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Thursday, December 1, 2016

1962

Having examined three years that were historically important to me, 1510, 1892, and 1964 , I considered it only fair to examine 1962.

I don't know why I chose 1962 except fair, yes, maybe because there was  a World's Fair in Seattle that year. Here is a memory-photo of The Space Needle under construction. For some reason, or not, I always imagined they started it at the top and built downward with steel and prestressed concrete legs. This is how it looked in in my brain:
 .

There was a restaurant up there in the saucer that rotated so diners could get a good look at the city. However, when we drove up from California, the line to get a table extended halfway to Oregon. It is now 54 years later and I'm pretty sure some of those people haven't been seated yet.

We stayed on the ground and had sodas and hot dogs that didn't agree with each others company, then got on the monorail which aggravated the argument. But we were kids, and kids are like hearts; they rest between beats and recover. We ignored our stomachs and rode an elevated  train that swung around on one rail. It was very futuristic.  Since then I have participated in many futures and learned to know when I am in one. They still make me queasy sometimes.

We are in a future right now. Best I can suggest is concentrate on some fixed point, like a mountain or big idea, or a pretty little rock and draw a doodle of it:
Settles the jumps right down; welcomes us all into December --a time of renewal and good will. I shall turn 67 this month and part of me remains in 1962. It seeks astonishment in a world's fairest dreams.

41 comments:

  1. I remember so well when World Fairs were mega events, the Seattle one being one of the most famous. How fortunate you were to have visited it and have those memories. Too bad the queasiness was part of it. I went to he 1964 NY Fair and have some memories of that also. My Dad had a big part in organizing it's demolition/salvage and he brought home some items that were going to be scrapped. I wish I had them today.

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    1. Arleen, it would indeed be fun to have some items from the NY Fair. I remember it was beautifully appointed. But memories --like trying to beat the IBM computer (lights and tape reels covering a whole wall) at tic-tac-toe, and the excitement of horticultural and hydraulic effects outdoors --will stay with us always.

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    2. Oh, and Happy, Happy Birthday, to you dear Geo. May your 67th year have no hospital visits but many, many joyful days.

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    3. I can only respond with Al Cleveland's famous 1967 malapropism to Smokey Robinson, "I second that emotion."

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  2. I remember 1962. I was 15, young, optimistic, brave. I'd like to talk to that girl now. Maybe I could capture some of that.

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    1. Delores, I consider it a privilege of this new world of communication --predicted with the UNIVAC fair display in '62-- that I CAN talk with that young lady who is still a part of you.

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  3. I also think that sometimes it is better not to try to see the grand landscape, but to focus on the one step ahead. And that can require faith enough. Many more and happy returns of the month.

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    1. Thanks, Tom. When the grand landscape sometimes overwhelms --a time I sense keenly just now-- I too am for taking things step by step, prioritizing, and feeling the solid logic of it.

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  4. Since I don't know which day this month I shall wish you a Happy Birthday and much health for your 67th year.

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    1. Dear Emma, your wish is a gift I can certainly use and will do so.

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  5. I remember that summer well, soph in high school, first summer working for the forest service (state forestry dept), and the california cars driving up highway 97 asking for directions to 'Seetle'. We usually sent them east from Bend towards Burns and Idaho.
    My that was a long time ago, eh?

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    1. Mike, it's entirely possible you gave misdirections to my mother, who drove us in our '59 Chevy, but were foiled by her uncanny ability to make wrong turns anyway and get us precisely where we intended. She had this strange sense of geographical intuition that defied logic and advice. Wish I had it.

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    2. Isn't it funny, Geo, and one of those 6 or however many degrees of separation, etc? Sounds like you probably drove up 97 that year, I5 wasn't really constructed much past the bay area then. At some point, that summer so long ago, you and I could have been within a few miles of each other. Neither knowing we'd be acquainted out there on the other end of a lifetime of experiences.
      It's a small fucking world after all. That's how the song goes, right?

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    3. Mike, this side of the age spectrum has its rewards --encountering you is definitely one of them, and yes, that's exactly how the song should go and would have except for Disney.

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  6. That thing had to be a flying saucer if it hovered long enough for them to build legs.

