Monday, February 9, 2015

More nuclear scares

Check out these images.  Do they terrify you?  I was born in 1952, I read and paid attention.  I believed what people told me. And I was very afraid.  I worried about the bomb a lot.  When I lay in bed as a child, I especially worried.  Look at that huge nuclear missile in Red Square in the top picture.  Those communists; they were very bad.  They wanted to kill an American child like me.  I fully expected that huge missile would drop on my neighborhood any day now!  Where was the fallout shelter?  Shouldn't I know where a fallout shelter was?  My parents seemed uninterested, didn't want to talk about it.  I felt very alone.

Interesting as my father, the engineer, had gone to reactor school in Oak Ridge and we lived in Livermore so he could do something at the Lawrence Livermore Lab.  Not until recently did I realize that the super, the hydrogen bomb was developed there.  I don't know what he did and, even at the end of his life, he likely would have refused to tell me.  Work should not concern children was always his mantra; they were not to ask.  I might mention that I was 54 years old at the time.

Interesting that I felt so isolated carrying the possibility of nuclear war on my narrow shoulders.  I didn't know where 'my' fallout shelter was.  How would I find it?  Capacity, that word terrified me the most.  What if the bomb dropped and I found a fallout shelter and it was already full??  Then what???

The Cuban Missile Crisis happened when I was ten years old.  Even safe in the California suburbs, the teacher in the next classroom, Mr. Damiani was called up.  He had to go do some kind of soldier thing because there might be a war.  A nuclear war, was there a fallout shelter at my elementary school?

Ha ha, as fifth graders, we made light of it.  But I seriously worried about the situation.

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