At age 21, my father Nelson uncharacteristically traveled, apparently alone, from rural Michigan to the 1939 World's Fair in New York. I like the abstract schematic nature of this card, partly because it's such an ironically unsatisfying view of the Fair! It looks sort of like a pizza that's been steamrollered.
|"Looking up the Esplanade toward the Theme building, the gigantic Perisphere, and its attendant Trylon"|
The postcard caption is a bit unclear but it appears that this is a photo of a model of the fair rather than an aerial photo of the actual fairgrounds. On the reverse side you can see his typical flamboyant pencil calligraphy as he updates his mother on his whereabouts.
Late the previous year, his friend Frank visited the same fair. Despite the "welcoming" statuary, I find this facade rather stark and monolithic.
|"Her gesture is one of welcome."|
Note the post office's admonition to "address your mail to street and number." Frank was good about this but Nelson, as you can see above, not so much.
A few years earlier still, Nelson's baby sister Margaret visited another exposition. I love the Art Deco architecture. I wonder if the blimp was really there or just added by an artist; it lens a rather "Metropolis" air to the picture. This is the year before the Hindenburg disaster...
|"It is wonderful."|
She refers to "we all" and as she was only 15, I assume she went with their elder sister Dorothy and father George. My grandmother was probably unable to travel due to her chronic tubercular condition and Nelson stayed to care for her.
By the time Nelson got to New York, his friend Frank had traveled to California. Here the architecture seems to meld Deco with Greek and Assyrian, neither of which have much to do with the Pacific Basin!
The names on the buildings aren't very legible but include De Soto, Federmann, Alvarado, Bougainville, La Perousse, and of course Cook.
Note that by this time my father has moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, attending the University.
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