Well I moved out into the desert this weekend. I have not had any internet and am realizing what a drag it is to move. It is way too physical and quite frankly, exhausting. I have not moved a great deal thank goodness. I tired to recall my first move as a child with my parents and it got me thinking…
My first real move was when I was three I believe. We moved from a small two bedroom apartment to a 40 acre ranch house. We did not have animals or anything, just 40 acres and wonderful desert. My move to the big ranch house as a child took place in 1961. Thank goodness I have little memory of it.
There was a great deal going on in our world and today I want to focus on what happened in 1961 that is light hearted. First Mattel toys introduced the Ken doll, and marketed it as Barbie’s boyfriend. Girls everywhere flocked to get Ken so their Barbie could play kissy face. Many girls acted out the facts of life through their Barbie and Ken doll. The guys were not left out at all, Rockem Sockem robots came out so we could teach boys the power of punching one another in the face.
On the lighter side, music was booming in 1961. The Supremes signed with Motown Records and Bob Dylan performed in New York City for the first time, opening for John Lee Hooker. At Last by Etta James was one of the most requested songs and I Fall To Pieces by Patsy Cline climbed the charts. It must have been the fact that Barbie now had Ken for a boyfriend that women were topping the charts!
TV was big in 1961 as well. Medicals shows such as “Dr. Kildare,” starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey, and “Ben Casey,” starring Vince Edwards and Sam Jaffe premiered. Domestic goddess “Hazel,” starring Shirley Booth, premiered on NBC TV as did The Dick Van Dyke Show did its first episode as well.
Food was a big deal in 1961 as Julia Child’s first book was published, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. Boiling Bags were introduced and Teflon coated frying pans were all the rage. Not that you needed them because 1961 was the year that Green Giant entered the frozen food business with peas, corn, green beans and baby Lima beans in pouches with butter sauce. Hmmm good.
Movies such as West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Parent Trap and 101 Dalmatians were hits. Another notable event of 1961 was that the Pulitzer prize was awarded to Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Chimpanzee Ham landed safely and became the 1st primate in space after a 16 minute flight aboard a Mercury-Redstone 2 rocket.
I suppose just as important as Barbie and Ken was that Jim Baker the TV evangelist married Tammy Faye. It appeared these two love birds were the original plastic boyfriend and girlfriend, just like Barbie and Ken. Where would we be without that piece of information?
Indeed there was a great deal of nonsense that happened in 1961 however, I sure feel for my parents who had to move their family that year. Thank goodness they had some of these great events to look upon. Now, back to unpacking!