Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Beating of Drums

This war not a war over there in Vietnam is confusing. We heard that the two American destroyers, the Maddox and the Turner Joy were attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats for no reason on August 4th. Now on the news they're saying that the ships were really attacked on August 2nd, and they may have been attacked on the 4th, but no one is really sure.
President Johnson has told us that it was unprovoked, that our destroyers were just minding their own business out at sea, not doing anything.
I don't understand this. Aren't we over there helping the South Vietnamese fight the communists? If we're helping to fight the North Vietnamese, doesn't it make sense for them to attack us?
I'm hearing more and more about this Vietnam this year.
Back in May, there were protests held by students in New York City and San Francisco and a few other places. They marched and held up signs saying that the war was wrong and that we should get our troops out of there. Most people say these students are just cowards and don't want to be drafted to defend our country from Communism; that they're just afraid to die.
I guess I kind of agree with that. I mean, aren't we a nation of freedom, and aren't we supposed to help other countries stay free? It's what I've been taught, it's what I believe, you know?
This war not a war is different though. It's not like when my Dad and my friends' dads were fighting in World War II. I don't read about sweeping marches and the taking of cities or tank battles. There's no front lines changing hands or territory captured, measuring our success.
I hear of villagers being killed, and the communists control most of the countryside.
It seems like every month there's another one of those coups, and the government of South Vietnam is being run by somebody else with a name I can't pronounce.
President Johnson sent five thousand more advisers over there, and I hear on the news that we now have over twenty thousand soldiers in South Vietnam, and that almost two thousand Americans have been killed so far.
The day after the Maddox and the Turner Joy were attacked, President Johnson has our planes bomb the North Vietnamese. He gives a speech that night, and tells us that we are just punishing the Communists for attacking our ships, and that "We still do not seek a wider war."

They say on the news that the Congress is meeting to give the president all the power he wants to fight the war in South Vietnam.
To me this is sounding more like a war - a real war over there in Vietnam. The latest president of South Vietnam is saying that North Vietnam should be invaded, and the Viet Cong are even attacking cities now.
But I have faith and confidence in our soldiers. I mean we're the best in the world, aren't we? We beat Hitler and Tojo in World War II, and they were a lot tougher than these little guys in black pajamas weren't they?
I bet we beat those Viet Cong real quick. We'll train the South Vietnamese so good that they'll be as tough as we are, and with our planes and helicopters and artillery to support them, they'll win for sure.
I don't think I'll have to worry about going over there.
It's five more years till I can be drafted.
Yeah, that war will be over long before then.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

August 4, 1964

Here in Woodbury Heights we're watching Cheryl Ann opening her presents. My sister is two years old today and of course we're having a party for her in the shade of the old maple tree. It's not my idea of something to do on a warm summer day; spending the afternoon with a bunch of little kids, but most of my friends are away on vacation.

In Neshoba County, Mississippi, it's a hot summer day and FBI agents are opening the walls of an earthen dam. It's not something these men want to be doing in this ninety degree heat, but they've been searching for so long and they want an end to this case.

Off the coast of North Vietnam a navy destroyer, the USS Maddox along with the Turner Joy is patrolling the high seas. The sailors would much rather be in port instead of on the lookout for incoming torpedoes.

In Woodbury Heights we have cake and ice cream on the picnic table and the little kids play Pin the Tail On the Donkey and drop clothes pins into the milk bottle as they try to win the small prizes my mother has to reward them.

FBI agents work feverishly, at a steady pace, sweating and swearing in the hot Mississippi sun, hoping that this time they'll find what they've been looking for.

Sailors on the decks of the Maddox and Turner Joy are searching the horizon, hoping for another routine patrol; they don't want another firefight with the North Vietnamese patrol boats.

It's a beautiful day in Woodbury Heights, not too hot for a day in August. My sister is happy and all my younger cousins and neighbors are full of cake and ice cream. Cheryl Ann has her presents and the party is over and I'm free to go ride my bike or go down to the lake or just do whatever I want. Still a few more weeks of freedom, plenty of time left until I go back to school.

In Neshoba County, Mississippi, in the wall of an earthen dam, three bodies are found. Two white, one black. The FBI agents can rest easy now, they've found what they've been looking for.
Their names called out once more on the evening news.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner.
Shot to death in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

The USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy will be fired upon by North Vietnamese patrol boats; at least that's what we'll hear on the evening news. An unprovoked attack, President Johnson will call it. Somewhere off the coast of North Vietnam. A place called the Gulf of Tonkin and a ship with my family's name, and the country plunging deeper into war.

