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Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:49 PM

Who is old enough to remember the "under the desk"

"Atomic bomb" drills in school?

They were still doing those when I was in Junior High. The way we put then it was:

"Duck under your desk, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye."

Those drills started when I was in grammar school and cause me to have recurring nightmares about bright flashes and nuclear clouds over Los Angeles on a regular basis. I lived about 20 air miles from L.A., in a small citrus farming town.

I hated those drills and the dreams they caused, but it made me an opponent of nuclear energy.

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Reply Who is old enough to remember the "under the desk" (Original post)
MineralMan Sep 2013 OP
upaloopa Sep 2013 #1
MineralMan Sep 2013 #3
upaloopa Sep 2013 #17
MineralMan Sep 2013 #24
Raksha Sep 2013 #131
Jackpine Radical Sep 2013 #163
Wait Wut Sep 2013 #2
Thor_MN Sep 2013 #98
Wait Wut Sep 2013 #100
Thor_MN Sep 2013 #110
bluemarkers Sep 2013 #107
Thor_MN Sep 2013 #113
leveymg Sep 2013 #141
Art_from_Ark Sep 2013 #152
Kber Sep 2013 #4
MineralMan Sep 2013 #9
Hardlyaround Sep 2013 #20
MineralMan Sep 2013 #25
JDPriestly Sep 2013 #95
Name removed Sep 2013 #162
upaloopa Sep 2013 #34
Warpy Sep 2013 #5
RebelOne Sep 2013 #49
joeybee12 Sep 2013 #6
MineralMan Sep 2013 #16
joeybee12 Sep 2013 #30
RebelOne Sep 2013 #51
Auntie Bush Sep 2013 #22
joeybee12 Sep 2013 #32
Auntie Bush Sep 2013 #79
Blue Idaho Sep 2013 #116
fredamae Sep 2013 #7
Hardlyaround Sep 2013 #8
enlightenment Sep 2013 #10
2naSalit Sep 2013 #130
enlightenment Sep 2013 #135
WinkyDink Sep 2013 #11
GentryDixon Sep 2013 #12
Peacetrain Sep 2013 #13
llmart Sep 2013 #124
Peacetrain Sep 2013 #128
Boom Sound 416 Sep 2013 #14
MineralMan Sep 2013 #19
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anneboleyn Sep 2013 #146
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Downwinder Sep 2013 #15
yesphan Sep 2013 #18
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freshwest Sep 2013 #142
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octoberlib Sep 2013 #127
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Mike Nelson Sep 2013 #133
bigtree Sep 2013 #134
Cleita Sep 2013 #136
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freshwest Sep 2013 #138
Coyotl Sep 2013 #139
Adam-Bomb Sep 2013 #140
Silver Swan Sep 2013 #143
kiranon Sep 2013 #145
gordianot Sep 2013 #155
madrchsod Sep 2013 #147
spanone Sep 2013 #149
loveandlight Sep 2013 #151
pinboy3niner Sep 2013 #153
HarveyDarkey Sep 2013 #156
Hekate Sep 2013 #157
redgreenandblue Sep 2013 #158
B Calm Sep 2013 #160
quaker bill Sep 2013 #161
ladyVet Sep 2013 #164
Lifelong Protester Sep 2013 #165

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:51 PM

1. Duck and cover!

I remember them. We said if an atomic bomb is coming, bend over put your head between your legs and kiss your ass good bye.
It just occured to me. We were afraid of the Russians and today kids are doing drills because of domestic violence. We have gone far haven't we?

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:54 PM

3. I think we all said it that way, if we were old enough.

Whenever someone remembers the 50s fondly, I remind them of those drills. I also remind them that there was no easily available contraception, black people were still drinking out of separate water fountains, and women had no protection against physical abuse by their spouses.

The 50s sucked in very many ways.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:01 PM

17. Black people could not get a decent job. Domestic workers got no benefits

or social security. Married women were denied credit in their name. Women sports in school was archery or badmitton.
Only white males could be union electritions. A black family moving into a white neighborhood was block busting.
Jews were not permitted to join most country clubs. Women went to college to find a husband. A working woman was taking a job away from a man.
The list is long.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:04 PM

24. The list of 50s sucky stuff is very long, indeed.

We had a polio outbreak in my home town, too. Finally, we all lined up for our polio shots in 1957 or 58. Scary stuff.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:12 PM

131. Yup, those were the bad old days. I'm old enough to remember them.

And "under the desk" aerial bombardment drills all the way through school, from first grade through junior high. Maybe in high school too, although I don't remember that too clearly. I graduated from high school in 1963, so maybe they had stopped doing those by then.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:40 AM

163. Yup--I remember exactly that from a 1-room country school near Hayward, WI.

Outdoor privies, a hand pump for water, and the stupid drills--although we didn't get a lot of the drills, I think because the ancient harridan* we had for a teacher didn't see much point in them.


