My Memories of 1977

In 1977 I turned 10 years old. It was the first year I wanted to know what was going on in the world. I started to watch Walter Cronkite reporting the world news. Keywords I remember were Sadat, Middle East, Son of Sam, Concorde, and Inflation. Local news would be Chris Clark on channel 5 an affiliate of CBS…keywords locally… Snow, Ray Blanton (the name would be more popular the next year…in a bad way), and Larry Schmittou…who would bring Nashville minor league baseball the following year with the “Sounds” a Reds farm team.

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I missed around 3 weeks of school because of it being either closed or the bus would not run down our rural road because of snow…sledding and exploring time! In Middle Tn… 1 inch of snow will shut down a city.

I remember Star Wars hit the theaters with lines around the corners. I didn’t see it the month it was released but soon afterward. It was everywhere and the talk of the school. We had never seen anything like it before.

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I remember Queen releasing News of the World. A friend of mine brought the album to school and we studied every inch of the cover (by Frank Kelly Freas), a giant robot picking up the bodies of the band. We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions played non-stop on the radio. This is when I started to explore other bands that weren’t named The Beatles.

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The TV mini-series Roots was huge and historic.

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I was watching Gilligans Island and it was interrupted by sad news. Elvis Presley was dead at 42 years old. My mom and other grown-ups around were really upset. I knew his songs and it was sad but I didn’t understand everyone’s reactions for someone they didn’t know. Three years later when I was 13 I understood perfectly clear when John Lennon was murdered. Three days after Elvis died Groucho Marx passed away…In October Bing Crosby passed away.

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I paid attention to the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as President in January. I would hear about peanuts, teeth and his brother Billy for the rest of the year…and about one of those keywords again…inflation.

I remember the Son of Sam killings. In August of that year, David Berkowitz was finally apprehended. He killed six people and wounded seven others. I also remember the blackouts in New York in July…

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The Concorde was all over the news that year. To a 10-year-old in 1977, it looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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In March of 1977, I started to follow baseball. I’m not from California but my Dad always rooted for the Dodgers and it was passed down to me. I read from a young age about Babe Ruth, Christy Matheson, and the older players… but this was the first year I followed modern baseball from start to finish. Cey, Lopes, Garvey, Russell, Yeager, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Don Sutton, Tommy John…I loved that team. I still can imitate the batting stance of all of the starters. Ron Cey was my hero and I played 3rd base in Little League because of him.

Our insurance salesman would come to our house every now and then and he knew I was a Dodger fan. He said he went to games in LA and would bring back something for me… I believed him totally. My mom told me not to get my hopes up as he was busy and might forget… A few weeks later…there he was with a Dodger 1977 pennant in his hand to give me…I still have it. I couldn’t believe the pennant in my hand came from the mythical Dodger Stadium where my heroes played.

They had four players with 30 or more home runs that year…Cey, Garvey, Smith, and Baker. They made it to the World Series but broke my heart. They played the Yankees and Reggie Jackson (it still hurts to type his name) hit three home runs in the sixth and deciding game to beat my Dodgers. It took a while to get over that…well I’m still writing about it 41 years later…but it’s always next year.

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I’ll close it out on Matchbox and Hot Wheels…I had a huge collection that I carried to friends houses to trade and race.

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If only life was that simple again…

 

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

22 thoughts on “My Memories of 1977”

  1. Lots of memories for me too that year. Baseball wise, I was still a Cinci fan, not quite sure why but they were “my” team when I was a kid… Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Don Gullett and Ross Grimsley on the mound. Of course, in ’77 things began to change when the Blue Jays took flight just down the highway from me!

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    1. Thanks for reading it Dave…the post didn’t turn out like I wanted but it was a pivotal year for me.
      The Reds were great. The Dodgers and Reds were big rivals of course…funny the Reds were in the West division!
      The player I remember from the early Blue Jays the best was George Bell. He was really good. He came a little later…

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  2. Interesting memories for a ten year old to have of that year. You mentioned being off of school- I don’t know how that winter was in middle Tennessee overall but the winter of 1976-77 is legendary up here. I know this sounds like a ‘back in the day we walked 5 miles to school uphill to school and uphill back home’– but that winter- the snow came early and often and it was a very cold winter. We had snow on the ground from early December until sometime in March. It never melted and kept coming down. January was so cold we only had school two days the whole month. This was also due to the energy crisis and it being so cold! On Sunday night they would just cancel school for the whole week- which was great and we didn’t have to make those days up back then. Did make it hard to go back after having a couple weeks off for Christmas- then the next months off. It was like summer vacation- but in the winter. Whenever we have a bad winter now they always compare it to the winters of the mid 70’s.