A warm and sunny day in Woodbury Heights. The perfect day for my sister's birthday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Southern Exposure

The lazy summer days of July are upon us and in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
The search for three young men, two white, one black, goes on.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner
I hear their names on the evening news.
The FBI is scouring Neshoba County, Mississippi.
They find bodies of young black men who had disappeared.
One, then another and then another-a dozen or so.
Bodies of black men swallowed up in the darkness,
Gone missing in Neshoba County.
Mourned only by their families who could not ask for justice.
Body after body and still the same evening chant,
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner.
FBI agents are met with silence.
No one is talking, black or white,
But they know-
Everyone knows.
The Ku Klux Klan-
It’s their handiwork.
Men who wrap themselves in the flag
And hide beneath hoods and robes.
The local police of Neshoba County.
The “good ‘ol boys” of Neshoba County.
They hide beneath hoods and robes.
The politicians of Mississippi who say:
“These three boys are probably hiding.”
They hide beneath hoods and robes.
They say nothing of the bodies that are found.
The bodies of black men who disappeared,
Swallowed up in the darkness.
Somewhere in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
Throughout July I hear it.
Three names called out on the evening news.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner
Three young men, two white, one black.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner.
I hear their names over and over.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner.
Swallowed up in the night.
Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner.
Gone without a trace.
Somewhere in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

Phillies Fever

It's early July and the Phillies are in first place. First place? The Phillies? No one can believe it, especially long time Philly fans. I mean they're always losing and playing just awful and that's what everyone in the Delaware Valley expects, you know? These Phillies are turning the baseball world upside down. We're not used to having a winning Phillies team, and the fans are just plain giddy. My neighbor Billy Clay just can't stop talking about them and his favorite player Johnny Callison. He worships the young veteran outfielder with the same passion I have for Mickey Mantle. Johnny Callison is having a great season, driving in runs, hitting homers and playing an almost flawless right field.
This new guy Richie Allen is really hitting the ball for average and lots of power. There's talk of him making rookie of the year if he keeps playing like this. Who are these guys? The fans of Philadelphia finally have a team that looks like it's going to go all the way to the world series. Not since the "Whiz Kids" of 1950. The "Whiz Kids" played the Yankees in the world series in 1950, maybe this year will be a repeat of that.
Johnny Callison is picked for the All-Star game. Richie Allen is not. Allen is a good player but he's not well liked, so maybe that's the reason he's not picked. The National League team is loaded with superstar outfielders, so most people don't think Johnny Callison will even get a chance to play. With guys like Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Billy Williams and Willie Stargell on the team, it looks like Callison will sit this one out.
Well, Hank Aaron is sick and not able to play the outfield, so Callison comes into the game, pinch-hitting for his teammate Jim Bunning in the fifth inning. He pops out.
Callison gets his chance for glory in the ninth inning. With the game tied with two outs and two runners on base, he drills a ball into the right field stands, winning the game for the National League! Not only that, Johnny Callison is named the game's Most Valuable Player! Just like Jim Bunning's perfect game a few weeks ago, it's another dramatic moment for Phillies fans everywhere.
Johnny Callison is mobbed by his teammates after winning the All-Star game with a three run homer.

My neighbors are giddy. The sports announcers on TV are giddy. Sally Starr is giddy.
The Phillies keep on winning.
Our fathers' card games on the weekends take a back seat to the ball games.
Everyone is talking about the Phillies going to the world series this year.

Like I said before, I gotta pay attention to this.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Missing Persons

As the baseball fans of Philadelphia were celebrating the perfect game victory of the Phillies over the Mets, there was something else going on in another Philadelphia, another "city of brotherly love".
Philadelphia, Mississippi.
We would hear about it on the news.
The names of three young men who had disappeared.
Three young men, one black, two white.
Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.
These young men were civil rights workers trying to educate and register black people to vote in the south.
Agitators, they were called by the police and politicians in Mississippi.
Informing black people of their rights as Americans was not welcome in Mississippi.
Three young men had disappeared.
One black, two white.
Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.
Their names repeated again and again on the evening news.
The Ku Klux Klan was suspected.
Members of the police were suspected.
Men in hoods and sheets burning crosses on the evening news.
Three young men had disappeared.
Vanished into the night.
One black, two white.
Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.
Not a trace, not even their car could be found.
On a lonely road it happened.
Outside of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Every night on the evening news, the same sad story.
Three young men had disappeared.
One black, two white.
Chaney. Goodman. Schwerner.
Chaney. Goodman. Schwerner.
Outside of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Vanished into the night...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Phillies?

