Thursday, July 01, 2004

Ruminations on style

Before we start, I want you to do me a favor. Go to this link. Check it out, then come back here for a story. ......Go ahead, it's ok. I'll be here when you get back. I promise....

Done? Have you seen it? I know what you are thinking, it's the same thing everyone thinks: Wow. What the fuck? That's HORRIBLE! General laughter ensues.

Now, go back to your childhood. I will assume that most of you reading this grew up in or have good memories of the 70's, yeah? Ok, so think back on where you lived in the 70's. Think. Yeah, uh huh. See what I mean? You are cringing right about now, aren't you? And you know why! Because you grew up in surroundings that were not entirely unlike those in that link! (Ok, maybe with the exception of the horse/garage/kitchen combo, I have no friggin' clue WHAT that was about.) C'mon! Hands up! Who admits it! Ok, I'll go first with a description of a room we had in our house in Houston, where I grew up in the fierce style ecclecticism that was the 70's. It was called "The Star Room".

It was called "The Star Room" by my brother and I, in honor of my dad's really awesome collection of lighted and neon and glowing beer signs. Like, he had signs for Coor's beer, and one of the big old Clydesdale Horses signs (was that Budweiser?)and a bunch of others. One for Hamm's Beer had glowing and fading stars that constantly changed, it was mesmerizing. My brother and I were never allowed to touch them, of course. The beer signs were purely adult territory.

The Star Room was a "party" room that had black and red deep shag carpeting on the walls, with the beer signs on the higher shelves along one wall, along with a hookah collection and dad's "technologically state of the art" stereo with reel to reel system on proud display. The room with these dark shaggy walls was furnished with a black and white houndstooth sofa. The sofa was accented with red, white and black shiny vinyl pillows. (I remember stabbing those pillows with darts from the red/black/white dartboard to hear the "popping" noise one gets when piercing vinyl. I regretted that later in life, as that sofa and those damned pillows became the hand-me-down decor for my first college apartment.)

The room had black and white zebra striped curtains, as well as one furry white chair with chrome feet and one furry black chair with chrome feet. More funky shiny pillows, shades of red and black. Somewhere in the room I also remember a patterned furry flokati, which is basically a big sheepskin. Like the beer signs, brother and I were not really allowed to touch it either, for fear of mysterious flokati disasters, I guess.

The coolest thing about the room, though, was that Dad had a beer cooler, covered in shag carpet to match the walls, serving chilled Coors beer on tap non-stop, whenever desired. (I learned at a young age the advantages to beer on tap and would climb up there and just open the tap into my gullet.'s still my preferred way to drink beer.) Then add the chrome and glass table and "accent" wall that was plastered with black computer boards (Dad owned a computer supply business back then) from floor to ceiling, and you had a room that Austin Powers would have felt quite at home in. Groovy or what?

Thinking back on it, of course, all that red and black and shag carpeting just seems horrendously cheesy and charicature-like, but back then it was definitely the epi-center of cool and all my friends were pretty jealous. I mean, who else's Dad was cool enough to have a Star Room with all that awesome electrical and stereo equipment. (Of course none of us EVER snuck drinks of beer, did we Julia?) I need to see if maybe my Dad has a picture of that room somewhere, maybe he can scan it and I can post it....


  1. NNNoooooooooooo!!!!!!!

  2. That's cuz we kept the horse in the bathroom....

  3. That's brother DID have toes on his head, but they were surgically removed when we were quite young. They replaced the toes with hair....which he has now foresworn as being too "high maintenance". If he had kept the toes, he would have had to paint all the nails, so I guess I see his point.


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