Sunday, December 26, 2010

If It Didn't Mean I Would Already Be Dead,

...and I probably would have been there also for the aught six quake a few years earlier, I would want to have lived in San Francisco for the Panama-Pacific World's Fair.  What must it have been like!?  Hundreds of thousands of novagems dangling from the Tower of Jewels and reflecting the lights through the fog from a circle of hidden stations.

  Can you say "Aurora Borealis of the Bay only maybe Better"? If I could experience it today in  2010/Almost Eleven, (Las Vegas notwithstanding) I don't think I would believe my eyes, let alone fathoming it in 1915!  I feel wistful for having missed out on that one.   (Or did I?  Maybe someone snapped this picture of me in my past life sailing by "the city that knew how.")

 I am, however, somewhat placated by frequent trips to the Palace of Fine Arts which still stands today, and about which I have gushed numerous times before.  (Don't) stop me if you've seen these pictures already.

And speaking of gems, I read that the ukulele was introduced to the United States at that fair. 

I've also read  ( that the fair sported these colors:

  • French green for garden lattices

  • Deep cerulean blue in recessed panels and ceiling vaults

  • Pink-orange for flagpoles

  • Pinkish-red flecked with brown for the background of colonnades

  • Golden-burnt-orange for moldings and small domes

  • Terra cotta for other domes

  • Gold for statuary

  • Antique green for urns and vases 

    No, I mean, try to imagine what it might have been like through 1915 eyes.  Come to think of it, I wonder if in 1915 I could have imagined any of today's experiences were somebody from the future--which is actually now the present for a minute--to try to describe them to me.  But don't let's get off on that subject!
     I know it won't ever approach the original experience, but the next time I'm in town, I'm going to look up (I've seen a few) remnants including elephants and fountains and replicas of mermaids with segmented tails, star maidens, refracting telescopes...sculptures, murals, architecture, etc...well, those that are still there, anyway, and get educated more about the movers and shakers of the 1915 World's Fair.  I think there are fair remnants in other parts of the country, as well.  What a Wonder!

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Be Kind, Rewind

    A week hence I will be lost in reverie, gazing at someone's Christmas tree lights or flickering advent candles or something else bright and sparkly to remind me of the wonderfully shiney Christmases of my childhood.  I usually love a blazing Christmas tree, fresh and pine-scented, but today, all I can think about decorating with are some old-seventies-style sugar cookies and my Christmas trolls.

    The cookies remind me of a time at a friend's house when her mother painstakingly decorated dozens of sugar cookies in gloriously sticky detail and I marveled at the time spent on something that was just going to get eaten in a second.  It was before I matured enough to intellectually appreciate the concept of tradition.  We had plenty of traditions in our celebration, but to me it was just what Christmas was.  Stockings with fruit and nuts, ribbon candy, chocolate bonbons, and a peppermint stick to poke like a straw into the orange.  A doll for each of us.  One doll to name and dress and cherish for a whole year!  Christmas dinner.  Naps under and around the tree.  A new family board game.  Sometimes, presents from relatives, and always gifts from each of our siblings bought at Woolworth's.  What a day to come every year!  It was Christmas, not "tradition."

    Now of course, I trade in tradition.  It's the stuff of my existence.  That's what I like to give for presents--tradition.  Like the pulling and popping of Christmas crackers that we've done for years, even when it was difficult to find them and people thought we were talking about food! (Which reminds me, I like plum pudding and trifle for Christmas, too, and Orange Slice Cake.)

    Just because I don't think I feel like bothering with a tree or any number of other ways I have decorated in the past, doesn't mean I'm not enjoying this time of year.  I like a lot of other Christmas-time offerings.

    "Good Neighbors" Christmas episode in which they are so without funds they have to make their own Christmas crackers and also make their own Christmas-cracker POP sound when they pull them.

    A Child's Christmas in Wales (by Dylan Thomas)

    Waltons The Homecoming...where Christmas Eve takes place all in one it used to when I was a kid.  Of course we anticipated a few days ahead, but Christmas didn't start in October and I think it's better that way.  They chopped the tree down and the little girl wrote to Santa and it wasn't too late.  It was still Christmas. There was a missionary Christmas give-away down at one church and a pageant at another, son went looking for father, spinsters had visitors, "Robin Hood" got arrested, the cow had to be rounded up and brought home, kids went to bed more than once because of certain goings-on, among other one evening .    Something about this television special that has always seemed close to my reality.   Something about Christmas being a couple of months long that makes me tired and uninterested. Am I sounding old these days? 


    The Very Best Ever Christmas Story (Next to the real one, of course.)

    Lark Rise to Candleford Christmas episode, although not very old and dadgummit if it isn't time for it to be on the telly right now and I'm missing it!

    One more real quick thing before I go turn on the set;  here's a one for you, Trish; don't say I never gave ye nothin'.