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 “The 1970s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’” program series will be on display at the Lorenzo  Cultural Center in Clinton Township until May 4.

“The 1970s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’” program series will be on display at the Lorenzo Cultural Center in Clinton Township until May 4.

Photo by Deb Jacques

The 1970s are ‘right on’ in program series

By: Maria Allard | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published March 5, 2019

 Lava lamps and the Partridge Family, popular in the ’70s, are featured in the program series.

Lava lamps and the Partridge Family, popular in the ’70s, are featured in the program series.

Photo by Deb Jacques


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Slip into those platform shoes, put on that polyester pantsuit and get ready to do The Hustle: “The 1970s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’” program at the Lorenzo Cultural Center has begun.

The program series, which began Feb. 27 and disco dances its way through May 4, takes a look at the politics, culture, music, fashion and economics that shaped the 1970s. The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located at 44575 Garfield Road, on the Center Campus of Macomb Community College, in Clinton Township.

“The 1970s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’” features a number of displayed artifacts that commemorate the era. Lorenzo Cultural Center officials also have scheduled  a number of presentations with guest speakers who will talk about everything from space exploration to Watergate to the Vietnam War.

An oversized poster of Donna Summer singing into a microphone; highlights of Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter’s presidencies; and images of the Iran hostage crisis help set the tone of the exhibit. A timeline points to poignant moments of the decade.

Lorenzo Cultural Center representatives felt it was time to explore the “Me Decade.”

“We kind of felt the culture today is rooted in the ’70s … technology, entertainment and the influence of politics. It was such an interesting decade for fashion, with bell bottoms, shiny shirts for men and leisure suits,” said William Wood, the cultural affairs director for Macomb Community College. “The ’70s had so much going on. We tried to find the moments in the decade that were pivotal.”

Those who visit the Lorenzo Cultural Center will view three muscle cars, various toys from the decade, memorabilia from the U.S. bicentennial and more. The donated artifacts come from several organizations, including the Detroit Historical Society, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy, and Romeo Arts and Archives. Some of the items are from private donors. Prior to the program series opening to the public, college officials held a preview for the exhibit donors, which turned into a trip down memory lane.

“They were laughing and having fun, so it brought back memories,” Wood said. “Because it’s recent enough, we found people who can draw up their own experiences. I think that’s really kind of special.”

Popular children’s books from the decade will be read during “Kids Korner: Children’s Book Readings” sessions, including “Miss Nelson Is Missing” and Dr. Seuss’ “Oh Say Can You Say.” Kids Korner sessions will be held at 11 a.m. March 16, 23 and 30, and April 27, with a different lineup of books for each session.

“We always try to provide a full experience for any age,” Wood said. “Whether you’re zero or 100, we want something here to engage everyone.”

Avid campers, for example, will want to check out the program “RV-ing 1970s Style” with presenter Tim Dixon at 1 p.m. May 3. True crime fans will get the chills while viewing the display set aside to explore serial killings and cults of the time.

Film buffs may stop by March 13 for “All the President’s Men,” March 27 for “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” April 5 for “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” and April 13 for “Breaking Away.” On April 24, MCC history professor Elton Weintz will lead a discussion after a showing of “Argo,” a political thriller about the Iran hostage crisis. Check out www.LorenzoCul for showtimes.

On Feb. 28, friends Joyce Monte, of Washington Township, and Becky Wild, of Chelsea, visited “The 1970s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin.’”

“I’m shocked at how much I forgot,” said Monte, who is in her 80s. “I think the college has done a marvelous job. It’s very comprehensive. I encourage everyone to come and take a look.”

“I think it was fun to see what I remembered before I looked at the captions,” Wild, 66, said.

The exhibit stirred memories of days gone by.

“I graduated in 1970, and the Vietnam War was raging at that time,” Wild said. “We were concerned because people at 17, 18 were being drafted at that time.”

On a lighter note, Wild remembers when “Jaws” was released in 1975.

“I was pregnant with my second child and had gone to an afternoon show,” she said.

“The 1970s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’” hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. It is closed Sundays-Tuesdays.

Visiting the exhibits and attending the presentations are free; registration is required for the presentations by calling (586) 445-7348. School field trips are welcome.

For more information, visit