I just can't watch Mad Men without thinking of all the ugly crap we have from that time period still sitting around our house. I love the show, but can't get into the time period, and probably because I never saw the good stuff, just the cheap knockoffs after they had been used hard and aged twenty years. And then we still kept them long after they fell apart and are still here. Just like how I associate the 20s with old people in nursing homes, because they got old and never changed from their youthful style. It was kind of a shock when it dawned on me that young fashionable people dressed like that at the time!
Anyway, my parents won't watch Mad Men; they have preemptively declared that it is stupid and inaccurate and wrong. Maybe because it really is so closely about them in some ways, and the show is not kind when it sniggers about how much more we know than those stupid people back then.
You see, my dad has a similar up-from-nowhere kind of story as Don Draper (although as you can see from his massive forehead and the fact that he looks like he's only 14 that he more resembles Pete Campbell) and as newlyweds my parents lived on Long Island while he commuted in to Manhattan back in the late 50s. He did military and space stuff, though, so he fits more the Cuban Missle Crisis plotline than the ads. They have also told me that people were not actually paying attention and didn't take the crisis very seriously, and that they are futzing it all up on the show to make more drama. Also, funnily enough, my mom loathes John Kennedy. Being mom, she has this tendency to make universal pronouncements, so of course she tells me that the show got it wrong and rather than having a shrine to Kennedy, "all Catholics loathed Kennedy. He was too slick, too untrustworthy."
I didn't bother to adjust the colors on this pic; it's faded, but faded in a completely different way than it has scanned. This long-promised wallpaper photo does not deliver the promised shock, as it doesn't get the full neon-yellow and avocado green color, nor is it the really psychedelic wallpaper I remember. It does show you though that there were two sets of wallpaper in the kitchen, because the green barns-with-talking-mushrooms pattern was over the side with the sink and window. Don't forget the avocado-green shag carpet. In the kitchen. This is probably my all-time favorite childhood picture of me, by the way. That would make it around 77 or so.
And this would be me after my baptism. The hi-fi and chair still date from the late 50s/early 60s, though. We had them until the mid 80s --- they really clashed with the half-done-over living room in oak and desert pastels. I remember looking through the phot album and going in phases from hating my mom's dress to loving it to loving the kitch of it to hating it. The next picture in the album is hilarious though, with my step-grandpa holding me and he's got greasy slicked hair, sideburns, a leisure suit and shirt mostly unbuttoned. It is amazing how everyone had to look skeevy in the 70s. It was like a law or something. God bless 'em. Just don't bring them back in a revival tv show.