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Recapturing The Romance

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Alright... forgive me for doing this... but I'm a sap. And since this weekend is my 13th wedding anniversary... I figured I'd lob a particularly soft question at you all.

What was your most romantic memory from either or both of the Fairs?

Unfortunately, I wasn't around to attend either of them. But here's my story, anyway:

Fifteen years ago, on our first date-- I went to pick up the beautiful woman who would eventually become my wife-- and she just happened to be wearing a souvenir bracelet from the '39 Fair which her mother had given her. Because I had recently been doing some research into the PPIE of 1915-- I was familiar with the iconic Trylon and Perisphere at its center. So over dinner, I began telling her what I knew about the World of Tomorrow. And suffice it to say, the date went very well. So a couple of nights later-- on our second date-- I showed up with a coffee table book I'd managed to track down about the '39 NYWF-- and I gave it to her, complete with a poetic inscription inside the front cover. Like I said, I'm a sap. Anyway, that date not only laid the foundation for what would become the most extraordinary relationship of my life-- but also the beginning of a ridiculously large collection of memorabilia from the '39 NYWF. And because the Trylon and Perisphere became the official sentimental symbols of our union-- when it came time to pop the question, I knew I'd have to get as close to them in spirit as I could.

So one night, on the eve of her 30th birthday, I went to visit her at work here in Los Angeles and somehow managed to hoodwink her into walking to my car for a moment-- where I then deftly proceeded to get her inside, lock the doors, and drive to LAX-- hopping a surprise red-eye to NYC. Once there, I wined and dined her around the city all day Saturday, seeing sights and shows-- until we finally finished a great meal in the Village that night-- only to exit the restaurant to find a car waiting for us. She had no clue where it was taking her-- until we pulled up outside the New York City Building on a brisk but clear November night. Fortunately, there were still enough people coming and going from the old skating rink that I didn't have to completely fear for our lives. Not that it would've mattered-- my heart was already in my throat anyway, as I took her by the hand around the side of the building. First I put a pair of headphones on her and played a song I had recorded especially for the occasion. Then, as she began to slowly realize this wasn't just your average birthday trip-- I walked her over to the base of the Unisphere (no T&P, mind you-- but still unforgetably beautiful at that particular moment all lit up at night)-- got down on one knee-- unrolled a photograph of the Trylon and Perisphere on which I'd written my vows-- and then handed her a custom ring I'd designed (you guessed it, diamonds in the shape of a T&P) asking her to marry me.

Tears flowed. Laughter was shared. And of course (thank God!)... she said "yes."

We've been back a few times since then-- once to even join in an enjoyable black tie celebration of the fairs that the Queens Museum held at the Heliport a few years ago-- but it's never been as wonderfully romantic as that one special night.

So come on-- I've done my part. Now it's your turn to spread some love!

-Trey

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as she began to slowly realize this wasn't just your average birthday trip--

Until then she thought it was an average birthday trip?

Wow, some high expectations!

Don't tell my wife, she still looks forward to the once-a-year gift of something like the card that plays a battery operated rendition of Happy Birthday to You barked by dogs.

We live the simple life.

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Sorry Randy (et al)-- but I'm afraid sarcasm never registers very well in email. Trust me when I tell you it wasn't an "average" birthday weekend for us, either!

Having said that-- you still ducked the question, Randy! What was your most romantic memory?!

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I was only 8 years old. Not much romantic about being 8. Impressed yes. Awestruck, yes. Romantic? What's that? I still thought that Roy Rogers' and Gene Autry's fatal flaws were the way they acted around women, gettin' all luvvy duvvy and mushy. My G.I. Joe doll didn't have any flaws like that.

In my 8-year-old mind, girls either were not relevant or got in the way when things needed doin'. (I was in a family with 3 boys and no girls).

Even to this day, the '64-65 NYWF to me is memories of space age technology, architecture, dark rides, things I had never seen before. The memories themselves are kind of nostalgic (in that they connote a more innocent time) but I wouldn't call it romantic.

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Fair enough! I've got two young sons who still think girls are "evil," and an 8-year-old daughter who I'm about ready to lock up before "boy craziness" sets in, anyway. But somebody's gotta be able to weigh in here. I guarantee those fairs were the backdrop to all sorts of warm and mushy moments-- and I'm not just talking about the waffles! Come on! This entire website's passionate embrace of events long past is romantic in and of itself. But I can't be the only sap (who may not have made it to either fair, but whose parents may very well have conceived me after a trip to the 64WF) who has a good twitterpated tale to tell!