Connie Mack Stadium Home of the Phillies

I"m a baseball fan in 1964. A Yankees fan to be exact, but something was happening that couldn't be ignored: the Phillies were winning! No really, I'm not kidding, the Phillies are winning and they're in first place and it looks like they might go all the way to the world series.
I didn't pay much attention to the Phillies. They always seemed to play really bad and never go anywhere but down in the standings. The last time they were in first place was 1950, and I hadn't even been born yet.
Even when you thought about really great players, not too many Phillies would come to mind, 'cause most of them played a long time ago.
Listening to the Phillies games on the radio was a summer ritual. My Dad and Mr. Avis and Mr. Olsen and Mr. Collins would play pinochle outside under the Avis' cherry tree, and the sounds of the game would drift throughout our two yards. The familiar voices of By Saam, Bill Campbell and now Richie Ashburn could be heard calling the games all weekend.
The card game was all important; the ball game just background noise unless something exciting was going on, and most years that didn't happen too much.
This year was different. The card games were interrupted by the Phillies and their phenomenal rise to the top of the National League.
These Phillies were for real. They're led by rookie third baseman Richie Allen and young outfielder Johnny Callison.

Home runs are flying off of their bats, and veteran Wes Covington is adding his power as well. The two Tonys, Taylor and Gonzalez, are steady players, and a young utility player named Cookie Rojas is on the bench when needed.
The pitching staff is anchored by Jim Bunning and Chris Short, and relief pitcher Jack Baldshun was saving games left and right.
What is this? A good Phillies team? Baseball fans didn't know how to act. The Phillies in first place, looking like they're going to walk away with it?
This can't be, I mean the world has been turned upside down.
A miracle happens on Father's Day, June 21.
Jim Bunning, who used to pitch for the Detroit Tigers, is on the mound that day.
Bunning is not what you would call a great pitcher, just reliable, you know, the kind of player who goes out every time and gives it his best shot. Well, on this day he is at his best.
When the game is over the Phillies have won 6 to 0 against the New York Mets.
It's a shutout, but something more than that. The Mets don't get a hit, they don't get a walk, they don't get an error.
It's a perfect game in a so-far perfect season.
Who woulda thought?
A Phillie pitching a perfect game, the first one in the National League in 84 years, and it's Jim Bunning who does it!
Is there something in the water this year?
A perfect game and the Phils in first place in the National League?

I'm gonna have to pay attention to this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Late Nights, Early Mornings

I couldn't wait for summer. The pure freedom of it all. There was something magical in the air on that last day of school. You felt lighter and the air was fresh and the sunlight seemed so much brighter. The possibilities were endless now in a world without structure. No bells to tell you when to come in and when to go home. No special time to get up and you don't really have to go to bed until you're tired. Sure, I had chores and now I was mowing lawns, but that wasn't every day, so my time was pretty much my own.
No matter how much fun I had in the daytime it was the late night/early morning hours that were special to me.
It was cool to be up late at night watching the Tonight Show. I felt like I was in on something that most kids had no idea was happening, like I was privy to the world of adults, listening in on all their jokes and conversations. In my mind I was current, I was hip, even though in reality I was just another 12 year old goofball with a crew cut living in a small town in South Jersey.
As good and as fun as the Tonight Show was, my favorite late-night pastime was watching movies. The Late Show and The Late Late Show, and especially the Schaefer Award Theater.
The Schaefer Award Theater came on at 11:30 on Saturday nights. It was different from the Late Show and the Late Late show in that it only had one or two commercials. It was a movie lover's dream come true: hardly any interruptions, and a kind of intermission which allowed you enough time to go downstairs to the bathroom and/or get a bowl of ice cream. The other thing about the Schaefer Award Theater was that it showed some of the best movies ever made. It was my introduction to actors like Gary Cooper and Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck and Katharine Hepburn. War movies and baseball dramas, comedy and tragedy, and all without all those annoying commercials every fifteen minutes.
"The Pride of the Yankees", "We're No Angels", and "Some Like It Hot", just to name a few, and I was bathed in the blue-gray glow of the television into the wee hours of the morning.
The best nights were when the programmers of the Late Show in Philly would show movies like the animated version of "Animal Farm" or "Lord of the Flies". These were movies no one had ever told me about and I felt smarter just watching them.
Of course we all had to stay up and watch the Johnny Weismuller versions of Tarzan, and I kept hoping for a repeat of the one where Jane swims naked. The Tarzan double features were the best, and I would be up until 2:30 or so wrapped up in the jungle adventures of my favorite ape-man fighting African tribes and wild animals.
It was in these early morning hours that I learned of the Marx Brothers and their zany anarchist humor. I acquired my taste for sarcasm and rebelling against the norm watching Groucho and Harpo and Chico and also W.C. Fields.
They were special nights, those summer nights, with my eyes glued to the tube, never knowing what special adventures awaited me.
Great stories, great actors, and a bowl of ice cream.
No better way to spend a summer's eve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bricks and Mortar

