If you’re old enough to remember it, you may not hear bells or have lightbulbs twinkling over your head so much any more.
If you did read Apartment Life, a trail of mags might have led you to it as you were passing through the stages of your addiction.
In my case, I cut my teeth on gems like Young Miss, which started as Calling All Girls, and later became just YM. It was fairly lame I thought.
Another must-read was Amercian Girl, which had nothing to do with today’s obscenely expensive line of dolls… it seriously was created by the Girl Scouts. I also read Boy’s Life, which my brother got. It was better.
At long last, I graduated to Seventeen magazine, which became my bible for a few years. Many of the style writers from Seventeen went on to long careers in publishing, and their names still pop up today. One woman, Estelle Ellis, had as much to do with shaping my mind as anyone, as it turns out. She had her finger on just about every page I turned, from the beginning.
Here’s what a magazine-iac I was. The summer I was 14, I discovered a treasure trove at my local library. They had every back issue of Seventeen magazine in their basement. You could check them out! I did. The librarian developed a certain disdain for me after so many weeks.
She never did ask me what I was doing. Back then, she must have been about the age I am now. If I was a librarian, and some little geek came in every other day and checked out a stack of old magazines, I’d have to ask her what she was up to.
I swear I learned everything I ever knew from doing this. It’s why I can still kick almost anyone’s ass in Trivial Pursuit, especially when the questions are about teen fashion houses of the 60s, or one-hit movie stars of the early 70s. I still think about this stuff all the time. And thanks to the internet, I can find as many pictures of Colleen Corby and Lucy Angle as I want.
One of my favorite parts of Seventeen was the decorating section. OMG! All the stuff was from shops in New York, one called Azuma in particular. I finally made it to Azuma in 1972, but that’s another story.
Out of nowhere, when I had just moved beyond Seventeen mag–I just wasn’t that into it anymore–Apartment Life appeared! It first was a special-interest magazine in 1973, from Meredith Publications in my home state of Iowa.
Apartment Life became Metropolitan Home in 1981. Ok, that rings a bell, right?
I saved every issue of Apartment Life. Various roommates and partners chided me into getting rid of them over the years. What the hell was I thinking. I could cry.
They can hardly ever be found on ebay.
But I found a copy!
I was so disappointed to see that this issue featured Michael Douglas, one of my least favorite actors. But this is when he was all anti-Hollywood-I-smoke-pot-and-hang-out-with- Jack-and produce movies like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
And there’s no doubt in my mind that he built that luxury office all by himself, and still uses it today. Why not, with that expensive stereo equipment and all.
We moved on and sought alternative employment.
Oh by the way…I did save some old issues of Seventeen.
cmon…it’ll be fun!