Any fans of the 1984 World's Fair here?

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Besides me, of course. :P

I just had the pleasure of signing the contract for a book on this Fair with Arcadia, with a planned publication date of January 2009. I would love to hear from anyone else that was at the Fair or has an interest in it to make sure I get as much of the story covered as possible. I'm also interested in any recent pictures of the site.

Thanks

Bill

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Of course you must include a postscript section at the end of the book, on how the World's Fair site was used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the Katrina hurricane.

Legacies---- the space shuttle Enterprise (which was barged to New Orleans for the World's Fair) is now in the Smithsonian isn't it?

Congrats on the contract Bill! What is this, the fourth or fifth book? People are going to start asking how you found such a sharp agent to rake in the contracts for you. :D

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Got those items planned, Randy, so thanks for the suggestions. Getting the Enterprise there was a major coup for the organizers, and happily I have some nice shots of it from the ground and air. I want to see what NASA asks for in exchange for any shots of it in transport.

This will be the 3rd World's Fair book, and I have a few others under my belt, but based on my bank account I sure need a better agent!!! This stuff is really fun to do - I have learned a lot in the research phases of each - but so far the NY Times Bestseller List has eluded me.

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My ex and I were originally planning to go to the New Orleans Fair for our honeymoon.The travel agents were asking outragious prices for the trip so we Honeymooned in California and Vegas instead.I often wondered what it would have been like had we gone.-Jerry

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I traveled to the Worlds Fair over Memorial Day Weekend in 1984. I worked for Hyatt Hotals at the time and Got free rooms at the Hyatt regency and They had an agreement with Branniff at the time and round trip By way of Dallas texas was 119.00. It was my second trip to a Worlds Fair, my first being New York in 1964. I do have quite a few pictures. I belive I took about 3 roles

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If you want to see any of them and your name in print please let me know. I have quite a few shots but am always looking for things that got missed.

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I very much enjoyed the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair - especailly after the crummy one in Obknoxiousville in "82 (I mean really, an old train track running through the grounds?).

I know that I have a bunch of photos stored away that I can have a look-through for you.

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My parents took me but this was the least favorite fair I attended (82, 84 and 86) The mermaid gate was neat, Wonderwall was neat and the 3D IMAX film in the federal pavilion was neat but otherwise it really didn't make an impression.

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I have about 2 weeks to go for my deadline, so if you can turn up anything before then it would be appreciated. I'm about 99% of where I want to be on photos but there's always room for a few more!

Sorry you didn't like the 1984 Fair, Mark. It didn't compare to 64, or 86, etc. but I think it was better than no fair - which is sadly the case since then for most people in the US...

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For me 82 was still a fresh memory. The lasers at Federal Express, the China Pavilion, the amazing Federal pavilion and the towering Sunsphere.

84 had a few structures recycled from 82 and a lot of it seemed like a shopping mall (the international pavilions along the river) and what became the convention center was such a huge part of the site. The MART was a lot of fun.

Sitting between my first fair and Expo86 it didn't have much of a chance. :)

I think its failure hurt the chances of future fairs in the US.

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I enjoyed this fair (not nearly as much as Expo 86) and concur with fiscus1 on Knoxville. One of my most vivid memories was the boat from the Bogart/Hepburn film “The African Queen.” The aquacade was pretty groovy. One of the days we attended was Australia Day and saw an Andy Gibb concert for free. Shook hands with VP George Bush at the United States Pavilion. LOVED the whimsical Wonderwall. Saw Al Hirt, however this teenager was less than impressed. More impressive to me was seeing “Grady“ from Sanford & Son in the China pavilion. (Very strange!) Who could forget the slightly pornographic mermaid gates! My Dad joked that they must have been sculpted by Hustler Magazine. LOL. For such a small fair it did a fine job capturing the flavor of New Orleans.

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What did you feel was recycled from 82 to 84, Mark? The Sky Transpo system, perhaps, but I couldn't think of anything else offhand.

The failure of the 1984 Fair and all the bad press sure didn't help for any future fairs.

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I forgot about MART! I was not brave enough to ride it.

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I think the ferris wheel from 82 was brought to 84. I didn't even think about sky transpo.

The science exhibit at 82 was a dome and oval tent... yellow and white I think. It sat near the federal pavilion and power transfer station. It seemed the same tent was used at 84 near the main plaza where the oil rig and recreation of the World Cotton Centennial building were.

Like you said any fair is better than no fair.

MART was great! I got my dad to go up with me.

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I described my NOAA research vessel was called there as an exhibit giving open house tours in First Post New Member.

We were unhappy to be pulled out of a Tahiti port call ahead of schedule and spent 3-4 days tied up in sight of the Enterprise.

I recall the Australian exhibit having a high roof and their recently won America's Cup was placed in the rafters. Not "in your face", but there.

I remember being impressed with the live jazz under the huge tent and especially finding a zydeco band using my Cajun name, Landry.