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    1. Dear Sage, I wouldn't be surprised if its legs just appeared overnight. I'm surprised by many things but not that.

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  7. I can't comment on the summer of 62 except through my father's eyes, but I'll bet it was great. Now, 1973, different story. That was the summer I learned a lot of things that I actually still remember. Happy Birthday, Geo! LittleB is a December boy also. He'll be ten in just a few days.

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    1. Many thanks, Chicken. Except for the Cuban Missile Crisis after we got back from Seattle, it was a great year. But good wishes for LittleB --some of the most indispensable people to me, including me, were born December. Ten is a great age.

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  8. I was just five in 1962 and after reading the comments I was feeling like the youngster in the room - until Chicken spoke up!

    Your idea for coping is good - concentrate on a big idea or a pretty little one. Both work for me. Your Geodoodle is very, very realistic. I had to look very closely to figure out which was the original. Impressive!

    Happy December birthday, Geo! Wishing you health and happiness and a happy stomach!

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    1. O Jenny, I look forward to this year --and much appreciate your good wishes-- because it doesn't share thunder with a famous interstate highway. Route 66 gives onto many other roads and that's adventure!

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  9. "The line to get a table..." - I really smiled about that, because here in Berlin I quite naively thought I could enter the globe&turning restaurant of the Fernsehturm (368m high) just like that... No way!
    Now I've read that the Russians then (1965 - 1969) planned to make that globe red - I don't know why they cancelled their plans.
    As a December-child I send you all my best birthday-wishes, Geo., and hope that they'll arrive in time!

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    1. I am somehow not surprised you are a December child. There is an ineffable link among us. Had we met in Seattle in 1962, I would have shared my hot dog and soda with you.

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    2. Thank you! I'd enjoyed that very much (and in the background sang Elvis live)!

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  10. A very happy birthday to you. I hope it is filled with magic and wonder, love and laughter, colour and hope.

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    1. Dear EC, it is my mission to maintain by encouragement and kindness all the ingredients of your birthday hope --a most generous hope, for which I thank you.

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  11. All good things come in December, Geo - as you and I know (and Susan, of course). Happy Sagittarius Birthday!

    When I first saw that Space Needle photo, I thought it was a scene from "Plan 9 from Outer Space".

    I often find myself worrying that all my futures are now suspended in the past, much like an unfinished Space Needle...

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    1. Jon, Ed Wood was a great uh, let's just say I love that film. As for our (and dear Mrs. Swiderski's) sign, I'll send a favorite Arthur C. Clarke quote: "I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical." There is some force at work, though, that draws December people together --I'm certain of it.

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    2. Happy Birthday, dudes! We "sags" have to stick together. (And oh, Lordy, is that "sag" part getting to be more and more true every day...)

      Two things in particular stand out in my mind from 1962. My mother had the day off from work the day of John Glenn's flight, and she watched it on TV while she was sewing a dress for me. She was so fascinated by what she was seeing, she accidentally put two times as much material into the skirt twice as usual. Turned out to be great for dancing the jitterbug, but I never could convince her to make that same "mistake" again. The other thing is the Cuban Missile Crisis. I had a number of penpals in those days, and I remember being filled with a sense of doom as I walked to the mailbox to mail a fistful of letters to them... because I honestly thought the world might be coming to an end.

      It is totally awesome that you went to the World's Fair that year.

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    3. Dear Susan, the missile crisis --blockade etc.-- was in October if I recall right. Month after I came back from the future (in Seattle) and I do remember the confusion and disillusion with a world that would pose such problems when we were only just starting out in it. There's no way I'd wish any succeeding generation should face such a thing, such a threat. You think maybe we were traumatized? My family had knapsacks full of canned food, ready to head for the hills. That's a lot of fear piled in the back porch --figuratively, literally. We had capable president who saw us through it --who knows how it would go now? But we lived into this great century and got to be pen pals too! Funny old world. Good thing too!

