7/26/36 - Great Lakes Expo by Former Resident - #3

July 26, 1936 - Great Lakes Expo by Former Resident - #3 - 2619 Eaton Rd., Cleveland, O.

My Dear Friends:

It is Friday, a lucky day for me. It may be Kiwanis Day, or Miami U. day at the Expo, but for me it is Saltsburg Day. I have just bade farewell to Lou Lowman Hamilton and her friend, Jane Clawson, of Youngstown, formerly of Clarksburg. In a few hours Ina Lemon and Marjorie, Helen Euwer Bardwell, Carl Ames, and our own girl, Estelle, will be here. It's all so exciting. I should be dusting and straightening a disheveled living room; but I want to talk with you while the house is quiet. It seems almost painfully quiet. Lou is like a fresh breeze from the Pennsylvania hills, refreshing one's spirit, and stirring one's risibles until stitches come - or are needed. As for her friend, I realize that if they had driven away after a mere "Hello," as they planned to do, we Taylors would have missed knowing a really fine woman.

Now it is Sunday. Since I penned the news above; our new guests have come, and we have "done" the Expo - twelve hours at a stretch. Helen Bardwell, Cousin Ina, Carl Ames and I went down yesterday morning, and although I had been there seven times before, and had taken a friend from Fort Wayne as recently as Thursday, it seemed all fresh and new, seeing it through the eager eyes and minds of my companions. They were interested in the antiques exhibited by the New England Society of Cleveland; in the "Romance of Iron and Steel," a great "underground" iron ore mine, flanked by earliest types of "blast furnaces." Vividly-colored pictures on the wall, with the products of the iron ore, in every stage, on the floor beneath the picture are shown. There is a modern blast furnace, gigantic in size, as well as a "ladle" that will carry 250,000 pounds of molten steel at one dip. The folks were impressed by the immaculate array of bottles and cans - 5,000 of them - in the Heinz Co. exhibit. The illuminated "57" at the top catches your eye. Fourteen demonstrators give you a snack of this and that. About this time, the cafeteria became the chief point of interest; and we crossed the Bridge of Presidents, which leads from the underground exhibition hall to the great fairway along the lake. At this serve-self cafeteria one may get a good dinner for 40 or 50 cents. After lunch we strolled through the Automotive Building, going through on an air-conditioned bus, the "Dream Coach," taking imaginary rides in speed boats and auto trailers. Carl was fascinated with some new cars, and picked out a spiffy yellow Cadillac to drive home. Watch for him. The Chrysler exhibit is perfectly beautiful. Artistic stone walls and evergreens enclose it, and large urns, with real glads in them, give a lively touch. A vari-colored fountain is in the center, surrounded by a pond, with unusual pond lilies in it. A clever bit of advertising is done by the turtles swimming about. They bear the names of the various Chrysler Co. cars. We went on to see the "Parade of the Years." Our visitors were delighted with this pageant of the years - the important years in the growth and expansion of our country. It was interesting to study the faces of the audience: their unlagging interest from the appearance of the first group of Indians on down to the almost noiseless entry of the latest streamlined locomotive, bus and automobiles. So many emotions registered: amusement at the quaint and outlandish costumes, sympathy for the weary travelers of the covered wagon days, excitement over the pony express and the stage coach hold-up; admiration for the great Lincoln, and sadness as his funeral train passed through; in contrast, gales of laughter greeted the appearance of those early "horseless carriages," some of them chugging, bumping up and down, wheezing, snorting, creating a real problem for the traffic cops.

It was Westinghouse Day at the Expo and that Co. made the most of it. Their band played in the large plaza at the entrance, and also at the Marine Theatre. Each person, as he entered the gate to the Expo, was given a key, to try his luck at the various treasure chests, distributed over the grounds. These chests represented a gift to the lucky person, from the Westinghouse Co. Alas, our keys didn't fit. I think perhaps the most thrilling experience for our visitors was watching Pee Jay Ringens make his backward dive from a 125-foot tower. He is paid $50 for every dive he makes, which is twice a day, and yet this show, including all kinds of fancy dives and swimming ensembles, is free to all comers. We had intended to stay only until the lights came on in the Expo grounds, but the May Co. style show held our interest until 9:30. Wedding gowns of various periods, beginning with 1776, were an added attraction. After a refreshing drink in the Coca-Cola balcony we decided to stay for the fireworks at eleven. Although we journeyed miles, there seems to be a restorative tonic in being with folks who are good sports and have a real capacity for enjoyment.

It is Monday - and I must end this letter. It may be too late now for this week's Press.

With best wishes, I am,

Cordially yours,
Florence B. Taylor

Next - 3/18/37 - Local Poets' Corner - Palm Sunday

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