May 27, 2012

Whatever Happened to ...

... Harvest Gold, Avacado Green and Coppertone Brown-colored kitchen appliances?

Well, you may have guessed it by the name of this blog ("Harvest Gold Memories"), growing up, my family's kitchen had Harvest Gold-colored kitchen appliances.  Those may still exist in a few American homes today (The lifespan of kitchen appliances may be decades or longer!  Just don't plan on buying a brand new one in those colors!), but the colors of 1970's U.S. kitchens have given way to a brand new fad color: Stainless Steel.  That's right, today's Stainless Steel refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers will, in all likelihood, look positively dated in 25-30 years.  The only color that really never goes out-of-date is white.  The rest will be history in time, and your kids will look back at it and groan at how utterly tasteless it was.

Trust me, I've been there and done that!  What was the height of kitchen decor circa 1977 is positively dated today.  The same will likely hold true for your flashy stainless steel fridge.  If you're buying new appliances today, stick with boring old white for genuine timelessness!

Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?

Anyway, the title of today's post brings me to the topic du jour: a book with the title of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s" written by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont.  This book first hit bookstore (and ebook) shelves last summer.  The following audio clip was from NPR, and the sound effects really add nostalgic flair to this post with radio commercials and TV theme songs and the like.  Have a listen below, or you can visit NPR's site at

Apparently, Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is a pop-culture editor for MSNBC (hence the connection to NBC noted below), but she also seems to do work as a freelancer for other publications as well.

What's this book about, exactly?

Well, one reviewer called it "a readable anthology of the various Generation X trends of the 1970's and 1980's".  That was the most succinct description.  It's a virtual "encyclopedia" if you will.  The book is a really easy read, particularly for those of us who fit the age group the book is clearly written for.  It's a series of different chapters on various pop-culture items from the aforementioned timeframe, each chapter is only 2-3 pages, so you can actually finish a chapter without daily life interrupting until you finish one.

Naturally, when the book launched about a year ago, the publisher (and authors) went on a PR blitz to promote the book, even appearing on NBC's Today Show.

By the way, am I the only one who remembers Kathie Lee Gifford (she was known by Kathie Lee Johnson in those days) as show host Tom Kennedy's singer/sidekick on "Name That Tune", from 1974-78?  Catch a video at  Back to the point, however, NBC also had a cool slideshow on the "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops" book that you can look at by visiting  Incidentally, the NBC slideshow is far better than the photos found in the actual book itself! (the slides on NBC are in color!)

Anyway, since I have a 25 high-school reunion coming up in a few weeks, I bought a few copies to give out (I got tickets and they can draw winning numbers). Walmart was the cheapest place to I found to buy it, sold for $7.50 compared to the list price of $12.95.  I ordered a few copies, and they fulfilled the order ... TWICE so I have twice as many copies to give out.  We'll see how that goes.

You can also buy this as an eBook from, the Google Play Marketplace, and I would presume at the iTunes store, too (not having an iPhone, I really don't care).  The prices for eBooks is way overpriced IMHO, but I guess the benefit is you can carry them around and read them on a 2-inch screen. Try doing that without cheaters (you know, those magnifying eyeglasses for reading) at age 43!

After reading this book, I highly recommend it. Although I think their info. wasn't completely up-to-date on a few items ... for example, reported several TV shows are available on DVD which they missed, but most of the info. is pretty good. It's well worth the trip down memory lane!!

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