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Mere 33 Years And An Eon Of Differences Ago.Just because many (most?) of us reading this post were alive and can remember 1977 far too well, it’s tempting to think that 1977 really wasn’t all that different from 2010. Yeah the clothes were really groovy, and the music was downright embarrassing when you listen to it now (except for those folk who insist on the seventies and eighties being the only decades when music was actually made, my husband being one of them).
Remember these chart toppers?
· "Tonight's the Night" - Rod Stewart
· "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)"- Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
· "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer
· "Car Wash" - Rose Royce
· "Torn Between Two Lovers" - Mary MacGregor
· "Blinded by the Light" - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
· "New Kid in Town" - The Eagles
· "Love theme from A Star Is Born (Evergreen)" - Barbra Streisand
· "Rich Girl" - Hall & Oates
· "Dancing Queen" - ABBA
· "Don't Give Up On Us" - David Soul
· "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Thelma Houston
· "Southern Nights" - Glen Campbell
· "Hotel California" - Eagles
· "When I Need You" - Leo Sayer
· "Sir Duke" - Stevie Wonder
· "I'm Your Boogie Man" - KC and the Sunshine Band
· "Dreams" - Fleetwood Mac
· "Got to Give It Up" - Marvin Gaye
· "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) - Bill Conti
· "Undercover Angel" - Alan O'Day
· "Da Do Ron Ron" - Shaun Cassidy
· "Looks Like We Made It" - Barry Manilow
· "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" - Andy Gibb
· "Best Of My Love" - The Emotions
· "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" - Meco
· "You Light Up My Life" - Debby Boone, best selling single of the year
· "How Deep Is Your Love" - Bee Gees
The soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever was an enormous hit that established the Bee Gees (who had composed most of the tracks) as the most popular artists in the world, and the best-selling artist since the Beatles. Saturday Night Fever also moved disco music into the mainstream, and it dominated the charts for the next few years.
Jimmy Buffett's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes is also especially notable in its inclusion of "Margaritaville", the biggest single of his career.
Billy Joel's The Stranger was enormously popular, and includes his beloved medley, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant".
Fleetwood Mac's Rumours was the most popular and critically acclaimed LP of the band's career; it is one of the best-selling albums of all time.
August 16 - Elvis Presley was found dead at his home Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
And of course, the biggest thing we were all doing back that August (well, I was!) was being stunned, awed and amazed by Star Wars. I was personally drooling over Han Solo and secretly writing the unofficial sequel, where Han Solo did, too, fall in love with Leia and kick Luke to the curbside.
Then there was the really freaky clothes. Flared jeans with waistlines that actually sat at the (ohmigod!) waist. Rayon dresses – remember those?
But it wasn’t just the clothes, movies and music. And 1977 wasn’t just 2010, but different.
There were major differences back then. There wasn’t a single personal computer around then, not even a Commodore 64. Therefore, no cellphones, or Internet. Being personally hooked up wasn’t even an idea back then. I was having fantasies about how cool it would be to be able to play Star Wars at home for myself whenever I wanted to. I never dreamed how close to reality I was.
If you wanted to check out what was on TV that night, you had to look it up in today’s newspaper. Finding someone’s phone number involved looking it up in the local phonebook, or calling directory assistance for long distance numbers.
Any information you didn’t have in a book on your own shelf, you had to go to the library to look up in a book on their shelf, or calling a company’s help desk. There was no instant gratification for endless questions by consulting Google, back then.
And socially, 1977 looked a lot different. A woman could still finish high school, marry, and stay home and have babies, and even though it was becoming unusual because most people just didn’t have the money to do it anymore, it wasn’t that unusual. It was a choice women could make.
Gender issues were still strong – the US Women Marines corp was only disbanded and women Marines absorbed into the general Marine Corp in 1977. Women were still not seen as equal to men in all things except physical strength, even though by law they were given equality in many countries. Lip service was paid to that law, but real acceptance was another matter...
Communism was still a force to be feared and political paranoia was rampant. Europe was divided by the Wall into East and West, and the middle east was just a place on the map.
A woman in her very early twenties who slept with too many men (and more than one or two was too many, when I was in high school) got a “reputation.” Acquiring a reputation became a difficult thing to off-load. And people talked, back then. Via phones, to each other, and via letter. Despite the lack of the Internet, word spread anyway, and once you had a reputation, it was a bad thing. You became a tramp, slut, or sleaze, pick your synonym. And every guy would pant after you for sex, but no one would ever want a serious relationship with you. Such was the power of a bad reputation. A woman lived in fear of acquiring a bad reputation back then, and her girl friends could keep her in line just by threatening to spread rumours about her promiscuity.
A women in her later twenties had more freedom, but still had be circumspect about partners if older generations were not going to hold her sexual activities against her in the workplace. It was entirely possible that job promotions and raises could mysteriously be withheld and disappear if it became known that she “slept around” or, far worse, had a live-in boyfriend.
Women who were still single in their mid- and later twenties were often questioned closely about their plans for marriage and motherhood by employers who wanted to know why they hadn’t started families yet, and when they were going to.
You tend to forget all that when you remember back to 1977, or look at photos from 1977 and laugh at the funky clothes or the painfully simple music. But there have been some genuine and far-reaching changes to the way we live since 1977.
It was a real trip back in time I had to make when I wrote Carson’s Night, that’s for sure.
If you were compus mentis back then, what you do remember fondly about 1977?
___________________Carson’s Night by Teal Ceagh
It’s August 1977 in New York City and the weird sculptor Moss Alex Meinhardt lies dead at the foot of an ugly gargoyle he’s half-completed. Natalia Grey’s demon hunter father is also dead, and his new partner, the astonishingly sexy Carson Connors, can’t remember how it happened.
