The Golden State: 1970s

Dear Reader,

It’s time to re-enter my family’s California photo archive. Now it’s onto the 70s. I feel a Joan Didion quote coming on:

“California is a place in which a boom mentality and a sense of Chekhovian loss meet in uneasy suspension; in which the mind is troubled by some buried but ineradicable suspicion that things had better work here, because here, beneath that immense bleached sky, is where we run out of continent.”

- Joan Didion

“Chekhovian loss”? Why so lighthearted, Joan? Anyway, here are my aunties and uncle in front of their childhood home.

Ok, just a warning that there are going to be a few pictures of babies in backpacks. Basically the only reason I want to have children is so that I can put them in a backpack. Is that wrong? Pictured here is my mother with my older brother.

I love this old courderoy sofa. In real life it was green.

One thing that defines California life is being outside. Preferably with a baby in your backpack.

My parents at Lake Tenaya in Tuolumne Meadows (California’s Eastern Sierras).

My mother with her mother and sisters. A bunch of powerful ladies who taught me and my siblings to be feminists.

My father riding to work. Behind him (on the left) is the house where I was born.

My father hiking with my auntie Julie (who looks a lot like my mother).

Californians love tubbing with their babies in huge wooden barrels.

My parents. How awesome are their outfits?

My mother with Joni Mitchell hair.

This is my dad graduating from either Berkeley or UCSF. With my proud grandfather.

Look at my mother’s little dress!

Hiking. Sadly, no baby in the backpack.

So that’s the 70s according to my family. It must have been dreadfully boring because I wasn’t born yet. Stay tuned, coming soon is the 80s in California! True glamour.

Love,
Orlando

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7 responses to “The Golden State: 1970s

  1. The picture of your mom, with the Joni Mitchell hair and the kid in the back pack…that picture wasn’t taken in California! It’s at the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, WA. But it is an iconic 70s picture.

    And I only know because I live there. (not at the river, or the worlds fair, but close by)

  2. Oh my gosh, these pictures are amazing! Your parents are/were gorgeous! And where, oh where, can I find a backback for my babies?!

  3. Dee

    Just happened to see the photos of your dad graduating. Looks like the bottom one was taken at Berkeley since I can see the “Zelle” in Zellerbach Hall on the building behind him.

    • Yeah I was wondering about that. I assumed it was UCSF because my mom wasn’t in cap n gown (they both went to Berkeley undergrad and my dad went on to UCSF) but maybe they had separate ceremonies or something. Thanks for clearing it up I had a hard time researching whether there was a Zellerbach at UCSF or not and I was too lazy to ask my parents. Anyway, thanks for the clarification!

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