Our national fixation on childhood took a smoke break in the 1970s. There’s no better evidence of this than in the vacation literature of the time. For example, this brochure from the Alton, IL, Holiday Inn advertised the latest and greatest in family leisure spaces circa 1977:Exciting! The plush chairs in the middle section are a perfect place for Mom and Dad to swirl their Tom Collins and yell at the kids who were running to the pool.
Pools, by the way, were for sitting in or aside and for giving the whole motel that unshakable smell of chlorine and wet carpet. Yet, who could blame the kids for wanting to run around? They’d just driven from Schaumburg to Elyria-Lorain.
All this fun has made the kiddos hungry. There are exactly two items on the kids menu: fried chicken and a hot dog.You were promised a movie – in your room! – but Dad found out that they cost $1.95 each and he won’t pay it. Besides, it’s 7:30! Time for bed! Mom and Dad are just a few floors away, enjoying some kind of rendition of “Baker Street” without a saxophone.