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Bill Cotter

The NYSP from the Bridge of the United Nations South

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10 hours ago, Bill Cotter said:

It looks like it was a beautiful day!

nysp-from-un-bridge.jpg

June 1964

 

…...and so few people.

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I have that flag (left foreground) or one just like it.  And I agree; that is one big empty.  

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VERY LONG STORY SHORT:  Nearly 45 years ago I spent my first year of teaching at a small boarding school.  One of my English students was struggling with an assignment and I offered to stop by his dormitory room to proof read his essay due later that week.  When he opened the door, I was greeted by a massive NYWF flag on one wall.  It took my breath away.  I asked him how he had obtained it and if he knew what it was.

He told me he thought it had something to do with the United Nations (the globe) and that his friend (who was also a student) had given it to him.  I explained to the kid what the flag was and I must have fawned over the icon so intently that he decided that flag really meant something--at least to me.

To learn more he asked me to meet his friend and we then walked across campus to the dormitory where his buddy lived  and the second boy explained the flag had been found in his grandfather's Pennsylvania barn.  The upper level of the barn, according to both young men, was loaded with similar items (souvenir items) that had been boxed and stored in that barn loft.

Curious as to why there was so much world's fair memorabilia in an old Pennsylvania barn, I asked who the grandfather was.  That second boy told me that his grandfather was Grover Whalen.  He was well aware of his grandfather's role in the 1939 Fair and said that Mr. Whalen had received a good deal of 1964 memorabilia as an honorary member of the 1964 Fair planning commission.  That boy indicated that his grandfather also had a great deal of 1939 Fair memorabilia in the house where his grandmother still lived at that time (about 1976). Mr. Whalen died in 1962 just a short time after watching John Glenn's triumphant parade following his space mission on Friendship Seven.  That sort of parade, a ticker tape parade, had been originated by Mr. Whalen many decades earlier.

Later that academic year both boys graduated.  The boy who had the flag hanging on his wall brought it to the ceremony and offered it to me.  I hesitated to accept it but he said he wanted to thank me for the help I'd offered throughout the year and he said he believed the flag meant far more to me than it did to him.  It remans the finest gift any student ever offered to me and I've treasured it for forty plus years.'

 

 

 

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Was this the flag that was loaned to Ray Dasher and flown over the Fair site, or am I thinking of another one?

 

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That is an identical flag.  It appears the flag was flown in many areas of the Park during those years.

And Bill, I just don't recall what became of Mr. Whalen's grandson.  I'm going back over forty years in memory.  Closer to forty five, actually.

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PS:  I've thought a good deal about the flag.  Nobody I know is interested in it so I have made provisions that it go to the New York Historical Society when I croak.  I trust that will be a safe place for it.

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18 hours ago, Jim said:

PS:  I've thought a good deal about the flag.  Nobody I know is interested in it so I have made provisions that it go to the New York Historical Society when I croak.  I trust that will be a safe place for it.

I hope they've made provisions to display it, and not throw it in a closet or storeroom. 

It probably means so much to people they don't even know about.

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21 hours ago, Jim said:

PS:  I've thought a good deal about the flag.  Nobody I know is interested in it so I have made provisions that it go to the New York Historical Society when I croak.  I trust that will be a safe place for it.

Very nice of you, Jim. Here's hoping that's a long way off though.

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I initially offered the flag to the New York Historical association in Cooperstown but they declined saying their focus was on the arts and culture of Upstate New York.

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