Sheri C

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About Sheri C

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    Utopian Dreamer
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    Sheri Mignano Crawford

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  • Location
    Petaluma, California
  • Interests
    1967 World's Fair, old dance music, bal musette, utopian history, biographical studies, cats, travel.
    1904 Exhibition in St. Louis

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  1. There was no such thing as heating or cooling above ground. Obviously, below in the dressing rooms, PR lounge, and so forth, we were comfortable. I was devastated when of the fire. When I returned to Montreal, I was staying in Sherbrooke at a mandolin convention, and in the morning, I opened the curtains...and was shocked when I saw the dome in tact. I was sure I would see nothing. What a pleasant surprise when I took the first metro to the dome and found it as I remember it sans exhibits. It did feel completely different. I went up the stairs or took the elevator as I recall. Standing on the lunar platform was weird! That was off-limits whereas all the other exhibits were open to us and I would always go to the Hollywood floor and play on a golden, very out of tune piano. I usually played something from the era. 1920s style. It was so rinky-dink but I played everything I could remember and would spend an evening, after visitors and guides were gone. It was OK with security. My best memories were just meeting people while they cued in line--from all over the world. Chatting them up! keeping them happy with 3-4 hours waiting to get it. We were the most popular pavilion by far! We never had a short line except 20 minutes before we would close. As to what I recall the most, well, every day there was some dignitary, president of some African country, or the Shah of Iran and his wife, movie stars every day. I'd have to look at my autograph book but celebs would come in all the time. Certainly, being 2 ft. from Pres Johnson at the height of his popularity before the end of 67 changed everything. Lady Bird was like a human parrot in her emerald green coat and hawkish nose! Cary Grant came and denied ever saying "Judy, Judy, Judy!" He was lots of fun. Of course, I consider meeting Ralph Bunche and being his guide as one of the most cherished memories I still carry. (see above) The special U.S. day had every jazz, blues, classical musician on one stage--all day long! The talent was unbelievable! And being a guide, I meet just about everyone there. One of the other pleasures was being able to wear my uniform, and have all the doors opened to me. I never once stood in a line to see any exhibit. I would just walk up, smile, and the reciprocity took place. It was the same for allowing guides to visit U.S. Pavilion. Guides had very, very little time to wait in line. We all worked long, long hours and would go home exhausted. At least I did. My roommates partied but weren't bad. Let's see one roommate was a daughter of the Illinois Gov., others were related to senators or someone in Congress. I found out that quite a few got their jobs because of 'their daddy.' Why, there were siblings who talked about "Lestah" (Lester)! Why Lestah' said this blah blah blah! They were talking about GA's racist governor Lester Maddox. That's how they got their jobs! They knew Lestah! ;-) Neither guide could speak French so it wasn't from qualifying for the position, rather it was who they knew. That was true for others. Well, before I get into trouble...and one of my former roommates reads what I wrote, I better stop for now! ;-)
  2. AH! It's always such a thrill to see my home! I spent so many, many hours there. My last visit 2008 but it was close to winter and there was no green surrounding it. Lovely! Thanks for posting all of these. Of course, what is sad to me, tourists don't bother with the dome, they head for the hideous casino that has disgraced this grounds of Expo.
  3. Lots to respond to and appreciate Jim's insights. I haven't heard about a reunion but I did enjoy reading this thoughtful article in the Gazette. When I returned in 2008 and spent time inside the converted birdcage, now the so-called Biosphere, it was for the most part a wasted space. It had some exhibits and the vision of Expo did not carry into the New Century....alas. To my wonderful time there (now that I think of it and have been able to review the nice DVDs that Fred Stern mailed me as well) I have to say that I worked my buns off for 6 months. Four days on with 10 hour days, then 2 days off, worn out. There were no vacations except when we were sent to locations for TV interviews or work related stuff. I barely had the time to see inside all the pavilions. I missed some but I am grateful that I was there for every minute. The universe was at my fingertips and I became so much more as a result.
  4. I'm going to share some photos from Expo 67. I'll try to give them all captions. Forgive me if I posted some of these a couple years ago. U.S. Guides were not permitted to visit the Cuban Pavilion. When my father visited, he and I went anyway. What was the big deal? and I visited it, as you can see, in my uniform. I managed to escape being found out! There were at least two guides that were sent home for various reasons. Other than the Cuba Pavilion, I was a good girl! One of the high points of my time there was giving a PR tour to Ralph Bunche and his wife and kids. What an honor! These photos were either taken by me or a friend. I'm in the Johnson photo on the escalator (far left). He had just passed my station, and I reached out to shake his hand but was nearly knocked over my security. In uniform! and still! The concert was on the U.S. day. Each nation had its own special day. I uploaded the concert that took place on that day at Place-des-nations. AMAZING! that's when I got to meet my hero Herbie Mann. Outside the pavilion, I saw the Dead and the Airplane. I have photos I took at the Place Ville Marie park. I played my flute with the best! What a summer! I should say that the Marines had all served in Nam. Many had purple hearts and most of them were pretty raw from the experience. They provided more than security for the pavilion. Well, I'll get around to scanning more as time permits. ENJOY!
  5. My recollection as to why it was slammed. Indeed, much criticism revolved around the 'airy fairy' factor. The critics felt that there was no substance to the exhibit. They didn't like the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. They didn't like the feathery chiefs war bonnets that were strewn like ribbons. They didn't like the 5 story high Diebenkorn and the more abstract expressionist stuff. The critics felt it was all so frivolous and gave the wrong impression of America as a bunch of bubble-headed bleached blonds. (Well, they may not have written that but that was the implication). Buckminster Fuller's bubble was viewed as too ethereal and it implied that America did not display its true self. Never mind that the space program was given the most space!! and that the 5-6 story elevator dropped you off on the artificial moon landing! It was there you got to see the capsules, sit in an actual astronaut chair.Well, those are just a few reasons why it received such negative reviews. Well, it's late and I'll see if I can't add to what I've written. You pose a very important question and one that bothered us as guides. We knew that the publicity tended to de-construct the pavilion and that's why we kept our energy positive. We knew that this was much more than a bubble. Oh, I will mention one more thing: Bucky's dome. It was a mess. Due to what the engineers believed were erratic weather patterns, very hot to very cold, the panels that were supposed to provide shade for the 'cage' interior were locked in place. Once spring warmed up, they tried to release them and to try and open and close the shades that were on each pentagon,hexagon and so forth but they could not get them to operate. They'd climb up the steel pipes almost every day and be up there trying to fix the no avail. When it would rain, we all got wet. We were finally given umbrellas to help us deal with the leaking birdcage. I know Bucky was upset with this and I don't know that it was a design problem per se. Oh well, that's it for now.
  6. too fixated on the image to read!
  7. Could someone help me locate the airfield on this map? which quarter? Also, does anyone know if the 100K competition ever was awarded for solo flight in a dirigible? I've researched but can't find an answer to that question. Of course, it would be great to know who actually entered the competition as well.
  8. look above the diamond shape below the fellows' seat. it sure looks like.. first line: worlds fair second: Saint Louis ? special? San Francisco?
  9. HI Sheri...I was a host in the US Pavilion at Expo 86 and the assistant Sport Coordinator for the US pavilion at World Expo 88.  I love hearing your stories.  Where was your guide lounge in the dome?

