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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
For a feel-good, groovy trip down the sixties’ Memory Lane, look no further than 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the 60’s by Eva Pasco. Pasco's 100 Wild Mushrooms isn’t an analytical research tome on the social, technological and political complexities of the psychedelic sixties. Far from it. Written from the perspective of a girl/teen growing up in a one-level, five-room ranch house in Lincoln, Rhode Island, the book gives us amusing anecdotes and fond personal memories in a series of short vignettes with catchy titles like “A Mini Tribute to Twiggy”, “Dances with Quahogs”, “Tiki-Tacky!”, “March of the Retro Toys” and “Good to the Last Puff!” Each vignette provides its reader with nostalgic references to long-forgotten rotary wall phones, vinyl 45 records, Nancy Drew books and Bazooka bubble gum.
Pasco’s laid-back narrative and casual style make us long for a simpler time when housewives ruled the roost while fathers brought home the bacon; when Sunday afternoon car rides were considered affordable forms of entertainment; when pennies and nickels actually got you something at the five and dime; and when service at the pumps meant an attendant in a uniform who not only pumped your gas, but also cleaned your windshield, checked your oil and put air in your tires. It was a time when Christmas was less commercial and a man landing on the moon made the world stand still to watch. However, younger readers may be shocked to learn that, back in the sixties, seat belts were optional, living without air conditioning was considered the norm, as was letting your kids roam the neighborhood streets without adult supervision during the summers. Pasco's 100 Wild Mushrooms has all the comfort of a Sunday family dinner without any of the jarring ugliness of a decade marred by political unrest, civil rights bloodshed, recreational drug use and casual sex. And the beat goes on…