Morning. It was about 30 minutes before the skyride cars would start drifting over the fairgrounds. I asked the ride supervisor if I could come up to the “garage” and photograph him alongside a few of the cars. I knew the skyride had been created for Century 21, the Seattle World’s Fair of 1962. The Seattle Center sold it to the Puyallup Fair in 1980. What I didn’t know (until our conversation this morning) was that the “Elvis car” was part of that collection. He said Elvis Presley rode car #22 during the filming of It Happened at the World’s Fair. Ever since then the car has been kept separate from the others. And like the dreamy-eyed fan who refuses to wash her hand or cheek after a Hollywood star kisses it, no subsequent owner has had the heart to repaint car #22 in the last 52 years. It still has its original red paint. He said it’s at the fair museum … or possibly on loan.* He and another skyride worker told me about several celebrities that they’ve seen get into cars and take aerial tours of the fairgrounds: Heart, Kid Rock, Tom Wopat, several athletes, etc. Pretty cool encounters, I’d say. But I bet the fair will repaint those cars eventually.
*I checked with the fair museum and the volunteers did not know of it. They said there were many things in storage (due to the large US Open display this year) and suspected it was there.
(State Fair in Puyallup, September 2014)