It’s September 1975. A gallon of gas costs 44 cents (what an outrage! Those OPEC guys are really gouging us), and the price of a new home has already doubled since the ‘60s to an average of $33,000.

The president is Gerald Ford, and he almost meets his maker – twice. Once on September 5, 1975 when Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme, a member of the infamous Manson family, pulls the trigger of a .45 at Ford’s chest from just 3 feet away, but when she cocks the gun it fails to drop a bullet into the chamber. The second time, a mere 17 days later on September 22, when Sara Jane Moore fires at Ford and misses. A man grabs her arm before she’s able to fire the second shot. And even then, Ford has other problems to deal with, like a crippling recession and 120,000 Americans going bankrupt before the end of the year.

Other significant events in 1975:

1) Jimmy Hoffa doesn’t show up for dinner one night.

2) Patti Hearst, an heiress to millions, robs a bank. Think: Paris Hilton robbing a bank and that’s how absurd it is.

Altair

3) Altair creates  a “micro” computer that can store roughly 500,000 bytes in its memory. It understands 200 commands, that’s 199 more than me and my teenage buddies. But a new age is born. I was 10 years away from buying my first IBM XT with a list price of $5,295. I bought mine and nearly maxed out a card for $4,000. ($17,000 in today’s money), but I had to have it. Only super-nerds who subscribed to Popular Mechanics and saw the 8088 on the cover of the January issue were hip to the future.

(Now nudging my white taped nose bridge glasses and moving on…)

4) Movie tickets are $2. Flicks at the Drive-In, include:

  • Jaws (“We’re gonna need a bigger boat”),
  • Benji (the dog),
  • Young Frankenstein (hilarious),
  • The Godfather Part II (best of series),
  • The Return of the Pink Panther (Inspector Clouseau and the karate kicking, closet hiding Cato, who was instructed by Peter Sellers to attack when least expected, to keep Clouseau’s fighting skills sharp),
  • Tommy (featuring the Who),
  • Dog Day Afternoon (Attica! Attica!),
  • Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (The big 5 Oscar winner!)

5) On TV:

  • All in the Family (top TV show with Archie, Edith, Meathead and Gloria),
  • Sanford and Son,
  • The 50s theme: Happy Days and
  • Laverne & Shirley.

Women are coming of age on TV… Maude, Rhoda, Phyllis and a SM$M spin-off The Bionic Woman. Vinnie Barbarino debuts on Welcome Back Kotter. The stork delivers Angelina Jolie, Tiger Woods, Kate Winslet and in September, Michael Bublé. Jackie Wilson, a famous R&B entertainer in the true word, finishes the last show of his life on September 29 in Cherry Hill, NJ then collapses into a coma. He lingers on life support for eight years before passing away. On the radio in September, Springsteen is a newcomer with Born To Run, David Bowie is helped out by John Lennon on Fame (that’s John singing the high-pitch to low-pitch title), Glen Campbell kicks his boots to Rhinestone Cowboy and KC & the Sunshine Band Get Down, Miami style.

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