Stacey Alexander: A Tall Man At The New York World's Fair

  • Saturday, February 4, 2023

It was 1963. My location, for all those seeking modern culture, was the best in the world. This was what it was all about. See, this is my first memory of this beautiful thing we call life. I was three years old. And I was lost in a crowd at the New York World’s Fair.

 There was a hand, a delicate thing that I loved that was always there. The hand was attached to a slender thing that grownups called an arm. It was a beautiful thing. It was great until it disappeared. Then I was off on my journey.  I began floating along in a sea of legs with an occasional blast of light escaping through the hoard down to my knee-high area. I was fine. I guess I probably needed a break after hearing my parents arguing about sore feet and the cost of things. Where I was off to, well, it didn’t matter. It still doesn’t. It’s not the location. It’s the trip.

 Did they want to drop off some baggage? They picked a good place to do it if they did. Was I a devil child? I’m sure I was. I thought I was fitting in. They were a good group to hang with but you don’t know what’s in somebody else’s mind. I never suffered from abandonment issues.

 After an hour or two, or three, I was lifted on a tall man’s shoulders. Then I saw what it was like from the eagle's nest. It was much better. Especially since the tall man bought me ice cream. I was fine. Why didn’t my dad have me up on his shoulders in the first place? Seeing the sites from up there was awesome, knowing it was time for all the others to struggle down below made me happy. The place was packed. It wasn’t nearly as hot up there either — my ice cream seemingly lasted forever — and the chances of getting trampled are much less.

 Then I saw a couple of familiar faces, one with tears rolling down her face. But those tears dried up quickly. And there was that beautiful hand and arm again. A hand and arm that was never too violent, but on the rare occasion that a food fight with my siblings erupted. 

 Now as I grow old, I look back at my first memory as a human being and I know things are fragile, and fate plays a hand … but without a doubt, the most important thing is … ice cream.

 Stacey Alexander 


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