These past days, I have been lost in the old days and vignettes from childhood.
I remember that my parents often threw cocktail parties for my mother’s colleagues in the advertising and cosmetics industries. My mother knew everyone’s cigarette preferences and she filled silver cases with the preferred brands and laid them on the coffee table.
And women had those tortoise cigarette holders that made smoking look so cool.
People drank Manhattans, Rob Roys and martinis (gin and very dry) and gimlets. People drank blended scotch whiskey and Gordon’s gin back then. I guess there weren’t that many other choices. Twists of lemon, little onions and olives were in dishes, and there was a bottle (?) of bitters, ready to finish off the drinks. My parents converted a closet in the foyer into a bar with an open front that faced into the living room.
A hired waiter passed hors d’oeuvres to men in slicked back hair and square hankies in the front pockets of their thin-lapeled suits and women (including Mom) who had Jackie Kennedy hairdos and dresses with shoulder wraps. No one dressed like Lady Bird Johnson.
We would come out in our matching pajamas and say good night. And then Mom or Dad would tuck us in bed. As soon as they were out of sight, we would creep back to the closed door closest to the “action” and listen and giggle until we were discovered and sent back to bed.
Only in retrospect, can I place the end of those heady days as around 1968. I am guessing that it all ended as a result of social upheaval from the 1968 assassinations and the Vietnam War. And because raising three children in the city was expensive.
Everyone tells me I ought to watch Mad Men. But I prefer the memories.