The Daily Beast

Tab Is Officially Dead, and So Is My Freaky 1970s Childhood

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Courtesy Molly Jong-Fast/Getty

It was the combination of Coca-Cola’s decision to stop making Tab—the sickly sweet, slightly flat diet soda that was everywhere in my youth—and my mother finally selling her 1970s house that got me thinking about the end of all that; the end of the decade that created me and, more importantly, that willed my parents’ strange and brief marriage into existence.

The 1970s were our time. The year 1973 was when my mother, Erica Jong, “made it” with her novel Fear of Flying. Then, 1975 was the year when she went to the Dominican Republic to divorce her second husband for my father. And 1978 was the year I was born. The 1970s were peak Jong, but they were also peak Fast. My father published a number of science fiction novels, including Mortal Gods.

And my grandfather, Howard Fast, wrote a super-successful series of trashy novels, starting with The Immigrants, which were turned into equally trashy television programs. Yes, the Jongs and the Fasts would never be more famous than they were in the 1970s. That was my family’s golden age, our shag-carpeted renaissance.

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