Memento: Dad’s #Expo86 passport

After my dad Lorne H Olson passed and we sorted through his papers, I took custody of a few various pieces of paper ephemera to document and curate as is my custom.

I’ve share a few bits and pieces from his life and next up (since today in anniversary of opening) is his passport for Expo 86, the worlds fair that was a *big deal* in Vancouver.

As it goes, I have kind of mixed feelings and memories about this as my parents had recently separated, I ended up in Utah with Mom but got a Volkswagen bus and returned for a summer of hijinks with my pals.

I recall two of my younger brothers had season passes and more visits for sure (perhaps they’ll chime in), and also recall that with my older brother, we had been at inaugural concerts the fancy new domed BC Place (Bowie, Gabriel, Tubes + Guess Who at a BC Lions game) – I had adventures skateboarding around the new stadium, rode the Skytrain (ALRT) from New West (before Surrey extension, rambled around geodesic dome Science world… {From when I was about 12-3 in Whalley, I started skipping school and heading downtown to spend my paper route money on records at Odyssey Imports, Collector’s RPM and other record shops on Seymour and Granvilles St. what not… But I digress…}

Anyhow, all these *things* were new creations around the formerly dingy False Creek area of Vancouver and remember seeing all the fast rapid changes in Vancouver – going from a pleasant port city to a rebrand as city of glass and concrete. Learned changes happens very slowly slowly and then very fast. 

From earliest days, i dug  history and geography and transportation (which was the theme of the world expo). I didn’t spend a ton of days there but remember running in the exit doors rather than standing in lines, all the teal decor, oh concerts (of which *cool punks* mostly eschewed) but mostly seeing the forms of transportation – both on exhibit and in action – and the names of all these countries and putting those two things together and thinking “I want to go everywhere, collect stories and share with people” which is what I’ve done since then – Kinda like my hero TinTin who was featured at the Belgian pavilion (have poster and stickers still PS here’s Tintin on the moon on my beloved ole VW bus to tie this all together).

Post-expo malaise and real estate/government/ developer interloping and shenanigans set a pattern which continues to current times (eg 2010 Olympics) with continued boondoggles, carpetbagging and well… general unfairness. Various expo artifacts (benches, signs) appear around the suburbs and some pals (JMV) collect and archive ephemera, which this time was big summer for me at 16 and a VW bus and new habits and hobbies, i have scant evidence. 

Worth noting that Expo 2025 is in Osaka which is just up the road from where I live now. By then the little guy will be five years old and ready for some rambling.

Anyhow, for the record, without further annotation, is Lorne Olson’s well- stamped Expo 86 passport – including closing day stamps – with fond memories and respect.

See ya at Osaka 2025? Note to self: look it up, see what the theme is, what’s the deal? ways to get involved? or nah… 

Whatcha think?