread kitchen fashions back then.  My family had a Harvest Gold-colored kitchen growing up (complete with reddish-wood colored paneling), although my parents remodeled a number of years ago and replaced everything with white.  I'd say that was a good choice!

By the way, the authors for the  book "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s" also wrote about the "distinctive" color palette from the seventies, but they weren't as kind as I've been, writing:

"All of the previously neglected colors that were rejected by the rainbow lined up and demanded we welcome them into our lives. It may have been called avocado green, but we kids knew the color of boogers when we saw it." (see the chapter entitled "Décor Mistakes")

Still, looking back at the garish colors of the "Brady Bunch" kitchen (or on "Maude", "The Partridge Family" or other shows of that era), reminds us all that those garish colors were trendy for a number of years.  I did blog about the passing color palette of kitchens from my youth in a post called "Whatever Happened To ..." which I highly recommend reading.  In that post, I address that, and an entertaining book on Gen X pop culture called "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s" (my post on that can be found http://goo.gl/jAIF0) which I also noted above, but still, it might be worth looking into because it's entertaining.  The book, incidentally, is available in print and electronic formats for Amazon Kindle, iTunes (for iOS devices), and Google Play (for Android devices) Marketplace.

I still contend that today, those décor colors of the seventies has since been replaced by another faddish appliance color: stainless steel.  While that's not as bold, I still see Stainless Steel as a design color destined to look dated 30 years from now.  The only color that never goes out of style is white.  Any contractor, builder or house-flipper (although I'm not sure how many remain in business these days) will tell you they stick with white because it never goes out of style and it's usually far less costly, too.

You're Feedback Is Welcome, Please!

This is my effort to share my recollection of that collective experience.  We all have our own "spin" on these things, and that's fine.  I welcome comments and feedback from my readers, so if you see (or hear) something on my blog that you like, please comment!  I should also warn you that one of the things I've learned in blogging since 2005 has been that I try to include links that will keep working for years to come.  No, I can't guarantee that, but I try not to cite fly-by-night sources.  You will also note that I intentionally include only abbreviated citations in RSS feeds as I wish to encourage people to visit my site.  You may also note that media may be accessible on my website that you'll find a link to where you can pay for the content elsewhere.  Again, it's my goal to encourage visitors to my actual blog, not use third-party aggregators.  I hope you find your visits worthwhile!

Anyway, that's the story behind this blog.  I hope you enjoy your visit!