What was truly educational and broadening, what Fairs are supposed to be about, was discovering groups of people speaking Creole. I had no personal experience with that language before and that's when I first learned how common my surname was in the bayou.

Having the run of the place after hours was not as meaningful to me at 25 as it would have been years earlier.

Frankly, as I posted earlier, the distinguishing factor of this fair was how undistinguished it was. To be fair, it was 24 yrs ago. I could use some memory joggers. But even looking at the Photo Tour, nothing came to mind.

I had fallen off a Vespa scooter on Moorea a month earlier and got a cortisone shot in my wrist in a New Orleans clinic. Godawful pain probably had a lot to do with my lack of enthusiasm for the Fair.

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I attended New Orleans towards the end of Expo 84's run, after the fair corporation had declared bankruptcy and employees had gone for several weeks without paychecks. Hotels were desperate for business so rooms were cheap and plentiful. Coupled with all the other great historical sights of the city and surrounding area it turned out to be a great budget vacation.

I would, however, have to agree with those who felt New Orlean's Expo was a disappointment. With its reputation as a "party town," I really thought they could stage a great event. I think they only had half a dozen or so foreign participants. The China Pavilion was little more than a huge warehouse of goods for sale. The area where the foreign exhibits were installed was indeed built to be quickly converted to a shopping mall, convention center and, I believe, the New Orleans Aquarium. The shopping mall made the news several years ago when an out-of-control ship rammed a section of shops and a pedestrian concourse.

On the positive side, I remember the Louisiana Pavilion was a ride-through exhibit on boats similar to Pepsi at New York in 1964-65 (not the audio-animatronics but a quick and efficient way to move large crowds through the pavilion). Seeing the space shuttle Enterprise parked in front of the Federal Pavilion was also a highlight.

I think Expo 70 (maybe Expo 86 and Expo 92 to some extent) was the last world's fair to be built strictly as a world's fair... no plans for post-fair use as a convention center or other civic project. The emphasis, like earlier major fairs, was on ground-breaking architecture and site planning with no real restrictions on the participant's imagination (maybe not completely true; Expo 67 had some major requirements on its participants but I think you get the idea).

As stated earlier in this post, any world's fair is better than none at all.

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Yes! Here they are.

From Bill's CDs

1982

Several companies or trade groups had exhibits related to the Fair's theme about energy. This was the America's Electric Energy Exhibit pavilion. (CD1 Set 3 #6)

1984

Many of the Fair buildings were rather bland, being either older warehouses or parts of the new convention center. The Electric Pavilion used two inflatable domes, with air-filled tubes providing contrasting shapes and colors. (CD3 Set 5 #28)

Maybe Bill could post them.

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Sure!

1982 - Knoxville

atomic-energy.jpg

1984 - New Orleans

electric-1.jpg

They do look pretty much the same, don't they?

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1984 was my 2nd world's fair of the 7 I've been to so far. I was just 17 at the time and it was already clear even back in 1984 that it wouldn't be as beloved as other world' fairs. I have fond memories of it, however, and am glad to hear a book will be out in time for the 25th anniversary.

I've been trying to come up with some ideas on how to commemorate it using the http://www.84plus25.org/ web site I've started. I'm very to hear any suggestions, particularly if anyone has any ideas how it can be tied to relief efforts for the survivors of Katrina.

Just before Katrina, I corresponded with someone at New Orleans' PBS affiliate there, WYES. They put out a short documentary in 2003: http://wyes.org/programs/localprod/worldsf...worldsfair.html

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The WYES documentary is a nice look back at the fair. They have a nice mix of vintage and new footage, with some very interesting interviews with some of the people behind the fair. I suggest it to anyone interested in the fair.

I just watched the Bob Hope special shot at the fair last night. Sadly they didn't really show very much of the fair itself, just using it as background for comedy sketches. It did have a great Johnny Cash number I enjoyed, and a glimpse of the Lousiana pavilion boat ride.

I've been able to interview a number of the people from the fair and gotten some fun pictures from several people who offered their own photos, as well as some nice shots of bringing the Enterprise to town, courtesy of NASA. I was able to link up with someone from that effort and got great cooperation from their photo library.

I have 11 days to go on my deadline and should make it! I'm still looking for better shots of the Union Pacific engine, the Conenergy house, more from the Watergarden and any interiors that people may have. Any assistance is welcome!

I also picked up some 64 Fair info along the way from people who worked on both and will post some of that once this insanity is over. :D

Bill

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Found the flyer for the Australia Day I mentioned above. Completely forgot that Peter Allen was the headliner. What a great show.

post-1405-1218160109_thumb.jpg

post-1405-1218160139_thumb.jpg

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Today was my deadline for the book. I made it with 4 hours to spare!

127 pages

222 photographs

17,253 words

1 tired author

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Really looking forward to it Bill, all of your hard work really shows.

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Congrats! How long until its release date?

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