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PTUer Robert Yowell is a '64-65 fan and collector, and his wife is a '39-40 fan and collector.

Quite a dynamic duo. They didn't tell us anything about proposing in the shadow of the Unisphere though.

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Aww, thanks Mike. And you're right, Randy-- the Yowell's do sound like a dynamic duo! All I know is-- as of today, almost 100 PTU'ers have viewed my original post-- but I'm still the only sap to tell his mushy tale. Oh well. I guess most folks don't like to kiss and tell. But I can't imagine being at either fair with a significant other and not being swept away somehow and somewhere. Heck, I still get emotional at Disneyland!

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Ah, don't worry about it, Trey. All the guys in my Mongol Hordes reinactment group were blubbering!

I am a little surprised the girls on the list haven't chimed in with "Ahh, that's so sweet!", the universal girl phrase.

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Wonderful story Trey.I think the reason that there aren`t too many replies is that we were too young at the time to know of real romance.I was 17 when I attended the Fair in 1965.I went with a large group.Within that group was a young lady who I was very much enamoured with.Unfortunately whe didn`t feel the same towards me and to make matters worse her older sister was very taken with me.So in the midst of the World`s Fair splender I was involved in 2 half relationships and could never quite get them together.-Jerry

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I think Ray (from Pasadena) took dates to the World's Fair on the helicopter- isn't that right Ray? He says they were all the same person- his soon-to-be-wife. Don't worry Ray, if that's your story we'll help you stick with it.

Let's see, one of our PTUers 'camped out' for weeks in an upstairs room in the Belgian Village- using it as a base to explore the Fair during the day- enabled it would seem by the liking a certain female Belgian Village employee took for him. Who was that PTUer anyway?- I can't remember.

I've e-mail corresponded with a couple of Pavilion employees who married somebody else who worked there. One of them worked for the Fair Corporation as a secretary or something, and married an IBM Pavilion guy.

Let's see- another PTUer told me and a couple of other PTUers about a liaison with a certain celebrity during the Great Blackout of 1965- they both had Fair connections- I'll let him fill in the details in case he wants to remain anonymous.

Many pavilion employees have told me about the wild parties hosted by various pavilions after-hours almost every night of the week- word would get around "there's a party tonight at the _____ pavilion!"- they'd party the night away 'til the wee hours then go back to their own pavilion to crash in the VIP lounge until sunup when they'd have to start straightening up to get ready for opening hour. In a few cases people left those parties in pairs, to "liaison" in those VIP lounges. It was also said that the Simmons Pavilion and the Pavilion of American Interiors were popular as private liaison spots, for obvious reasons.

In any case, a few of these "met 'em at the Fair" encounters led to long term relationships, but by far most of them were just college-age flings, and as such it might be embarassing to fess up at this point with any details.

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Well... if it means anything to your thread, the GM and Ford pavilions made ME pretty horny when I was 12!

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Was it the naked neanderthals, or the first time you'd been on a "dark ride" Doug?

I wonder how many couples prefered to climb into the back seat of the convertibles on the Magic Skyway?

Boy THAT sounds like a pickup line doesn't it? "Wanta go for a ride on the Magic Skyway?" Ha!

Classic rejoinder: "I would, but my Escorter is waiting."

Or how about: "Yeah right!- you already took me on the Monorail and it was ridiculously short!"

Say, didn't Hoodlock say there were occasional dances in the Underground Home, or was that just that record album he was talking about? In '65 I've heard most of the dance action was discoteque, at the Bourbon Street jazz club, at the Bargreen Buffet (upstairs), and at the Carnival Disco at the former Texas Music Hall. There was some outdoor dancing at the Tipparillo Band Pavilion, but that was either square dancing or Guy Lombardo stuff, which didn't attract too many young people.

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Excellent work Randy et al! And just when I had begun to give up on my seemingly futile quest to squeeze a little mush out of this group. Keep those stories coming boys (and girls-- hello, girls? where are ya when I need ya?)-- romance (and PTU of course) will keep these fairs alive longer than anything else!

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Okay, I know you're all gonna hate me for reviving this topic-- but today's post about the NBC Opening Night Broadcast allowed me to see the YouTube "MTA World's Fair" commercial with the young couple frolicking on the fairgrounds-- and as schmaltzy as it is-- I wanted to link to it here as well, just in case any other sappy PTU'ers like myself are finally willing to bravely come forward and share some Flushing Meadow love stories.

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=HdIJ0Zs1igU&search=new%20york%20%20fair" target="_blank">"Forget the balloon... just kiss me, you fool!"</a>

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I’d love to see a pic of your wife’s T&P ring.