First parts of the woods were torn down. Then a chain link fence went up, and the woods were no longer an extension of our world. It was like watching the Berlin Wall being built; a part of our freedom taken away from us.
Next came the earth movers and the digging machines, so we listened to the sounds of heavy equipment ripping up what used to be Mr. Rizzuto's field.
Cement trucks pouring concrete for the foundations, and then steel girders rising.
Tons of bricks and mortar, and it began to take shape. My brother and I could see it from our bedroom window, and I'd be going to school there in the fall.
It had been decided somewhere that a new high school was needed. Whose idea was this? Who decided that the woods had to come down and that Seventh and Eighth Grades couldn't be in Woodbury Heights anymore? Eventually, when it came time for high school, I mean real high school, I'd go to Woodbury like everyone else before me, a tradition, you know?
But some people had decided that a new school had to be built; that Woodbury High was getting overcrowded or something, so they picked four towns and lumped them all together into a new school district, and that district was just behind my house.
Who could understand how the towns were chosen? I lived right there, but kids all the way from National Park? And Westville? Wenonah was pretty close, so you could kinda understand them going there, but what about the kids who lived in Deptford right across the street from me? I don't get it. All these kids from the other towns will have to ride buses to school. At least I won't have to ride a bus. I'll only have to walk a few yards down Egg Harbor Road and I'm there. Just a few minutes. I'll have to be careful, there's no sidewalk, so I'll be in the street, but like I said it's not very far, not very far at all.
I have heard some people say that it's a way to keep most of us from having to go to school with the black kids. Adults seem to be preoccupied with that. I don't care about that stuff. I don't think about it. I'd just like to be with my friends that I've gone to school my whole life with for as long as possible.
It will stare back at me all summer, this new Gateway Regional High School, forcing me to think about the future and what it might hold.
They have a contest for us to name the school mascot and colors. I submit mine: red and white, and a bulldog for the mascot. Blue and White wins, and our school mascot will be an alligator. Gateway Gators, that's what we'll be. A blue and white alligator. I'm not inspired.
Later I'll find out that I'm in class 7C whatever that means. I won't know how many of my former classmates will be with me until school starts in September. I'm going to have someone named Mrs. Conaway for homeroom. Homeroom? What's that? What do they teach in homeroom anyway?
When I found out that the new high school was going to be right behind my house I rejoiced, thinking that finally after all these years I'd be able to come home for lunch every day. No such luck. Everyone has to stay in and go to the cafeteria, no exceptions, that's the rule.
No, it's not far from my house. Just a few yards, that's all.
But it might as well be on the moon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The End -The Beginning

Sixth Grade is coming to a close. My teacher, Mrs. Carey, was a good influence on me. I think she was a good influence on all of us. She gave us confidence in ourselves and treated us as adults, and we all grew closer. I do well all year and end up with a straight A average.

