The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Fair: Building a Better Tomorrow #9

The Lucky Strikes Cigarettes and Wonder Bread buildings, seen by day and night.


Flickhead said...

The 64/65 NY World's Fair blew me away. I was seven or eight years old at the time, and I begged my parents to go every chance I could. Like many adults, they were nonplussed (the event lost a ton of money), but for me it was like stepping out of reality. The Unisphere is an icon etched in my brain: to see it lit at night with the water flowing was magical. One day I'll dig out the old snapshots and scan them -- me in my Bavarian Alpine feathered cap!

The site is still there with a couple of the structures intact but long dormant. I took a walking tour of the place during its twenty year anniversary in 1984; it was like visiting a city that had been bombed and memorialized and then left forgotten.

The film WHAT A WAY TO GO! premiered at the Fair. It was documented in a b&w featurette that's on the DVD.

Greg said...

Man, I'll start a whole new Fair series on the 64/65 World's Fair just so I can kick it off with a picture of you in your Bavarian Alpine feathered cap!

John said...

The notion that a World's Fair pavillion could be devoted to . . . cigarettes(!!) is completely off the charts of what is possible today. I lived just outside NY City in 1964/65 and went to the World's Fair a number of times, and always thought it was a fabulous spectacle. I have to admit I just don't remember the Lucky Strike pavillion. I'll bet you could smoke inside though. And you could probably score a few free smokes as well.

Greg said...

John, Flickhead was just reminiscing about his own experience with the 64/65 fair, but this series is from the 1939-40 World's Fair.

Fred said...

I went to the Expo in Seattle in 1989. I don't remember any pavillion offering free smokes or ersatz bread, but I did get to try to some fine tea at the Sri Lanka pavillion, and bulgogi and a good Single Maltat the Korean pavillion.

Gerard Saylor said...

I tried out Lucky Strikes ruring the approximately 3 months that I was a smoker in 1992. I remember them being awful