the 160 Anniversary of the first World's Fair
For no reason whatsoever, May 1st has always been special for me. However, today there are two great reasons to sing "It's May" from the musical Camelot. It's the first day I find myself free as a bird due to the miracle of retirement. Also, I am tickled by Google's Doodle-of-the-day brought to mind a concept dear to my heart - World's Fairs!
I was lucky enough to be a teen during the 1964 - 1965 run of the New York World's Fair. Honestly, that was the best fair Eh-vah! There were loads of Disney engineered rides during which you could sit and watch ole Abe Lincoln himself give his famous Gettysburg address, drive a spanking new Ford car through Jurassic Park, listen to animated dolls sing that classic ear-worm It's a Small World and more. Having not yet visited Disneyland, that was my first up front and personal taste of Disney magic. But that wasn't all there was to enjoy, there were pavilions for 150 countries/companies to promote wonder and amazement.
I still have my, now cover-less, New York Fair's Guide Book. I visited fair 5 times over it's 2 year run. I went with my Mother, Aunt Verona and their friends, and once I went with my creepy Junior High Class. I still remember my Puerto Rican slang spanish speaking chica classmates shrieking with glee as they tried to converse with a proper Castillian Spanish speaking classically dressed guard at the Spanish Pavillion. The other times I went with my parents. Most amazing memory? I remember being gobsmacked by the outrageous price of food at the fair. Those pirates charged $1.00 for a hamburger! Was there gold in those burgers? I think not.
I can still sing It's a Small World in English and perfect pseudo-Danish.
I also still have a palm leaf origami rattle from the NYC Fair's India pavilion and will never forget the tiny basket from the Greek Pavilion. I filled a tiny basket/sachet with dried lavender buds. Ah! The source of my love affair with lavender began in Greece - or very nearly so.
Guide: quite dear at $1 Canadian Dollar
In 1967, my father, himself newly retired and in a generous mood, took us to Montreal Canada's Expo '67. My niece Beatrice came along so I could have a buddy to enjoy it with. Expo '67 was something of a disappointment to me at first, because it didn't have any huge splashy rides like the NYC Fair. It still won my heart though, it had a beautiful little passport.
The coolest thing was getting one's passport stamped at as many pavilions as could be managed (even when that meant running in & out a pavilion solely for the stamp. Hey - we were teenie-boppers, it's what we did. Ah! The magic of a World's Fair; travel to one country and while you're at it, visit a b'jillion others via pavilions.
Barbados, India, France, Australia and even Uganda!
Uh oh... BUGGER! It's back and it's going to ♪♫ ♪It's a small world after all! It's a small world after all....♫♪♫ haunt me ♪♫ ♪ It's a small world after all!♪♫♪♫ all day...♪♫It's a small world after all it's a....♫♪♫