Monday, July 1, 2013

O Canada! (We'll always have "Expo" . . . . )

In 1967, when I was 8 years old, my sister and her husband took me to Expo 67.

In the space of about 5 days Patsy and Ralph and I visited every country in the world -- or nearly so.


Expo 67 - Canada Pavilion


At every pavilion, they would provide a souvenir stamp for your souvenir "passport" -- or diary or journal, or any other piece of paper you had. Patsy and Ralph had recently gone on a winery tour in the Finger Lakes area of New York State, and the multi-page brochure from that trip became the "passport" in which I collected all the stamps.

Years later, during the time I was busily traveling to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and many other places, I had occasion one day to flip open my (real) passport, and all the extension pages, filled with visa stamps, cascaded out. The memory of Expo 67 and my "globetrotting" came rushing back to me.

I've started looking at some images of those Expo 67 pavilions, and I've begun to wonder: Did I learn everything I needed to know about the world in 1967?


Expo 67 - Thailand Pavilion


Okay . . . so . . .  how did I become so fascinated with Asia that I ended up studying Chinese language and history in college?


Expo 67 - U.S.S.R. Pavilion


I can't remember anything about the inside of the USSR pavilion. But the external shape of it is seared into my memory.


Expo 67 - Germany Pavilion


The German pavilion was hopelessly cool. When everybody else chose to build a building, Germany did this kind of tent thing -- sort of anticipating Christo.


Expo 67 - Iran Pavilion


Cool blue tile. The first of many encounters with Iran. (See Talk With Somebody About Iran Today. (Maybe a Member of Congress?))


Expo 67 - Habitat


"Habitat" made a statement about what really constitutes livable space. I took it to heart.


Expo 67 - U.S.A. Pavilion


The USA pavilion was a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome, and it was filled with relics of the space program. I specifically remember seeing the actual Apollo 1 capsule in which "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee had been burned to death.

I'm sure my horizons have expanded a little in the years since 1967 . . . . But not much . . . !


For a full array of images, see the Expo 67 official site.


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