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    1. 77 was a pivotal year for me…I woke up to the outside world. The winter. I made so many revisions I’m not sure I wrote this but I remember it was thundering. lightning and snowing at the same time. First and last time I saw that.
      Nashville got a lot of snow that winter but I live closer to the KY border and we always get more. Probably nothing compared to Pittsburgh but here? It shuts down the town.
      I was out excused because the bus would not run… It was really cold.
      One year we had to go on Saturdays to make the days up…we had bad winters in the 70s til around 85…then the weather pattern changed..
      The bad thing about here is we get ice alot. I remember having no water or electricity for week or so because of ice storms.

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      1. Ice storms are the worst…. a few years ago- well the early part of this decade what winter I can’t recall we had a winter here that brought back memories of the 1970’s.. One memory of that winter- when we got our first snow we didn’t shovel the sidewalk to the house- and well it stayed cold and more snow- turned into a solid sheet of ice. I remember going out and it was bitter cold – with my dad and breaking up the ice on the sidewalk to clear it….. I think your 1977 was my 1968 as far as waking up to the outside world. … 1977 sports the first thing that comes to mind- Reggie’s 3 home run game– a nightmare I am sure for you. I was rooting for your Dodgers but after he hit his 3rd I was like Steve Garvey clapping in his glove. As someone wrote a lot of Reggie’s were born in NYC that night.

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      2. 1968…now THAT was a year to wake up to. What a turbulent year…One of the most.

        In 77I saved up my allowance and bought Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt Pepper at once..Now those albums remind me of that year. Probably the most happy of my childhood.
        Getting that pennant from the salesman…it was like magical…knowing it came from Dodger Stadium…Funny how sports memories stay with you…I will never forget that world series and playoffs against the Phillies.

        The ice is just impossible to drive on and afterwards the roads start cracking when it finally melts.

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      3. Isn’t it kind of sad-I have similar memories of buying albums {I know I have told the one about going to the Pirate game and afterwards in downtown Pittsburgh buying with $10 Street Legal and Some Girls.} No kid today is going to remember downloading something from the internet- as you did saving up your allowance to get the Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper. If I thought about I know I remember the order I got The Beatles albums and where I got each one….. That pennant- it was magical it came from Dodgers Stadium. I can understand that. …Loved when the Dodgers took care of the Phillies in 77 and 78… I would have considered rooting for the Red Army against the Phillies! I’d say the mid 70’s to 80 Phillies the team I hated the most in any sport ever! Larry Bowa.. Greg Luzinski… errr…. I did admire Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt though..

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      4. There will be nothing to remember…you are right. It was an event for us and we had to wait…it made us want it more. Sometimes not getting everything NOW is a good thing. We appreciated the items. Just like I’ve told you before…The White Album and Abbey Road…they are the winter of 80-81

        For a kid in TN…Dodger Stadium might as well been on the moon. So yes it was special..

        Greg Luzinski…wow that name is a blast from the past… In the 78 playoffs he caught a ball off the wall hit by Manny Mota and the Dodgers came back in the 9th inning to win in the playoffs against the Phillies again…I can’t remember last week but I can tell you that.

        They were a good team though…Steve Carlton, Bowa, Maddox (is that right?)…Tug McGraw.

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      5. Yes those Phillies were beating out the Pirates in 76-77 and 78- good Pirates teams. What a rivalry back then- going to a Pirates-Phillie game from that era there were always fights in the stands. Its funny- well funny odd not funny haha- back in the 70’s there were always fights in the stands-maybe it was a sign of the times but I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a fight at a ballgame.. the ballpark has become a much for family friendly environment. Pirates- Phillies say 1977 there would be at least 5-6 fights a game. The ballpark was a rough place not only for fighting but language. … Manny Mota- the Pirates had him and gave him up in the 1969 expansion draft- who knew he’d play forever- he would have been a great guy to have coming off the bench in the 70’s for the Pirates….. Luzinski- was a hazard to himself out in the field! .. I have told kids- you don’t want in the future when your kids ask you- what did you do as a kid- to answer- I texted with my friends…. where were they? next door. … Yes those were great memories and yes it made it more special- not getting it instantly!

