Monday, December 10, 2007

Whatever Happened to the World's Fair (and more)

A few news items and takes from near and far:
  • Whatever happened to Worlds Fairs? Remember them? If you were a kid in the late 1970s/early 1980s, you couldn't miss them, especially when one came south to Knoxville, Tenn. of all places. And who could forget the sunsphere (pictured right), which still stands in Knoxvegas? In my seven year old brain, a World's Fair was somewhat on par with the Olympics, until, well, ummm... I never heard of one again. Until today. Much to my surprise, the World's Fair is still going strong, just overseas. Coke is sponsoring one -- in China. Wikipedia edifies here. Sometimes I love the internet.
  • Unfortunately, World's Fairs and other iconic 70s and 80s events in the South don't usually make "I Love the 80s." Maybe we need a special "I Love the 80s" Southern edition that would also include things like Dukes of Hazzard, airbrushed t-shirts, Fall Guy re-runs, the robotic voices in the trains at the Atlanta airport, Kenny Rogers, junkyard derbies, go carts, the Herschel Walker phenonmenon, the world of Sid and Marty Kroft, the Bo Jackson phenomenon, Power 99.7, etc. What would make your list?
  • The Georgia Club Tour of Homes was a spectacular event. Wonderfully organized. More than 800 in attendance. And some gorgeous homes. Check out this article, which gives a pretty good overview of some of the homes. Personal highlights included some incredible basements (poker tables, media rooms, pool tables, bars galore), millions of dollars of original art, some great UGA football memorabilia, a train set suspended from the ceiling, and a gorgeous courtyard homes.
  • Oconee County is spending $25,000 to replace 39 toilets and 6 urinals with low flow models. That's $555 apiece. Seems a bit pricey to me, although plumbing costs are a bit out of hand these days. Maybe just institute an every-other flush policy?
  • Jim Wooten nails it in this column when it comes to taxes. If Republicans want to tax, just come out and do it. Don't hide behind bait and switch tactics. Don't tag on user fees. Just say what you need the money for and see if the electorate will pay for it.


JJ said...

Thanks for the memories, Brian. I had a three-quarter sleeve t-shirt
with that incredible logo on it. It was white with a black collar and black sleeves. I rocked the 82 World's Fair several times with the family and on school field trips. The things I remember now are the fly-by-night hotels that popped up along I-75 (including several in my hometown of Athens, TN), the China exhibit, standing in line for hours to get in the China exhibit, and the fact that the Fair's chief financiers, Jake and C.H. Butcher, did serious jail time for all sorts of crooked stuff related to the Fair. One just got out about 10 years ago.

JAW said...

I would just like to admit here, for the first time, that I can sing the "Fall Guy" theme song to this day. As a 10-year-old boy, raised on "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Fall Guy," I had a horrible man-crush on Lee Majors.

Brian said...

I still remember the truck going over the cliff at the start of the Fall Guy..... my cousin had a poster of the babe from the fall guy on his wall.

Katherine Strate said...

I'm from a little town near Knoxville, and the sunsphere still proudly stands. Every five years or so, a new restaurant, club or whatever will try their chances at "making it." It is an oddball amidst the other taller buildings in Knoxville- a faint reminder of the 80s.

The Fall Guy said...

I don't agree with Wooten often, but sometimes he gets it right. The column you point out is definitely Good Wooten.