Reporter David Mazie’s series on “today’s teen-agers” appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune’s Women and Society section on three consecutive Sundays. A big promotional ad touting the project whetted my appetite:

“What’s ‘in’? What will they do tonight? Where will they go? What are their hopes and their ambitions for the future?”

The project, unfortunately, turned out to be less than riveting. Packed with statistics and quotes from experts, the stories show little passion or insight. Worst of all, the same newspaper that continued to the publish the home addresses of crime victims and children well into the 1960s failed to provide the full names of the handful of teens quoted in each installment. Granting anonymity was intended to encourage them to speak freely, which they most certainly did not. Without full names, I can’t track down the kids, now in their 60s, to see whether they achieved their hopes and ambitions for the future.

But this sidebar is a fab snapshot of the era. I encourage readers to post their tips on how to spot teens in 2015.
 

How to Spot
A Teen-Ager

 
How do you spot a teen-ager?
 
It’s not always easy . They don’t all look and act alike. But here are a few identifying traits of the Minneapolis variety.
 
The female of the species probably will have long, loose hair, quite possibly with bangs that hang down to her eyebrows. Her hair may hide one of the latest trends – pierced ears.
 
She’ll be dressed casually – perhaps a jumper or blazer or skirt and V-neck sweater at school, ski pants or flirts (a first cousin to culottes) at more informal times. Textured nylons, knee-high socks and loafers are standards for the feet and legs.
 
Her boy friend also is likely to have a modified Beatle-look haircut. His clothes probably will be conservative, college-style, Ivy League or “Continental” style, which features short, tight trousers and pointed shoes.
 
The best places to look for teens on weekdays are class rooms, drugstores, club meetings, near a telephone or fighting the battle of homework (two to four hours a night).
 
On weekends they generally can be found at a school basketball or hockey game, dancing at Mr. Lucky’s, the Marian or the Marigold or at a party in someone’s home. Later on, at Porky’s Drive-In or one of several pizza places. And then, in some cases, parked in such popular spots as Eloise Butler Park or “Sherwood Forest.”
 
If they are at a dance, the teens probably will be writhing through the Jerk, the Watusi, the Swim, the Frug or the like to some currently popular ballad such as “Love Potion No. 9,” “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” or “The Crusher.”
 
J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” is still a favorite book, along with “Exodus” and “Mila 18” by Leon Uris and “Black Like Me” by John H. Griffin.
 
And if you get into a conversation with a teen-ager, you’re okay if he refers to you in such terms as “tough,” “fab,” “gear,” or “sharp.” But watch out if you’re called “animal,” “gross” or “barfy.”
 
Minneapolis teens of the mid-1960s got their ya-yas out at popular Lake Street clubs such as Mr. Lucky’s. Check out the high-water pants on the young man near the stage. This is fab? (Minneapolis Tribune photo by Dwight Miller)

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