*my view of her at the time, although she was actually a pretty wonderful teacher.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:53 PM

2. Kinda. I'm 48.

We got the very tail end of it, but it had morphed into tornado drills. My sister, 10 years older, said those drills gave her nightmares.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:35 PM

98. I'm 50, but we never had duck and cover.

 

On the North Shore of Lake Superior, the Lake more or less kills any system that would create a tornado.

Also we were less than a mile from a nuclear tipped, anti-aircraft missile base, so in a shooting war we would have been toast anyway...

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #98)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:38 PM

100. I've always been jealous of Lake Superior.

Gorgeous and unpredictable. Don't get me wrong, I love Lake Michigan, but Superior is the kind of lake movies are made of, both horror and romantic.

I hope to get back up there someday.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #100)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:55 PM

110. I was there Tuesday and Wednesday, last fishing trips of the year.

 

Wednesday was foggy, hours out on the lake with fog to all sides. Would have been insane without Radar and GPS, but they used to do it all the time. Eve with the technology, we had a slightly close call. Hooked up a fish just outside of Knife River, struggled to get the hook out it's mouth, gave up on it and saw the island pop out of the fog. Autopilot would have run us aground if we had spent another two minutes trying to get the hook unset.

The boat is at the mechanic's for winterization, next weekend I'll go up to my dad's to clean and put the cover on.

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #98)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:52 PM

107. Growing up near a military base, we were definitely going to kiss our tails good bye

They were constantly running drills - it got really loud and explosive. Yep, I thought Vietnam was 20 miles down the road. Kids get so mixed up! In my mind it was all real and very likely to happen.

(on a positive note, thunder and other loud noises do not bother me, and I'm rarely startled by anything! lol)

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Response to bluemarkers (Reply #107)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:06 PM

113. Ours was a BOMARC base. We knew it was just down the road, but it never was a big deal.

 

I guess I never understood that the 28 missiles were each tipped with an about half Hiroshima sized warhead until many years later. The missile base was just "the missile base" and we did think much about it.

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #98)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 10:50 PM

141. They built a Nike Ajax launch site right behind the tennis courts at my High School.

Abandoned, and a great place to play hooky and party by the early '70s when I was there.

50 miles from downtown Manhattan. Last line of defense.

Just launching the things would have fried us.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 01:09 AM

152. They had morphed into tornado drills at my school

by the time I had entered 1st grade. But the local library still prominently displayed its "Fallout Shelter" signs for many years after that.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:54 PM

4. Interesting observation about making you an opponent of nuclear energy

I wonder if, by doing lock-down drills in our schools today, we are raising a generation for whom gun violence will be something that is "real" to them and, if so, will have political and policy consequences later in life.

Never considered that angle before.

on edit - no I never had them. I am a child of the 70s and 80s. We had fire and tornado drills only.

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Response to Kber (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:57 PM

9. I don't know. We still have nuclear weapons, and

still have nuclear power plants, so I'm not sure it made any difference, really. I remember "Reddy Kilowatt," too, the spokesperson for "safe, cheap nuclear power."

Then, a small nuclear power plant close to Chatsworth, CA, near where I lived, melted down. None of it made any sense to me, ever.

And yet, we're still dealing with nuclear power and weapons.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:03 PM

20. We were neighbors growing, we first lived in Canoga Park,

 

moved to Chatsworth, and then on to Simi Valley.
Do you remember the Nike Missile Site they had in the hills as you were approaching the Santa Susana Pass?