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      6. You bring up something interesting. Why is it calmer now at games? I remember watching the World Series on television and it would be a haze over Yankee Stadium with batteries flying left and right. I would imagine drinking had something to do with it then.
        I went to minor league games here to see the Nashville Sounds. They started off as a Reds affiliate but then was a Yankee farm team. I got to see Mattingly and a few others. You are right though…the language was terrible even at the minor league park.
        The Dodgers had their number for a little while…
        That was a perfect thing to tell them. I tell Bailey to be a little adventurous and explore a little and have some adventures…not go crazy but you are right…I’ve seen him and his friends text each other in the next room! I have that problem at work. I have to tell them pick up a phone and talk to people…just emailing isn’t enough.

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      7. I think somewhere along the line- in the mid 80’s maybe- MLB realized they had a problem and did something about it. If it was bad in Pittsburgh at times- I can’t imagine how it was other places. Drinking had to have a major part in it. .. One thing today I know I have seen them post a # to text if there is a problem. Back then you would have to go get someone and I do see a lot more security around the ballpark today.. I also guess its one of those things- you change the environment- and people get used to that change and behave accordingly. Back then trouble encouraged more trouble- it was OK to act this way some felt.

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      8. Yes the drinking didn’t help… 10 cent beer night and the disco night didn’t fly too well. What a chaotic scene those clips show.
        I have walked in Cincinnati with my Dodgers hat and had some good natured ribbing with fans…same in Atlanta…
        Now I think that would be different walking into some college football games or Oakland Raider games…maybe I’m wrong.
        BTW your post today got me interested to find out more about Gerry Rafferty…what a sad story that was…I had no idea. I didn’t know how out of control he was…he just didn’t fit the type I thought he was…

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      9. I wouldn’t go to Philadelphia or New York in enemy colors or ballcap. A few years ago we went to Cincy for Pirate-Red series- and a Pirate cap brought on a lot of “I am glad to see the Pirates are finally turning it around comments.” .. I think college football may be the worst- not that I have been to any games in recent history but I have a cousin who went to WVU and games for years- he has a couple teenage girls and said he would like to be able to take them to a game or two- but doesn’t want to expose them to that environment. .. Yes Oakland Raider games- I pass on that!!!!!… Seems like Rafferty didn’t like the limelight for one thing and the drinking too.. Very sad story. Those late 70’s albums are fantastic. Baker Street I could listen to endlessly..

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      10. I can’t imagine a scenario of me walking into an Oakland Raider game. The last time I was dragged to Neyland Stadium it was rough…A Florida fan would not be welcomed.

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      11. I have been a lifelong Steelers fan but have only went to two games in my life- the last being 1985 or 86. I have had opportunities to go- no thanks. Football is a tv sport and I don’t want to put up with the crazies. .. I have heard crazy stories about college football fans at certain places. What silliness over a game. … Tennessee by the way- I have been to every state but Alaska and Hawaii- and Tennessee would rank very high on my list of favorite states. Probably on my Mount Rushmore.

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      12. College football fans are crazy…yes I’ll make a general statement.
        Well that says a lot…I haven’t traveled as much as you…I’ve been to Pennsylvania twice…once to Philadelphia for buisness and my wife and I were lost went across the line…so that doesn’t count lol… I’ve been all around the southeast and north but never west…I wanna go west.

        What made you like Tennessee? The people or the country aspect?

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      13. I like Tennessee- I have found during my trips there- the people stick out as being very friendly– also it seems like the state has a lot-as far as diversity- seems like several different states- the eastern part and the mountains- then you have Nashville and Memphis. I am big into the civil war- and have been down to Shiloh 3 or 4 times. …. the first big trip I ever made as a kid was with Whitey to Chattanooga- Lookout Mountain — the Smokey Mountains.. … the west is fantastic- my wife and I really love the Dakotas- Montana and Wyoming.

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      14. I just went to Lookout Mountain a couple of years ago. We have a Jeep Wrangler and went there on Memorial day with the top down…it was nice.
        Yes my goal is to go west

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  3. I spent some of 1977 in New York City. What a time to be there: disco, Son of Sam … I saw the original cast of Sesame Street performing at a mall, and best of all, I recognised Mad’s Bill Gaines on the street, talked to him for a bit and he invited me and my family up to the office to meet the crew. It was like the greatest dream ever.

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    1. Meeting Bill Gaines is just cool. I’ve read some about him…he treated his employees and people great…I see that is true. Awesome story man.
      Son of Sam was just terrible…

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