Carson isn’t sure what role he has played in Natalia’s father’s death, but after one look at Natalia, he does know that guilty or not, he’s doomed.
Natalia must take up her father’s sword and her heritage as a demon hunter and figure out what happened this night, for the gargoyles Meinhardt carved have life they should not have without the help of dark forces she and Carson must defeat—once the gargoyles have risen, of course. But the night is hours away yet…
It was close to nine in the morning before they made it back to Nick’s place, for carrying a dead body around New York was not easy. But Carson Connors had hidden resources, for once they made it out into the growing sunlight and the immediate danger from the gargoyles passed, Tally’s strength seemed to desert her.
Connors seemed to sense it, for he lowered her father’s bloody remains to the ground, dropped his coat over them, took the lantern and sword from her and lifted her chin. “I didn’t get your name.”
She looked up at him. He was taller than she’d first thought. Next to Nick, of course, he’d looked shorter. But everyone looked short next to Nick. Connors had to be around five eleven, maybe even six foot and now she could look at him in daylight and without the coat, she could see that he was thick through the shoulders and neck. The baseball tee shirt was snug around his shoulders and arms. He was dark-haired and his stubble was dark but his eyes, which she had thought were black, were actually a very dark blue. His hair was brushing his shoulders, as was fashionable these days and locks hung around his face, giving him a rumpled look that she liked, especially with the stubble on his cheeks.
“I’m Natalia. Tally.”
“You’re Peter’s daughter, aren’t you?” he asked softly.
She bit her lip, battling not to break down right here and now. Then she nodded.
“We have to get him home,” he told her. “And that means I’m going to have to treat his body in ways that are going to look like I don’t respect him, just for a while, okay, Tally? But it’s the only way we’ll avoid getting arrested.”
She nodded again. “I’ve been around Nick and Damian for too long. I know how it works.” She glanced at her father and away. “We’ll need something to cover him up.” She looked up at Connors. “You have a first name, Connors?”
“Carson.” He was staring at her. “Sherwood trained you, but not your father?”
“That’s a hell of an assumption.”
“I’m in the sort of business that works on intuitive assumptions. I’ve been working with your father for nearly a year but I’ve never met you. Not even once. So he keeps—kept—you and his business carefully separated. Yet you know the business really well and you’ve been trained in it. And you know Sherwood and his lover very well indeed. Ergo, Sherwood trained you. Why Sherwood and not your father?”
“None of your business, Connors.”
He caught her arm in his hand. His hand was big and warm, unlike Nick’s, which was slender and always cool. She looked down at it, then up at his face. He wasn’t angry, or impatient. He just looked at her.
“Don’t fight me off, Tally,” he said softly. “Don’t be scared of me.”
“You are,” he said flatly. “I know you felt it back inside there.” He curled his hand around the back of her neck, under her hair. “I imagine you’ve had hundreds of men tell you how beautiful you are but you’ve never felt about them the way you reacted to me just now.”
“Oh god, please,” she moaned. She couldn’t think of anything else to say. He was plucking the thoughts from her mind and speaking them aloud and it terrified her.
“Say it, Tally,” he breathed.
“I don’t want to want you,” she said, and this time the tears did fall.
He didn’t just wipe them. He kissed them away.
“Let me get you somewhere safe. Then I’ll show you that wanting me is good.”
And he did. They reached Nick’s three-story midtown apartment, bringing her father’s body up in the service elevator, bent over and huddled inside a lined U.S. Postal Service bag.
Nick greeted them at the door and this time he looked even more haggard than before.
“What happened?” Tally asked sharply.
“Damian,” Nick said simply.
She pushed past him into the apartment’s main room, her heart in her throat, looking for Damian. He was lying on the big leather couch in the main room and was horribly still. A blanket was pulled up to his chin.
She reached for the blanket but Nick grabbed her wrist. “No, it’s like seeing us naked,” he said.
“I’ve seen you both naked, plenty of times.”
“This is far more intimate,” Nick said awkwardly He’s been…torn up.”
She could feel more tears pooling in her eyes. “Will he heal?”
Nick pushed his hand through his hair, one of his mannerisms for when he was stressed. “Yes, with time.”
“How much time?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. We…they…no one has ever studied these things.” He looked down at Damian miserably and Tally impulsively threw her arms around him. Nicholas, she knew, came from somewhere in England in the feudal times and this was not what a proper Englishman did even when he was unhappy, but Nick surprised her by hugging her back, his arms holding her hard and long.
When he let her go, he held her head for a moment and kissed her cheek. His lips brushed her cheekbone as he murmured by her ear. “Connors wants you. I’ve never sensed longing with such power before. Let yourself want him back, Tally. I know you do.”
She jerked in surprise and pulled back to look Nick in the eye. “Is nothing sacred with you, Nick?” she said in a normal voice.
He smiled a little. “No.” He pushed her hair off her face. “You forget with whom you’re speaking.” Abruptly his accent was stiff and far more pronounced than usual.
“Snob,” she teased, stepping away from him.
He grimaced and swallowed. “Worried,” he corrected, with a glance at Damian.
“He’s a tough old Spartan. He’ll pull through.” She whacked him on the shoulder. “Can you put my father in the little bedroom upstairs?”
“Good. I’m going to use the guest suite up there too and I’m going to raid your wardrobe and use your Bloomingdales account, okay?”
Nick nodded again.
She hurried to the stairs, trying hard not to look at Carson Connors standing in stiffly in the corner of the room. But she could almost feel his gaze on her back. No, not her back. Her ass. And her legs. And her waist. It was like a mental caress.
Her breathing was faster before she even left the room.
Connors wants you.
She grabbed the newel post at the bottom of the grand staircase and held it, recovering her breath. Yes, she wanted Carson Connors but why, oh why did he have to be human?
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