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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(See 133 Is a Lot of #Nuclearban-Supporting Countries )

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(See Taipei c. 1979 )

I often refer to how important the films of Iran have been in helping me open my mind to the possibilities of a peaceful relationship with that country.  I have been fortunate to be able to go see some of the best films from Iran every year at the wonderful Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago. The will be another Festival of Films From Iran showing there in February, 2014.

(See A Force for Peace: Getting to Know Iran Through Film)

"How can it be that no one is speaking directly to what happened?" I wondered. "Should I say something? Is it just me? Can it be possible that most people aren't like me, tremendously troubled by how we should respond to what has happened in China?"

(See Remember June 4)

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(See TURKEY: Terra Incognita No Longer .... )

There will be no shortage of members of Congress who see this as an opportunity to puff out their chests and wave their arms and insist on continued conflict. It will be the work of the people to insist that the path of peace be followed through.

(See Talk With Somebody About Iran Today. (Maybe a Member of Congress?))

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