That was Then, This is Now.

As the de facto family archivist (I had room to store ’em and I wouldn’t lose ’em), I ended up with custody of the entire family photo stash. And by photos, I mean slides.

Once or twice a year my parents would haul out the old projector and screen and commence “family slide night”; Jiffy-pop included if we were lucky. We’d always watch the same 7 trays of slides despite the fact there were other slides in cases and bags that never saw the light of day.

Inevitably, at some juncture of the evening the bulb would overheat and the slides started to stick. We’d either quit, or take a break to let the projector cool down. Logistically slides are not the best way to look at pictures, but it was still a fun event and it was a change from everyone staring at the television, or off doing their own thing.

A number of years back Tom and I bought a scanner capable of scanning slides and negatives. I set to work (work being the operative word) going through the trays of slides I was familiar with, along with the bunches that were in cases and plastic bags. In among those slides I discovered a couple my Dad had taken during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair from back during his “single guy” days.I didn’t realize what they were though until recently, as they weren’t labelled as such.

Tom and I have been to Seattle a couple of times now, and we spent so much time in Seattle Center that I immediately recognized the arches from what is now the Pacific Science Center, but what I didn’t realize was the timing of the old photos. That is, until I realized that the top of the Space Needle in one shot was gold. That would have meant squat to me if we hadn’t also been to Seattle this year, the 50th anniversary year of the Seattle World’s Fair. While driving into town down the I-5 and getting the first glimpse of the “Needle” as one does, we noticed it was, well we thought orange. Once we got to the hotel I Googled it and found out that the gold paint-job was in fact a hat-tip to the original colour from the fair for the anniversary celebration.

Here’s a shot from the Ferry in 2012:

Seattle skyline from the ferry

And from Belltown:


Here’s a shot from the fair grounds in 1962:

1962 Seattle World's Fair - Space Needle and sky-ride

Cool no?

The Pacific Science Center arches 2012:


And one from 1962 when it was the USA pavilion:

1962 Seattle Worlds Fair (from Dad's slides)

Here’s Dad standing in front of the Canada Pavilion 1962:

Dad at the Canada Pavilion 1962 Seattle World's fair

One of the coolest photos I found in his collection was this shot of a GM Firebird III concept car:

General Motors concept car - 1962 Seattle World's Fair

Now that I’m older, I wish my Dad was still around to quiz him about what it was like to be there, but he died 20 years ago this past September and I’m left to gaze at them and speculate.

Funny how it takes being a parent yourself and a few years under your belt to really appreciate the stories of the past.

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