1957 seems so long ago now, here in June of 1964. I did not do well that first day of Kindergarden at Woodbury Heights Elementary, but here in the Sixth Grade I'm doing just fine.
This school year I learned that I could get up on a stage and entertain. I was convincing as an actor and pretty good at lecturing a class on a subject that I loved. I became better at baseball, due in large part to my new neighbors Butch and Billy Clay. The Clay family moved into the Gerbers' house, and Butch was a year younger than me and Billy was the same age as my brother Carl. They both had played in the Woodbury Little League for several years, and they were teaching me how to throw and hit and catch. Butch and I would play catch for hours on end, until our arms couldn't take it anymore. The result of all this practice meant that I wasn't one of the last ones picked during our softball games at recess and in the hardball games after school.
I was still infatuated with Sue Burns, but I never had the courage to tell her. I would try and capture her as much as possible in our final Team Tag games during the last weeks of school. Maybe when we get to high school I'll get up the nerve to express myself.
I'm not quite in that awkward stage yet. No pimples and just a hint of facial hair. In December I'll be thirteen, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to be a teenager just yet. I'll have the summer to think about that and the new high school.
This summer I'll be mowing a lot of grass, and I'll be making money cutting that older lady's yard over on Maple Street. Once in a while I'll fill in for Steve Kay and do his paper route for him when he and his family go on vacation.
Vacation! Time for swimming at the lake and long afternoons playing baseball and riding bikes. My parents are talking about going down the shore for a week again, and I'm not too thrilled about that. If Dad takes us to the World's Fair again that will make up for having to go down to Whale Beach and all that damp.
This summer I plan to watch a lot of movies on the Late Show and the Late Late Show. Mom says I can stay up later now that I'm older. Carl can fall asleep anywhere, so it won't bother him if I watch movies into the early morning hours.
We've got a dog again. Dad brought home a little black poodle that someone lost or abandoned in Woodbury. It was in the barber shop and no one knew what to do for it, so Dad brought the dog home. We're going to call him Max. I won't have much to do with him at first because I don't like the idea of replacing Whee-Zee with such a wimpy little thing, so Max kinda becomes Carl's dog. I get over myself after a while, and I accept Max as one of the family.
I'll see Steve Kay and Paul LaPann and Billy Hills and some of the other guys this summer. Steve and I are looking forward to playing war outside and with our Airfix toy soldiers in his basement.
Gateway Regional High School is going up behind our house, and in a few months we'll all be going there instead of that old familiar brick building with the big white doors and those old wooden windows that you open with a pole. We won't hear the creak of the wooden floors or the smell of wet coats and boots in the cloakroom. I'll walk a shorter trail to a brand new school with lots of unfamiliar faces. There's plenty of time to think about Gateway and what that will bring.
Goodbye, Woodbury Heights Elementary.
Right now it's time for summer.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sixth Grade Last Hurrah

It's still a Civil War bicentennial year in 1964. My friend Paul LaPann and I are still obsessed by it. We both read all the books we can find on the subject, and last year Dad took us to Gettysburg, and he's promised to take us down to Fredericksburg some summer.
I don't know how we do it but Paul and I convince Mrs. Carey to let us do a special report on the Civil War during class time.
We prepare maps and drawings and do our research. The day arrives and we're ready. Mrs. Carey has given us the entire afternoon to teach the class all we know about the War Between the States.
John Brown and Harper's Ferry. Slavery and Harriet Tubman. Fort Sumter and Bull Run and Gettysburg and Antietam. We talk of battles and the underground railroad and Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee. We hold up our drawings and point out battlefields on our maps. The afternoon goes by and we still have more to say. The school day is almost over, so Mrs. Carey stops us and tells us we can finish up the next day.
Tomorrow comes and in the afternoon Paul and I continue on with our stories. Mrs. Carey never figured we'd come up with so much stuff to say and after an hour or so she tells us we have to finish up, so we leave out some things and get to Appamattox and the surrender.
Paul and I could go on forever with the Civil War, but our teacher has had enough and I imagine our classmates have too.
The school year is winding down and it's our last time together as a class. Most of us have been together a long time, if not since Kindergarden, then the First Grade. I've known Nancy and Judy, Sheila and Joyce, Paul and Tommy and Richie and the others a good part of my life, and now we face an uncertain future. Will we stay together in that new high school going up behind my house, or will we all be separated? We'll still be in Woodbury Heights, but it won't be Woodbury Heights; there will be kids from National Park and Westville and Wenonah as well, and it will be called Gateway not Woodbury Heights elementary.
We go on our class trip, and guess what? We go to the World's Fair! My second time there soon after my Dad took us, and it's just as amazing as the first time I went. A great way to end the year.
Before school is over we continue our Team Tag on the school grounds, the boys against the girls.
We guard our captives even closer now, it will be hard to let them go.

