Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Hoodlock

My side of the story

Recommended Posts

You may know that I boast to being the first paid attendee of the 1965 season. Whether I get credit for it or not matters little to me.

I remember the night before the fair opened my cousins had assembled in my house. My house was 'Base Camp Alfa'. I can only imagine that we wanted to be the first at the fair. This I guessed from the simple reason we had to pass about four gates to get to gate number one. Gate number one (Passarelle Walk) was the farthest gate from my home. My dad dropped us off about 6:30 that morning, the gates were schedule to open two hours later. When we arrived, we were disappointed to learn that others had the same idea. There was a huge crowd mostly young boys jamming the turnstiles. There were camera crews and reporters focusing their attention to the people who spent the night before waiting. My band of cousins found our way to the extreme west end of a row of turnstiles. I was the first person behind turnstile number one, with some of my cousins behind me. Next to me was my cousin Mike he was located in turnstile number two. The rest of my family lined up behind him. There was much confusion about what gate gets open first. Each queue had a Pinkerton ticket taker in place at the ready. All of a sudden, the guard took my ticket. A last minuet decision was made to open the turnstiles in order of their numbers. I was the first and my cousins behind me and to my left were tied for second. Like a shot, we flew down the ramp my cousin beside me. Half way down the ramp a guard motioned us to stop. "The cannon, watch out for the cannon", he yelled. There was this large ceremonious muzzle-loader readied for the occasion. We stopped, I moved to the side and Mike just stood there. Then there was a pop; we looked at each other thinking it was over. We started to run again when Kablam, a thunderous explosion rocked the place throwing my cousin up against the wall. Stunned and shaken we staggered down the ramp picking up speed with each step. We regrouped at a bench as the huge crowd that was packed onto the Passarelle Walk disappeared. They had been absorbed by the immensity of the park. Each one having plans to be the first person to enter the fair. If not the first to enter the fair certainly, they would be the first at their favorite pavilion. We however were quite blasé about the rest of the day our excitement was over. We all had been to the fair dozens of times the year before. Having done our homework, we knew nothing earth shattering was added to the fair for the second season. I recall our first stop was Modern Maturity or the Orthodox Center. Maybe we were the first one there too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your audatious entrance into the fair, Hoodlock! great story. What was Modern Maturity and Orthodox Center?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little known but still connected with the '65 Fair opening was a spectacular party held on Sunday prior to the '65 opening day. This was held at the "Top Of The Fair" Restaurant in the New York Port Authority Pavilion. I was there with my trusty tape recorder. It was a very cold and breezy night. April weather at Flushing Meadows is not exactly the same as Miami Beach. The party was a benefit for the N.Y. Actors Fund and it was attended by many Broadway performers, politicians, and movie stars. I interviewed Robert Moses, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jayne Mansfield and Guy Lombardo. The party was attended by Mayor Wagner, Dan Cartright, Billy Daniels and many others too numerous to list. So, Hoodlock, I was in the Fairgrounds one week ahead of you and I would have camped out inside until the opening day, but the weather was too blustery and I wasn't well prepared. The narrative and interviews will be available on TAPE #2, "The Last Day of The NYWF '65" on October 17, 2000.

[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 09-27-2000).]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×