The Smell of Waffles and the 1964 World’s Fair
(For The Daily Prompt: Smells)
By Joseph E Rathjen
August 09, 2013
Whenever I smell waffles toasting I think about the 1964 to 1965 World’s Fair in Flushing, Queens, NY. It’s was a great time then. I was only 7 years old when the fair opened, but I remember it well. It ran for only two years but makes up such a great part of my childhood memories. Even now, 49 years later, the sights and sounds of the fair remain in my mind and probably will forever. It was the waffles though, that stay in my memories of The World’s Fair the most. The smell of those delicious Belgian waffles being cooked at The Belgian Village filled the grounds of The World’s Fair and for miles around. I know, because we lived just a few miles from the fair and could smell them from our backyard even when we were home – if the wind was blowing the right way.
The Belgian Waffles at the World’s Fair were served hot with strawberries and confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top with whipped cream for only $1. I remember me and my sisters would beg grandma and grandpa to take us to The Belgian Village almost on a daily basis so we could devour some more of those delicious delights.
Those were good times back then and two years of the best! I remember being so proud of my dad who was one of the construction foremen in charge of building The Billy Graham Pavilion at the fair. Billy Graham himself came to our home one day to visit and thank my dad. I remember the excitement out in the street that day when Billy Graham himself pulled up in a chauffeured limousine escorted by a police car and stopped at our house. I didn’t really understand who he was at the time but I knew he was somebody important. I remember he brought my dad a case of booze for gratitude, but please don’t quote me on that.
The greatest part of the fair, however, was seeing and meeting all the strange people from different countries. I say strange because you never knew what language someone was speaking when they walked up to you. But it was the waffles that I remember the most. If I put my head back now and close my eyes and listen to the wind blowing outside, I can almost swear I smell the faint odor of Belgian Waffles seeping through the air.
© Joseph E Rathjen – All Rights Reserved – 2013
Here are some of my blogger friends stories on smells:
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I close my eyes too to better capture scent. Why is that, do you think? I enjoyed your memories. Childhood ones are always so poignant.x
Scottishmomus, I think when you close your eyes you can transplant yourself back into another point in time. One which you have fond memories of. But I think also, by closing your eyes (even for a smell around you) you can better target it by using your natural instincts and senses to zone in on its exact location. Thanks for stopping by!
That makes complete sense.x
Wow! Those waffles sound absolutely divine; they look pretty good in the photo too! Not surprised they have stayed in your mind. Alienora
If you had ever smelled them, alienorajt, you would have never forgotten them. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh man. I even remember where we parked our car (middle level M9). I was so excited, and it does unite many of us of a certain age/time. Thanks for posting!
Wow Jaye, that’s a great memory! I was very young, but I still remember…thanks for stopping by!
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There’s nothing like the smell of fresh waffles…AH, the World’s Fair…my family and I went to the one in Seattle…that was quite an experience
That’s a pretty special story about Billy Graham coming to visit…your Dad must have felt pretty proud…
Was a senior in high school and our class trip was to the 1964 1965 worlds fair. Of all the sights and sounds the Belgian waffle is the one thing that brings back the fondest memories. Never found anything even close. Oh to be able to turn back time!!