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An email from a reader commenting on today's Slice column makes me suspect the number is not insignificant.
One can walk or jog along the river today, enjoy its green spaces, its skyride, hear the rumble of the water and the cries of water birds. The park creation and river restoration showed that an improved environment could encourage development that could successfully withstand the pull of sprawl and malls.
Spokanites are generally aware of this legacy; the rest of the world is not. But it is an important lesson about how the future and the past are not in conflict. Expo 74 was the first environmentally themed world's fair and it featured novel things like recycling, which was virtually unheard of in '62. The difference between 1962 and 1974 is the difference between a future envisioned as having unlimited resources and a subtext of disdaining the past to one of coping with potentially limited resources and embracing our heritage. Expo 74 would have embraced the challenges of, say, global warming, while Seattle's fair imagined new cars with individual nuclear reactors.
This is an excerpt from a great column by Knute Berger at Crosscut when he was in Spokane for the National Historic Preservation Conference. Berger was a co-panelist with Dr. Bill Youngs from Eastern Washington University and author of The Fair and The Falls: Expo 74, Tranforming An American Environment. Read the full story HERE.
Are those supposed to be contrails?
The whitest skies you've ever seen are in, uh, Spokane.
Bend and Peel could be a band name.
A list I consult shows that actress Myrna Loy was among the entertainers who appeared at Expo '74. I have no idea what she did here. The SR's clip files might answer this. But I prefer to imagine that she cheerfully stood on a stage and allowed people to call out requests.
"Hey, Myrna. Remember that scene in 'The Best Years of Our Lives' when you are in the kitchen and you call out 'Who was that at the door?' and neither of your kids answers and it dawns on you that, Al, your husband, is, at long last, home from the war? Could you recreate that for us?"
As I recall, there was no middle ground. Reactions were 100 percent polarized.
Once called "the worst band of all time" by Rolling Stone magazine, the anniversary of this group's appearance at Expo '74 is tomorrow.
Can you name the band?
"Summer Breeze" and "Diamond Girl" might not have been songs for the ages. But I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was thinking about on at least one or two occasions when I head them on the radio.
Bob "It's great to be here in Crosby's hometown" Hope.
I'm pretty sure I used a picture of this album cover last May. But perhaps you would agree that it deserves annual review.
French mime Marcel Marceau.
In recognition of today being the anniversary of the opening of Spokane's world's fair (see previous post), I vow to not mention Expo '74 again on The Slice Blog for one whole year. Starting now.
Let's move on.
A few weeks ago I wrote a story about the reemergence of the City of Spokane's flag.
I heard soon after from the flag designer's son, who shed more light on the flag.
Here is his note:
I'm Lloyd Carlson's son, and it was a real treat to see the flag again after all these years. The history of the flag is actually somewhat more complex (perhaps you knew this but didn't have space) as the "Children of the Sun" logo was done by dad as the official seal of the City of Spokane in the 1960s — 1964-65 as I recall. I have the original artwork, along with the original Expo '74 logo master art in my collection of his designs.
The flag combined the city seal with the white, green and blue motif that had been made famous by the Expo "Mobius strip" logo. The STA (Spokane Transit Authority) adopted the same colors a bit later, which I believe are still in use. When I visit Spokane I see examples of logos he did half a century ago, still in use—- not a bad legacy.
Dad was born in Spokane and lived there until 1986, when my parents moved to Portland to be near their grandchildren. In his retirement, he painted as a hobby, but still did the occasional logo design to keep his hand in. He passed away in July of 2009 at the age of 90. I know he would be so very pleased that the City of Spokane flag was flying again.
Steven B. Carlson
(Attached to this blog post of a letter Carlson wrote to Mayor Jack Geraghty about the logo he designed for Expo '74. Here is a link to photos of all three of the city's official flags, which were adopted in 1912, 1958 and Carlson's in 1975.)
Had lunch with a longtime friend I hadn't actually met in person until today.
He moved here to take a job in 1972. And we got to talking about what it was like to be in Spokane just before Expo '74.
My friend doesn't think something on the magnitude of the fair would ever get the green-light here today. Sure, money would be an issue. But also the demonizing of the power-brokers would be so wall-to-wall that the possibility of community cohesiveness seems inconceivable.
Hadn't seen one of these before. Have you?
My translation might be off. But I believe that says "Spokane is a center of peace and capitalist B-52s."
Just kidding. The fair was closed already by this date.
Eastern Air Lines ceased operations in 1991.
It was in July. Memories of her mind-blowing 1972 Olympics were fresh.