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My two helicopter trips with young ladies bring back special memories, both romantic and memorable.

One trip with my fiancee, Patricia, originated at the heliport on top of the then PANAM Building next to Grand Central Station, NYC. We flew round trip to Kennedy Airport just for the thrill of it as it was her first helicopter ride. This took place post NYWF during the summer of 1966. We married in Bronxville, NY Feb. 18, 1967. Later, during June 1967, we flew in a private plane from Plainville, CT to Montreal and took a helicopter from the Montreal Airport to LA RONDE at EXPO'67. We spent the entire day seeing major attractions at EXPO '67, finally leaving at the end of the day to fly back to Connecticut. It was a very romantic adventure which both of us remember like it happened yesterday!

The other helicopter ride was from Kennedy to the Port Authority Heliport at Flushing Meadows during the month of May, 1965. I invited my G/F at the time to go with me to The Fair to spend the day! She lived in Chicopee, Massachusetts, so we raced to meet the TWA flight at Bradley Field in Windsor Locks, CT, which was quite a surprise for her because she thought we were going to drive to New York. The capper was the NY AIRWAYS helicopter ride to the fairgrounds. I bought our NYWF tickets at the TWA counter at Kennedy, so we were ready for The Fair at the nine AM opening. Our return trip was late at night after the lights were on, so the atmosphere was very romantic as we strolled around the Fountain of the Planets. Lots of close hugs and kisses prevailed, but alas, she married someone else, but I married Patricia which turned out to be the best decision I ever made! It's our 39th year of the roller coaster ride!

Ray Dashner

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First of all, thank you Molasses for resurrecting my sappy thread on romance! I know there were more than a few PTU'ers probably gritting their teeth over my sugary sweet attempts to unearth their more intimate and personal feelings about the fair. But the truth is-- every time I behold an aerial view of wide-eyed visitors walking down the Helicline around the Trylon and Perisphere-- or the Unisphere shining brightly above its fountains (see Chairman's intoxicating photo above)-- I can't help believing that no matter how crassly commercial or foolishly utopian either fair may have been in some ways-- both undoubtedly created an epic opportunity to be swept off your feet; both by your surroundings, and that "someone special" that millions must have shared it with.

And finally-- BRAVO, Ray! BRAVO! You do my thread proud! What wonderful memories to have in both cases-- aside from the even more romantic outcome of celebrating "39" years of marriage. And don't think for a minute that particular magic number is lost on me!

Once again-- I encourage PTU'ers new and old to contribute as many such memories as possible. Because, come on, let's face it-- even the most technical threads on this site devoted to arcane details like the exact number, location, and color of lighting fixtures-- are still at their core-- hopelessly romantic. In my opinion, every time someone logs on to this site-- all they really want to do is hold on to enchanted times forever gone by, but eternally worthy of being remembered and embraced.

Either that, or they wanna give saps like me a hard time-- but either way, I'm okay with it!

-Trey

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There is undoubtedly a very moving emotional impact felt by the majority of first time visitors to The Fair. I personally expressed my initial impact in my narration on VAULT III. My early evening visit at the time the lights were being turned on seemed like I was entering "the land of OZ". I too was taken in emotionally by the size of The Fair and the sudden exposure to a myriad of architectural wonders.

I personally think that the facade of the GM pavilion was one of the best pieces of exhibit style architecture ever created. Wal-Mart should consider reproducing it complete with the variable lighting for each of their store fronts.

In my five years of distributing the VAULT series of CD-ROM's, many emails have come back from individuals who were brought to tears upon hearing their favorite shows and music on the disc. This was a return to those days of innocence when youth was first exposed to the wonders of The Fair and many never believed it could ever be heard again.

It's like revisiting the past, totally reconstructed as it was remembered. The emotional impact is understandable.

Ray Dashner

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Thank you, for reminding me Ray how special that cd is. I'll make some time to listen to it this week-end along with watching the Cotter files. Throw in a Wendy's burger and a rusty nail highball(60's term) and I have quite a few enjoyable relaxing hours. Very hard to come by in New York these days, "Scream" LOL...

Thank you Ray, Sincerely Vladimir

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Nothing new to add here... just resurrecting this sappy old thread in honor of Valentine's Day... and in the continued hopes that somebody else will share their romantic fair memories!

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<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Nothing new to add here... just resurrecting this sappy old thread in honor of Valentine's Day... and in the continued hopes that somebody else will share their romantic fair memories!<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Well.....there was that brief affair with a Golden Girl in the back seat of an Escorter.....but this is a family site.....

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