MontrĂ©al’s Expo 67 - Part 1

Welcome to Expo 67 - "Man and His World"
Anyone know where this is? Perhaps in the Victoria Autoparc?

Posing with a guide in the Germany pavilion.

Lining up to cross the Cosmos Walk. USSR is pavilion behind the minirail.

A closer view of the USSR pavilion with extreme cantilevered floor. Architect: M. V. Posokhin. Man the Explorer pavilion in background.

It's a very long line for the USA pavilion. Designed by R. Buckminster Fuller and Geometrics Inc. USSR in background across the LeMoyne Channel. Note people passed out on the lawn...

Lining up for something (USSR?) along Rodin. Photo taken from minirail. Cars of Yesteryear tower and Man the Producer can be seen in the background.

People wait in snaking lines to see Kodak Canada and Multiple Man (on the left). Bulgaria is up the steps on the right. Vaporetto, "Africa" stop is beyond the Kodak pavilion.

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Lost Florida Theme Park - Six-Gun Territory 1966

Six Gun Territory, a TPBWDW (Theme Park before Walt Disney World) was located in Ocala on the north side of SE 40 in a patch of Florida pine scrub. (Silver Springs is across the street and is one of the State's first tourist attractions.) Developed by the creators of "Ghost Town in the Sky" in North Carolina, Six-Gun consisted of a complete 1880's western town with a Jail, Courthouse, Bank and Saloons, which provided backdrops for live-action gunfights. Of course there were gift shops: Six Gun Apothecary, Ann's Hat Shop, Six Gun Photo, General Store, B & B Shirt Emporium, Cousin Will's Variety Store, etc.

The park amused kids from 1963 to 1984, and is now completely gone. Google Map it here. In 2002, I located the old town behind the Six-Gun Plaza shopping center and walked on the old gravel which was still there.

These slides are old family slides Dad shot of us back when a kid would think this was really cool. The gun battle was awesome to a six-year old, as was the cap gun and a peace pipe I got from the Indians.

Territorial Ave - The Marshal's office. He'd come running out to shoot first and ask questions later when the Bank was held up.

Central Court House and administrative offices

Oklahoma Indian war-dancing. Can't remember if authentic or not — I'm going with not.

A victim of a dramatic shoot-out. I remember a guy being shot on the roof and falling into the street! I believe he robbed the Territorial Bank. The joke came when “Digger” the undertaker tried to put him in a casket — Rigor Mortis had set in so much his legs kept springing out. Great fun for the Kids...

The Red Dog Saloon had old movies. For Mom & Dad.

The Frontier Gazette printed replicas of old newspapers with your family's name in the headline.

Mom & sis. Down one of these streets was the "Mystery Shack" a building with weird sloping floors and forced perspective. I loved it.

Look at all the undeveloped land.

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The Florida Shell Shop

I just read a good article about shells (Mad About Shells) in the August Smithsonian Magazine; it rekindled memories about my days growing up on the West Coast Florida beaches. I always enjoyed the shell shops, especially in Tarpon Springs. It was a place where a local kid could be a tourist and buy all the shells you could just never find on the beach (although even at the age of 10, it felt like cheating).

I recently took my little boy down Gulf Blvd. as far as St. Pete Beach, and was glad to see the Florida Shell Shop in Treasure Island alive & well. It's a great old roadside Florida shop; not a florescent-lit neon T-shirt shop. They have a web site. We had a great time here and at the Suncoast Surf Shop just down the street. Suncoast Surf opened in 1966, making it one of the oldest and longest running surf shops in Florida! I need to do a more intensive trip here in the near future.

Here's a partially obscured slide from the late 40s of the entrance to the iconic Shell Factory. I'm assuming Ft. Myers Beach, because the neighboring slides were of Hialeah and Miami, but it doesn't look 100% like the building here. There's something so honest & intriguing about these display windows, offset with turquoise and peach tiles. Most photos I've seen of this shell institution is of the huge sign & conch shell on US 41.

Well, here I am breaking a promise I made myself: to never post old postcards. But what a card to fall off the wagon with: Priestly's Shells & Gifts, 222 North Federal Highway, Dania — postmarked Feb 1954. The interior just glows with promise, the huge plate glass windows allowing it all to be taken in. You can almost smell the cypress and salt inside!

The wonders of the neon and retro roadside are tempered, however, by the huge piles of Queen conch shells out front selling for 10¢ each. No takes of these shells are allowed in the United States or Virgin Islands anymore, and populations are rebounding around Stock Island and Key West.

Have fun at the beach this month, hope you find a treasure — and remember to throw the live ones back!


Bok Tower Sanctuary - October 1949

One of my favorite eras in the history of Florida tourism is the period between WWII and the arrival of the interstates. The nation was entering an unparalleled era of growth, opportunity and optimism. Visitors holding off on those expensive trips to exotic places (yes, Florida) were now road-tripping with dollars and looking for something to do.

Garden-based attractions were at their strongest in this period — Cypress Gardens, Sunken Gardens, Eagles Nest Gardens, Oriental Gardens, Killearn Gardens, Ravine Gardens, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Hialeah Tropical Park, Everglades Reptile Gardens, Monkey Jungle, Parrot Jungle, Busch Gardens — the list goes on (including all the Springs and their pastoral settings).

Known geologically as the Florida Ridge, the orange sand hills around Lake Wales and Winter Haven provide an excellent environment for orange groves. This part of the state up and down US 27 was one blanket of groves in 1949.

The roads leading to the Mountain Lake Sanctuary and the “Singing Tower” were desolate and passed through acres of groves. We're almost there!

Mountain Lake Sanctuary was the vision of naturalist Edward Bok, a Netherlands native and editor of Ladies Home Journal. Dedicated by Calvin Coolidge in 1929, the carillon tower is made of Creole & Etowah marble from Georgia as well as Coquina rock from Florida. It contains 71 bells covering a range of 4-1/2 octaves. The largest bell weighs 23,000 lbs.

Although architecturally neo-gothic in conception, the Florida imagery (found throughout the building) is decidedly Art-Deco. Cypress trees festooned with moss, pelicans, herons, palms, eagles and doves are carved into stutues and panels that surround the structure.

This carved window grille depicts a youth watering plants.

This is a nice view showing the contrast of rock. One of the stone eagles can be seen perched on the balcony to the bottom-right of the right window.

The Florida relief is above the fireplace in the Tower Room. Only members are allowed inside. The interior is a whole other story.

The Erect Declining Dial or vertically mounted sundial. Surrounding it are reliefs of the zodiac signs and the dedication plaque by Calvin Coolidge.

A view of the lake and gardens next to the Tower. What makes this sanctuary extra special is the view west from its meadows located on top of Iron Mountain (or hill depending on where you're from).

Here's an idyllic view from the top of Iron Mountain — The highest point in peninsular Florida (324 ft.). It's a great spot to meditate and reflect. You can get dizzy from the thin air. Bok quotes Burroughs on the entrance sign: “I come here to find myself. It is so easy to get lost in the world.”

And if you're feeling lost, you can follow Bok Tower Gardens on Twitter. Check it out on Google satellite view.

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