Belgian Waffles, Michelangelo and Everything In Between

What to say about the World's Fair? Can I tell you what my favorite thing about it was? Impossible. There's just too much to take in and almost all of it is amazing. Everywhere you look you see the future.
The space park has rocket ships and capsules and this LEM thing that will land on the moon.
There's a monorail that will transform public transportation. Soon we'll be riding on trains suspended in the air!
General Motors shows everyone what the world will be like on their Futurama ride. People will be living under the sea, high up in the mountains and deep in the jungles in space-age houses and in colonies on the moon. We'll be riding on automatic highways that control the speed and safety of the cars. In a few decades the world will be an amazing place to live.
The Unisphere is a marvel to look at. It's a giant steel globe that seems suspended in mid-air; how did they get it to stand up?
There are movies everywhere on screens large and small, and in the Port Authority building the screen wraps around the whole theater, making you feel like you're in a helicopter flying all over and around New York City. There are models of new buildings that will go up and change the skyline in the next two years; most notably the World Trade Center and its twin towers. They will start to be built in 1966, after the fair is over.
We ride in convertibles in the Ford exhibit, traveling back in time to the dinosaur era. Giant brontosaurus, eating plants look down upon us, and some triceratops are watching their eggs hatch. Cavemen hunt woolly mammoths and risk being attacked by bears in their cave. These are all acted out by those audio animatronic robots built by Walt Disney, and they sure look real.
There are pavilions from all over the world and the United States, and from the major corporations and religions too.
Dad and Cherie in front of the Thailand Pavilion

You can ride in an auto assembly line at the Chrysler exhibit, and sit in a gondola on the Ferris wheel that looks like a giant US Royal tire.
There are more life-size replicas of dinosaurs in the Sinclair Oil Dinoland park, and Carl and I make plastic dinosaurs at a machine there.
We travel through time in the General Electric Carousel of Progress where a family of Disney robots tell us all about how electric appliances have made life easier from the 1800s on into the future.
Belgium has built an entire village, making it look like an entire town has been picked up and dropped into the park. Like a lot of others we eat Belgian Waffles for the very first time. They're not like the ones Dad makes us. They're huge and square and the impressions in them are deep and filled with strawberries. The whole thing is covered in whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar. These things really fill you up!
Pepsi Cola has a ride through villages of children from all over the world singing a song called "It's A Small World After All". It's an assault on your senses, and it's one of those songs that drives you crazy 'cause you keep hearing it over and over again in your mind.
The IBM building looks like a giant egg made out of the letters I, B and M. You sit in a grandstand that shoots up into the building. The host comes down on a small platform, and you watch movies about computers and how they're going to change the world.
Cars are everywhere too. The new Ford Mustang and GM concept cars that look like space ships. Avis has replicas of antique cars and we drive some of those for fun. There's a German company that has a car that can go from the land and into the water and run like a boat, and the James Bond Aston Martin is on display for everyone to see.
Kodak has a giant screen on top of their building which looks like huge photographs, and the Port Authority building is shaped like a big T that's flat on top so helicopters can land there.

Traveller's Insurance Company has their building shaped like their big red umbrella, and inside is an exhibit called The Triumph of Man, showing how people have overcome adversity all through history.
There are fountains all through the park, and at night they light up, creating a fantastic display of light and movement.
We go to the Vatican Pavilion to see the Pieta, and for the first time I understand what a true work of art is. You stand on a moving sidewalk that takes you past the statue very slowly. The Pieta is surrounded by dark blue drapes. I'm astounded by how real it looks. It seems as if the stone has been brought to life. The hands of Michelangelo have transformed solid rock into human beings.
In the Illinois exhibit we get to see another Disney robot. This time it's Abraham Lincoln. At first he's sitting in a chair, but he actually stands up and talks to us, and then sits back down! Soon the world must be filled with robots doing all kinds of things.
There's so much to see. DuPont and the Wonderful World of Chemistry. The House of the Future. The Tower of Light. Bell Telephone and the picture phone that lets you see the person who's calling you.
All of the states and countries from around the world. My mind reels and we travel back and forth from the past and into the future.
Amusement rides and a wax museum. Food from all over the world and the country. My favorite part? I loved it all!
On the drive back home there's so much to think about and remember.
Dinosaurs and spaceships. Belgian Waffles and Danish ham sandwiches. Monorails, robots and computers, and telephones with movie screens. Movies of every shape and size.
The future is coming and I have seen it.
Just imagine, when I'm an adult, I could be living on the moon!
Dad says we're gonna go back.
Can't wait for the summer.