How Did Your Folks Look Before They Were Parents?

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Eliot Glazer, the creator of the popular photo blog myparentswereawesome.com, speaks to host Michele Norris about his blog's mission to highlight the time "before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts," when parents "were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward and super-awesome."

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

I'm Melissa Block. And this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

NORRIS: Before fanny packs and wet sets and high-waisted mom jeans, before pen protectors and sensible shoes, your parents and even your grandparents were once free-wheeling, fashion forward and dare we say, super awesome. This is the description for a new Web site out there in the blogosphere. It's called MyParentsWereAwesome.com, and it celebrates the lives of our moms and dads before we were born.

It's a photo blog that anyone can contribute to and it's filled with old pictures of parents basking in their youth and all seeming to be very, very happy. Eliot Glazer created that site - he blogs for a living - and writes mostly about Internet culture, and he joins us now from our New York bureau. Welcome to the program, Eliot.

Mr. ELIOT GLAZER (Creator, MyParentsWereAwesome.com): Hi, thanks for having me.

NORRIS: Where did you get this idea?

Mr. GLAZER: Well, I blog for a living at Urlesque.com, and we write about Web humor and funny videos and such. I basically spend all my time, you know, entrenched in the blogosphere, which is essentially filled with vitriol and snark and cynicism, which serves its place, but I thought it would be nice to have a destination on the Internet that was very warm and fuzzy.

So, between that and the simple idea of appreciating photos of my parents and grandparents looking really cool, I kind of put two and two together and came up with this site.

NORRIS: What is your favorite photo?

Mr. GLAZER: Actually, my favorite photo is of a woman, I believe her name is Diane, and she's in a bridal dress and the veil is pulled back and she's just drinking a glass of wine. And she just looks so, not miserable, but it's such a funny paradox to look at this beautiful bride with a veil pulled back just chugging down the wine like, you know, it's her last day of freedom.

NORRIS: Well, you know, we know that weddings are often very stressful days.

Mr. GLAZER: Oh, absolutely.

NORRIS: You know, in terms of looking at photos that are interesting and perhaps even a little bit funny and stretch our idea of fashion sensibilities, the '70s were the gift that just keeps giving.

Mr. GLAZER: Yeah, absolutely. There's so many pictures of, you know, the hippies, the hippy generation just spread out among friends, bellbottoms, flowers in their hair, everything that I know essentially from stories from my parents and books and movies. It existed and it's so cool to see it. You know, the fashion was so different back then and it really comes through in these photos.

NORRIS: And you can imagine someone just stumbling upon a photo of dad with long hair and a headband and bellbottoms and chukka boots standing next to a mule and thinking, gosh, he looked like that?

Mr. GLAZER: I know. I think that's truly an experience that everyone shares, but never necessarily talks about outside of their family. People just want to share it because it's such a personal experience for everyone who submits a picture.

NORRIS: You know, the title of the blog again is My Parents Were Awesome, which is, it's kind of sad, in some ways, because it suggests that you stop being awesome at some point.

Mr. GLAZER: Yeah. I mean, it would be easy to say that, but basically every other email, I swear, every other email is titled My Parents Were and Still Are Awesome, which really speaks to the power of how people are so proud of their parents and grandparents and they carry so much pride in it, in these people.

So, no, parents definitely don't lose their air of awesomeness. It's just easy to forget that they had things in their lives before us. You know, there was stuff happening.

NORRIS: Eliot, thanks so much for talking to us.

Mr. GLAZER: Oh, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

NORRIS: Eliot Glazer is the founder of the Web site MyParentsWereAwesome.com. You can find more of his favorite parental photos on our photo blog The Picture Show at NPR.org.

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