Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 4th Memories, The World's Fair

I grew up in Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, New York; at thirteen we moved to Great Neck, which, although just a few miles to the east was a totally different world. Even though contemporaries write on facebook pages about all sorts of July 4th events and customs in  BPG, I don't really have memories of any. And for some strange reason, even though I always attended all sorts of camps, I don't remember anything.

The big standout in my memory of July 4th is from the 1964-5 World's Fair, which was my favorite place to be as a teenager. The LIRR's Northern Line is pretty short and boring, but during those two years it was the greatest in the world, because in barely fifteen minutes you could get from horrendous Great Neck to the glorious grounds of the World's Fair, a perfect wonderland for a teen like myself. And it was there at the where I have my first memories of a totally stupendous fireworks display one 4th of July.

This was the location. As soon as I saw this photo on Wikipedia, I remembered.

Fountains and a reflecting pool mark the approach to the Unisphere
By Father of JGKlein, used with permission - Father of JGKlein, used with permission, Public Domain, Link

I don't have any pictures of the fireworks and don't have time for an extensive search online. Actually, I don't have any pictures of myself at the World's Fair, even though I must have gone there well over a dozen times, probably lots more. In those days we didn't take too many, and it cost money to develop and print them.

My parents considered the World's Fair to be a "safe place," and they let me and my brother go alone on the second day it was open. We had a wonderful time. And no matter how many times I went, I never felt like I had seen too much of it or all there was to see.

Each visit had a different focus. One time I went with a whole bunch of cousins, including one visiting from Florida in for a different cousin's wedding. We had such a great time bonding, ignoring the age differences.

At that point in life, it never occurred to me that within a few years I'd be leaving America and become an Israeli.

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