Saturday, November 19, 2016

"Century 21" Expo, Seattle - 1962

Today we will join the a happy family during their visit to the observation deck of the Space Needle - the iconic tower built for Seattle's World's Fair. I call them "The Neat Family", because goshdarnit, they are pretty neat! 

There's Bob, the patriarch; he's a VP at Nabisco, and is mighty proud of his four kids. Let's meet the two lovely daughters, Monica and Krista (Krista's rockin' that Peter Pan collar!), and two sons - Mark and young Sam (nicknamed "Scoot") - they are rascals. They all know how important it is to make a good first impression, and that means they always have clean, pressed clothing, combed hair, and never ever wear dungarees.They also know the importance of being polite to your elders. Say "Sir" and "Ma'am", "please" and "thank you".  I think we could all learn a thing or two from The Neat Family.

Note how the family dressed to not only coordinate with each other, but to match the colors of the tower. Now that's neat!

There were only two photos from the Century 21 Expo, and this one was taken over in the amusement zone - the Gay Way. The little car ride is typical of the sort found at many a carnival or local fair, but I am not sure what purpose is served by the orange supports (that don't support anything?), or all of that other frippery. Maybe the thinking is that kids will especially love driving through a construction zone without proper restraints.


Nanook said...


The Neat Family-? How neat-!! The boys are wearing matching shirts - with the side buttons, no less. Very fashionable. And if indeed the reds are a match to the Needle, it would be 'Re-entry Red'. Just to the left of Mark's head we can see one side of the neighborhood of West Seattle. And, BTW, the short wall seen here will soon be replaced with glass-!, for those of you who are afraid of heights.

I'm afraid the "car-like" design of the vehicles in the second image have thrown you a curve ball. They're part of the Wild Mouse rollercoaster - as in the ride vehicles. And the 'orange supports' are just that - providing structural support for the more airborne trackage. (We're very crafty up here in the Emerald City).

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The Space Needle and Seattle Center (former World's Fair site) were a bit of a disappointment for me. Perhaps it was because I built up too much expectation of it through the years. One thing I absolutely did love about Seattle was it's downtown area and the Underground Tour. That was awesome! With its geography, Seattle's is quite a beautiful city.

I love the image of the Wild Mouse coaster vehicle. It's almost the exact same model vehicle that existed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz from 1958-76. The only difference was that ours had a wooden support structure instead of steel. At the time it existed at the Boardwalk it was considered the scariest ride at the Walk.

Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

Neat photos, Major. I took a quick look through Google Maps images to see what the current view from the top was like. Those distant land-forms haven't changed. Quite cool.

Melissa said...

If you keep on buttering up Mrs. Neat like that, she may give you one of the Nilla wafers stowed away in her lovely red handbag. None for her, thank you - crumbs, you know. The boys have Oreos at home, where they can wash their hands and brush their teeth right afterwards. Why, yes, Kristen does have lovely posture and deportment; she attends the same charm school Mother did at her age. She was Junior Miss last year, and we expect she'll be Homecoming Queen just like Mother!

"Yes, people do tend to mistake Mother and I for sisters..."

"Especially the high school football team, behind the bleachers after dark..."

"What was that?"

"Nothing, Daddy."

"Have some Oreos, dear."

"Dad, I want to learn all about the Gay Way."

"Eat some Lorna Doones, Scoot."

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you are right, I don’t remember other “wild mouse” coasters looking like tiny automobiles, but then again, I tend not to ride those when the opportunity arises. Oh well.

K. Martinez, why was the Space Needle disappointing? I’m sure it was very expensive to go to the top, but other than that, it seems like it would be pretty cool.

Patrick Devlin, I wonder if the hilltops and other prominent features visible from Puget Sound are protected in some way.

Melissa, i’d love to see how those kids looked 9or behaved) by 1968 or ’69! Probably not quite so neat! Watch out Dad, things are about to change. Mmmm, now I’m craving a Nilla Wafer, though they always seem like they’ll taste better than they actually do. The fourth grader in me still wants to snicker when I hear about the Gay Way. I’m not proud of it.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Your commentary about "Mother & Daughter" looking so close in age reminds me of that horrible Grape Nuts commercial where the teen daughter invites her boyfriend over for an afternoon at the pool with her family - which of course includes her mother. The boyfriend dives underwater and swims over to the girlfriend in an attempt to surprise her as he surfaces next to her. But the surprise is on him-! As it turns out to be her mother-!! The boyfriend, attempting to hide the creepiness of the moment blurts out: "Mrs. Burke, I thought you were Dale-!! Then the V. O. announcer intones: "Mother and Daughter, so slim and trim, it's hard to tell them apart-!" Evidently Grape Nuts is the secret to a long and 'youthful' life.

K. Martinez said...

Actually it was the whole Seattle Center that I was disappointed in. It was kind of drab looking and they changed the structure a little for the Space Needle adding an out-of-place mid-level structure which in my opinion altered the original 1960's look. I also wished they kept the original orange/red color scheme for the top part(restaurant) of the Needle. Having the structure all white for a city that has grey skies is kind of depressing. It just seemed like it had probably gone through enough remodels to lose the original mid-century charm. The view was really nice though. Now as for the City of Seattle itself, I absolutely loved the place and had a wonderful time there. Especially the more historical aspects of the city. Not bad that my only disappointment was one attraction.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, great pics today! I love it when we get a glimpse of the Seattle World's Fair. I believe the Gay Way remained past the close of the fair. I wonder if that Wild Mouse coaster also stayed behind for a while.

Ken, I agree with you about the addition of that mid-level structure. I love the city of Seattle and on multiple occasions, have enjoyed visiting Seattle Center to explore the remnants of the fair that are still standing, but I was very disappointed when yet another modern structure was added to the Space Needle. In 2000 a huge gift shop was built around the entire base of the Needle, further ruining the original appearance of this beautiful mid-century landmark. I also wasn't crazy about the Frank Gehry-designed museum that had been built literally around the track of the monorail....also in 2000. While I do like many of his building designs, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, I find the museum building downright ugly and a distraction from the rest of Seattle Center...especially since it is one of the first things you see as you approach on the monorail.

Nanook said...

@ Ken & TM!-

The SkyLine Banquet Facility (@ the 100' level of the Space Needle), opened back in 1982, is definitely a source of annoyance for many. I've just gotten used to it, but it does somehow, take-away from the original beauty of the structure. However, BOTH the SkyLine level and the new retail and ticketing space at ground level were part of the original plan, but were not incorporated into the structure when it opened. So, for better or worse, their destiny seemed guaranteed at some point.

And clearly the Seattle Center Campus has changed since the closing of the Fair, but frankly I'm surprised just how much from the original Fair still remains - and is in continuous use - and not just the Needle. Many structures whose presence on the site predate the Fair, were re-purposed for the Fair - continue to function to this day. That says a lot in my book. Since I work at [the now former EMP Museum - now we're MoPOP, The Museum of POP Culture], I'll keep my opinion to myself. (However, if either of you is interested in my inner-thoughts, just email me...)

Anonymous said...

This is fun, I wish I remembered more about the Seattle Fair. About all that is left to me is that I know we visited.

No pics survived. :(