April 27, 2018

From the Editor Emeritus / John F. Fink

An adventure during our trip to Expo ’67 in Montreal

John F. FinkMy past three columns were about trips I made at one time or another during my career as a Catholic journalist. I hope you won’t mind one more; then I’ll go back to writing about other things.

Last week, I wrote about blown tires on a plane. A blown tire is included in this story, too.

As our children were growing up, my wife Marie and I made it a practice to take them to most of the Catholic Press Association (CPA) conventions. It was a way of giving them an opportunity to see various parts of the United States while also enabling us to go to the conventions together. Marie and the children couldn’t always go if the children had to be in school, but she got to most of the conventions. As the kids got older and had a lot of high school activities, it was sometimes difficult to make them enthusiastic about those trips. Boring.

One of those trips that stands out was to the CPA convention in Toronto, Canada, in 1967. That was the year of the World’s Fair (Expo ’67) in Montreal, so we decided to drive there first, and then go to Toronto. My mother also rode with us.

There were six children by then, so our station wagon was filled with nine people, including 20-month-old David.

I always did most of the driving on our trips, but Marie drove for a while when we were on a major four‑lane highway in Canada. Marie was going about 70 miles per hour around a slight curve with a deep drop to the right. Suddenly, a tire blew and the car lurched to the right! I felt sure we were going to end up at the bottom of that deep drop, but somehow Marie was able to keep the car under control and bring it to a stop.

Of course, in order to change the tire we had to unload the back of the station wagon, but I was relieved that we hadn’t all been killed.

When we got to Montreal, we went to the hotel where I had made reservations through the Expo ’67 official convention office. It wasn’t until we were trying to check in that our attention was called to the fact that our reservation was for the hotel’s annex. The annex proved to be a large temporary trailer court set up some blocks away. There was absolutely nothing else available in Montreal, and we ended up getting all nine of us in a very small trailer. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the World’s Fair.

I flew from Montreal to Toronto for meetings prior to the convention itself while my family spent an extra day at Expo ’67. Then Marie drove Mother and the children to Toronto.

That wasn’t the first World’s Fair we had attended. We also took the children to the New York World’s Fair in 1965. Later, we took them to the World’s Fair in Knoxville in 1982. All the World’s Fairs were beneficial to our children as they were growing up. †

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