A Blast from the Past: Looking Back to 1971
What were you doing in 1971? If you were old enough to follow the news that year, you might have seen that Richard Nixon was president, Walt Disney World opened in Florida, hundreds of thousands of protestors marched against the Vietnam War and Intel released the world’s very first microprocessor.
Much more amazing, the average cost of a new house was $25,250, the average monthly rent was $150, and 10 pounds of Idaho potatoes cost only 98 cents. Those were the days!
Closer to home, Holiday Retirement was founded in 1971 with a totally new vision of independent living for older adults. We set out to create communities that supported the happiness and well-being of every resident, with kindly neighbors, warm and attentive staff, and a commitment to living life with a spirit of fun, engagement and personal growth.
We thought we’d see what our residents were up to in 1971 as Holiday was first getting started. So get out those denim bellbottoms, cue up the year’s No. 1 song – “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night – and take a quick spin down Memory Lane with us.
"I was a wife, mom to three children, a daughter and daughter-in-law. I had a fun part-time job as a welcoming hostess to newcomers in my suburban town, Northbrook, Illinois. Also, my husband and I were charter members of the Methodist Church in Northbrook. I had a lot of different hats to wear!"
Alice Hebson, Atrium at Gainesville
“In 1971, I was saving a computer business and buying a new home.”
Mike Juhasz, 80, The Camelot
"In 1971, I was raising a family of five children in Sheridan, Illinois, population 800, where my husband was a Standard Oil agent."
Peggy Jellema, Atrium at Gainesville
"In 1971, I was 10 years old and lived in Bennett, Colorado, a small wheat farming community, with my mother and two sisters. Bennett was four blocks on one side of the railroad track and seven blocks on the other. On one side was the grain silo where the trains stopped to fill up their cars with the wheat from surrounding farms. I lived on 2nd Street clear across town from the school, which was on 7th Street. We lived at the bottom of a hill and had to walk to school uphill."
Merna Wimsatt, 58, Residence Experience Coordinator, Atrium at Gainesville
“I lived in Memphis, my hometown, in 1971. I was a happy wife and stay-at-home mom of three sons. Life was good. And pay phones were available – no cell phones or smartphones!”
Jean Condict, Iris Place
“I was in love and living life.”
Elizabeth James, 101, The Camelot
“I was driving the Simi Valley school bus in 1971.”
Mary Callaway, 92, Simi Hills
“In 1971, I was working at Simi Valley Emergency Room.”
Barbara Horney, 81, Simi Hills
“I was working for the Oakland Seals Hockey Club in Oakland, California.”
Larry Marshal, 82, Simi Hills
“In 1971, my husband Ted and I were living in Wilton, Connecticut. He was working for City Bank.
We had four girls and were very busy. Compared to my life now, it was a hard but rewarding time in
our lives. I didn’t have to work and enjoyed being a homemaker, but I did do cosmetics from my home. I loved helping women feel better about themselves and seeing the transformation that occurred with the help of makeup.”
Hazel Boyle, Pioneer Valley Lodge
“I was 23 years old in 1971 and serving my third and final tour in Vietnam as a chopper pilot.”
Rod Williams, 71, Royal Palm
A lot has changed in the nearly 50 years since Holiday Retirement was founded, but one thing remains the same: Our residents continue to lead engaged lives with good neighbors, aging as successfully as possible.
If you’d like to learn more about what life is like for Holiday residents, both in 1971 and now, join us for a meal – we’d love to meet you.