With the end of this year and the dawn of 2002 just ahead, I wanted to indulge in a flashback exercise for myself, one that I hope readers might find entertaining as well.
The idea began a year ago when my good friend Joan gave me a vintage back issue of Life magazine dated December 21, 1962 -- published just eight days before I was born. Hard to believe they had weekly magazines all the way back then, I know, but they did . . . and the pictures are even in color! Most of them, anyway.
The magazine was a terrific gift, not to mention a handy time machine of popular publishing, zipping me back to the era from which I sprang yet remember nothing of firsthand. This online version of my time warp includes only some highlights from this issue -- stuff that was particularly relevant to the year's events and social context, plus product ads that simply tickled my fancy and were ripe for humorous payoffs.
One caveat: this section is quite graphic intensive with many rather large scans, plus a lot of smaller ones, so pages will take a little longer to load than the typical offerings here in etixland. If you have a speedy DSL line, you likely won't notice much difference, but you dial-uppers might find a few seconds to yourself to meditate on life (and Life) as a couple of the larger images load up.
Credit where credit is due: this particular exercise can't help but be partially inspired by James Lileks' excellent website. His Institute of Official Cheer is a benchmark for this kind of retro-contemplation of pop culture publications, and while Life In 1962 will be a different experience, James must get some measure of credit (but none of the blame!) for my attempting this scan-and-run rant. To bask in his glories, I heartily recommend you visit lileks.com -- but please browse at a leisurely pace so he doesn't get slammed with bandwidth charges all in one month.
Now let's set the Wayback Machine for opening day of Winter 1962 and see what was cooking in the world nearly 40 years ago when I was about to pop out of the oven myself. Enjoy!
p.s. No doubt some Time-Life/AOL/Warner conglomerate monster owns all rights to Life magazine, so the materialI'm . . . paying homage to, yeah that's the ticket . . . is copywrite Them, and is used here for entertainment purposes only (if I'm lucky).
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