joy magnetism: On a wing and a prayer

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On a wing and a prayer

Magnet #404 - Joy in New Orleans

I was planning to use this magnet a friend gave me for my really long rant I've prepared about LifetimeTV's Nora Roberts' collection of cracktastic tv movies and even more cracktastic (and quite cross-purposes) cover art for their ad campaign.

However. We'll get to that later, because dudes, I've just been validated. By Wikipedia.

So, I've been to New Orleans, but it was for the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition - the last World's Fair held in the U.S. What, you know I love them!

We tacked it on to the tail end of the rather disastrous cross-country family roadtrip that I've mentioned a couple of different times. We were all tired from this like lonnnng trip, but we decided to drop by Louisiana on our way back from Houston.

True to form (for my family), I remember driving through the French Quarter, not actually walking through it. Plus, I have a dim recollection of going to see a lot of the exhibits, including a shuttle and space capsules, and seeing all the fun buildings, etc.

But, here's my most shining memory of the Louisiana World's Fair:

You'll see in that Wikipedia link this:
One of the fair's more famous attractions was the Mississippi Aerial River Transit (MART). This was a gondola lift that took visitors across the Mississippi River from the fair site in the Warehouse District to Algiers on the West Bank.

. yeah. So then if you click on the MART wiki, you see this:
In forshadowing the future problems the gondola would face, on its maiden crossing, after being blessed by Archbishop Philip Hannan, the ride would temporarily stall.

. yeah. My most shiningest memory?

Being in the gondola with my family. During a thunderstorm. The whole family, including my parents, my grandmother, 11-year-old me, the six-year-old sister, plus the three-year-old sister. Oh, and Uncle Father Oscar (the priest uncle).

Stuck. Over water. Swaying. With my mother praying, on the verge of panic.

Longest few minutes of my life. I wasn't even scared of the fact that we were over Big River. It was waiting for my mom to calm down...and us having to be very, very quiet during the crisis.

Oddly, anytime I tell that story, no one ever believes or remembers that there was an actual tram over the Mississippi River!

But, there's proof now! The gondola system was built for that World's Fair! Sadly, by 1993, they had to demolish it, due to no one wanting to ride the darn thing in real life.

And, no wonder. It had been blessed by the Archbishop, we rode with a priest, and still we were stuck in the air.

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