    1. Sheri C

      Sheri C

      subterranean...just below the ground floor. the protocol lounge was just under the orange and white balloons that hovered above the space exhibit. We had sky dome windows so we could look straight up into the geodesic dome.

      I think I posted some photos to that effect.  here we are all gathered on the closing day of the fair in the lounge.


    2. skysurfer66


      Fantastic.  I think your pavilion and the one at EXPO 70 were two of the best our country put together.   Do you still keep in touch with some people?


  10. A great virtual tour of all the French sponsored World's Fairs and Exhibitions (archived at the Nationale Bibliothèque). 1867, 1878, 1889, & 1900.
  11. There was plenty of totalitarian sculpture and architecture at this exhibition. They knew what was coming but..alas, like ostrichs...
  12. In the midst of the theme of technology, there's always music. This souvenir collection of the current "successes" recently came into my possession. As some of you may know, I collect sheet music and manuscripts from mainly France and italy. So this rather flimsy, tissue-like folio folds out into 8 pages (all on one sheet of paper). I'm sure it was sold within, if not, near the vicinity of the Exposition. These were rather cheap little 'street' editions that anyone could buy for very little and the souvenir cover page states clearly that all the songs were in vogue in 1937. A few were popular well before the Fair opened. What is a bit bizarre: the cover's cameo portraits do not include Edith Piaf. Mistinguett is there, and even Maurice Chevalier and Tino Rossi. Perhaps copyright issues emerged? or she was so popular that she needen't be included. I'd love to know why... well, my PDF will not upload. I'm sorry. I'll try to just upload the cover and see if that will work.
  13. Ah! yes, Jim. With Drapeau by his side, de Gaulle was untouchable in Quebec. The separatist movement was raging and I seem to recall mailboxes with bombs! It wasn't a pleasant time but it was a perfect opportunity and he seized the moment.
  14. The Latest on the PPIE (on Facebook). It sounds like it will be a kind of clearing house for the activities planned for next year.
  15. Perhaps, Eric, my post was misunderstood due to the nature of web posts. I meant it as a little joke, really. Certainly, one does not see "Italian" or any other cultural influence per se. Indeed, the '39 Russian pavilion is a case in point. Its steely walls, romanticized heroic peasant figures with its eye level accessible frieze is meant to be understood in terms of the classical facade and tradition. For those who might not think that a pavilion can personify or project an idea of strength (or any other message), the 1939 Russian pavilion definitely did just that. The medium was the message, if I might borrow from the Canadian Marshall McLuhan. So it brings up an interesting topical discussion about how pavilions often represent microcosms of the actual society--putting forward the best face so to speak (or if one wants to be cyncial--projecting a 'persona' that's 180 degrees opposed). For example, it has been espoused that the U.S. pavilion was non-confrontational. While true, at the same time that this birdcage housed delightful amusements along with heroic achievements, the US government was not only confrontational but aggressively invading into foreign wars. A bit of a hypocrisy? By analyzing the clichés (the architectural motifs) often pavilions can be used to encapsulate its cultural identity. Not always but certainly, some/many pavilions at Expo 67 exhibited features that matched their true identity. The Thai Pavilion, the German pavilion, and the US Pavilion in particular. The Thai temple with its ornate roofs, the tensile strength of the German tent, and the free-spirited, sometimes cuckoo bird flighty spirit of the American mind. (Hope I didn't go to far out on a limb here....) ;-) The Russian pavilion was a bit of an anomaly. It was like an enormous ski slope, and to me, it bore no resemblance to the Russian spirit--at least on its exterior. Why didn't the architects recreate a motif or style using the idea of the Russian Steppes? Perhaps someone could enlighten me about what the design was meant to reveal. It did house an enormous propagandic maps showing Soviet farms/towns and the five year plan and the goals for agricultural growth. I best stop there as more ideas keep popping up. and I'm afraid I digress.