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  12. First-a very happy birthday greeting from the LightBreezes family here on the Central Coast.
    I remember 1962 well. It was the year I knew I would follow a career in journalism and began stringing at a News paper and working weekend nights at a radio station.
    It was the year of the Cuban missile crisis. I recall my dad telling us one day that if an attack was imminent we should all run to get home so we could all be together.
    John Glenn took his flight, James Meredith entered Ol' Miss under escort, Marilyn Monroe died. Music was a mixed bag-We'd hear everything from Big Girls Don't Cry (yi yi yi), Loco Motion, Peter Paul and Telstar to The Stripper and Wolverton Mountain. No wonder we were confused eh? If memory serves properly an obscure Love Love Me Do got some airplay by a still undiscovered (in the US) band of mop topped fab guys. As a High School kid I discovered it was highly unlikely that my sophomore "love" for a gorgeous senior cheerleader was going to go anywhere. However she may have looked at me and smiled one day!

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    1. Thanks for the birthday greeting, Tom. Yes, '62 was a time of momentous change and world-altering events. In news, mass media and, let's not forget retro-retrospect in film --Lucas's "American Graffiti" ("Where were you in '62?" catchphrase). It was part of a world's experience, our experience. Thank YOU for bringing it to our homes.

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  13. Last thoughts, and hopefully you'll be the sole reader.

    I remember this 'birthday song' we'd sing to a member of our squad or platoon while out in the weeds in 66-67.
    "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you
    How F##### are you now? How f###### are you now, how ...etc"
    It went on some verses, as I remember.
    Happy 67th or eighth, whichever it was, sorry.
    I've got 5 or 6 years on you, but no matter.

    Somebody wiser than me said "We all live the same time, we live as long as we love."

    Cheers, pal.
    Mike

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    1. Dear Mike, thanks. In light of recent electoral, plumbing and emergency medical problems, the old f###ing song is appropriate and welcome. The future is most inviting with love in it, and that's up to me. Yes, I thought of interpreting it as private, but the message it sends is so good I decided to make it general. All my best wishes to you.

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  14. Ha...I remember 1962!
    I was six years old then, and just moving up into my second grade at junior school.
    Having a new teacher and new classroom was traumatic in the extreme!! LOL
    I don't know if you're like me, Geo...but that older I grow, the clearer my distant memories become.
    I often find myself revisiting them in stark detail in my mind.

    Thank you so much for sharing your precious memories here so vividly...made me feel I was there also.:))

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    1. Ygraine, I too have noticed changes in memory, old experiences playing themselves out as they were instead of how I would have them do. I suspect it's the mind teaching itself our time here --history and future!

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  15. That left me feeling very warmed on a blustery, late autumn morning.

    --The Countess.

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    1. Kind Suze, bundle up! The wind is changing and magic is in the air.

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  16. I missed this fair by time and distance, but the image of that monorail has always had a happy futuristic vibe. Putting queasy kids in it has an even more endearing human appeal. Sending you healthy happy spiritually wealthy magical wishes for your birthday month in particular (pretty sure they have a 12 month warranty too) xx

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Such wishes are among my favorite gifts!

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  17. Well, belated happy birthday, Geo. I'm staring at 67 myself in two months. Glad to see from reading your more recent posts that you survived it. One of your commenters on "over and under" said it was better to be above the grass than under it. I count any birthday I'm above the grass as awesome. All joking aside, I wish you health, happiness, fulfillment, and love in the coming year.

    I've been to one world's fair: Expo 67 in Montreal. I won a trip there with 49 other high school Canadians by writing a winning essay. But that was '67, a very good year for me. One of my most vivid memories of '62 was arriving home one day in late October and hearing from my mother that a nuclear war could have started that day. I had been blissfully unaware of the Cuban Missile Crisis up until then. I was horrified, which later prompted me to give my first speech which was on the effects of nuclear war and how futile the idea of backyard bomb shelters was. It landed me in a speaking contest in front of our junior high. I don't remember how I did, put I do remember that huge sea of faces and the power of being able to move people with my words. I've had a hard time shutting up since! LOL

    I always enjoy your historically important years! Take care!

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    1. Thanks for birthday wish --please accept mine in return. We have lived through some very tense times, Louise, but subsequent generations have not escaped the age of anxiety. War is such a bad idea, I hope future generations can avoid being raised to it.

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