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Response to Hardlyaround (Reply #20)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:05 PM

25. Yes, I remember that, too.

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Response to Hardlyaround (Reply #20)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:12 PM

95. Is this part of what you are talking about?

In October 1997, Barbara A. McKelvey and John Walakavage (collectively McKelvey) filed a class action against Boeing North American, Inc., Rockwell International Corporation, Rocketdyne, Inc., Atomics International, Inc., Hughes Aircraft Company and others.1  In her first amended complaint filed in April 1998, McKelvey alleges that, beginning in the 1940's and continuing into the 1980's, Boeing “systematically, methodically and generally” caused the contamination of the land at and around four of its Southern California facilities (the “Rocketdyne facilities”), as a result of which McKelvey was damaged.2  She alleges that tests conducted by Boeing during 1991 confirmed the existence of groundwater contamination and that, during the early 1990's, both the federal government and the State of California issued clean up orders.   She alleges that, in 1994, two physicists were killed and a technician was injured in an explosion at one of the Rocketdyne facilities.   She alleges that there followed a series of lawsuits, including wrongful death claims by the physicists' families, a shareholders' action, and criminal charges alleging the illegal storage and disposal of hazardous waste.   Guilty pleas were ultimately entered and a fine of $6.5 million was paid.   She does not allege that she was unaware of any of these events.

McKelvey alleges that Boeing's “operations ․ were veiled in secrecy.   Thousands of residents and workers in the surrounding communities, for decades, have used and continue to use drinking water, to garden and work the contaminated soil and to eat citrus and vegetables growing in the contaminated soil on their properties.   Those who worked at or near the Rocketdyne Facilities inhaled, ingested and were otherwise exposed to the contaminated soil, water and vapors.   Further, these residents and workers have used and enjoyed and continue to use and enjoy their neighborhoods, community, homes and properties while unknowingly being exposed to contaminants contained in the soil and groundwater.   Not only were they unknowingly ingesting TCE, they were consuming many other hazardous wastes.   These hazardous substances were released into the soil and groundwater, causing further exposure.   Even though public notices and newspaper articles were published about [Boeing's] intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct, Plaintiffs were and are not aware of the actual and potential harm caused by this conduct.” ?Emphasis added.)   McKelvey does not say when or how she ultimately learned whatever it was she needed to know to file her lawsuit.3

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1129531.html

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #95)


Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:10 PM

34. We were on a beach clean up near Diablo Canyon nuclear plant last

Saturday. A SLO county parks and rec guy came to tell us of the hazards of picking up trash and other dangers. He started to talk about the danger of being near the plant then paused. He went on to say that if we heard the warning horn it would be too late for us.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:56 PM

5. Same here, something I think most older Boomers

who went to school in or near big cities in the 1950s share. We grew up hating nuclear anything, hating war, and mistrusting both military and government.

Turns out we were right on all accounts.

It's just odd that they didn't see us coming when they started the Vietnam War on a pack of dominoes and a scaffolding of lies and made up outrages.

Now, of course, if they ever bothered to warn us the missiles were coming in, I'd just take a comfy chair out to the backyard and prepare to watch the show after I'd taken enough of an OD to finish me off if the bombs hadn't done a proper job of it. I'm half a mile from an air base, so if their aim was at all accurate I'd be vaporized. It's just no longer that frightening to me.

However, my whole life has been lived under the shadow of the bomb. It's had a profound effect.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:51 PM

49. I went to school in the '50s.

And definitely, my life has been under the shadow of the bomb. I still have nightmares about a nuclear attack.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:56 PM

6. Damn You!

 

I am...and that reminds me I'm OLD!

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

16. Being old is better than the alternative, I think.

Just sayin...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:08 PM

30. Eternally youthful?

 

I guess I can't have that...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:53 PM

51. That is what my daughter told me

when I was complaining about getting old. It is better than the alternative. I would rather be old and alive than young and 6 feet under. I know many who were a lot younger than me that passed away.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:03 PM

22. Me too!

I hate to be reminded of reality.

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Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:08 PM

32. Makes me wish I was a teabagger...

 

Reality never comes their way!!!

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #32)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:35 PM

79. True that!

LOL

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:20 PM

116. Good Times!

Also remember being sent home in the middle of the day when the Cuban Missile Crisis was at its peak. Oh and when JFK was assassinated. Come to think of it - what a crap childhood...

But thanks for the walk down memory lane

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:57 PM

7. Remember also, the Red Cross

Typed our blood and "Dog-Tagged" us all?

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:57 PM

8. Raises Hand.

 

Yes I do. After Jr. High, we didn't take them seriously, thinking that ducking under a desk will protect you from a nuclear attack was just sad.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:57 PM

10. Me.

But I was an AF brat and I think we did them longer than other folks.

The thing I remember most isn't the drills, it was how my dad laid out his boots, flight suit, and flight bag every night. Suit was carefully draped over a low backed chair, zipper open and legs extended, cap and gloves in the pockets. Boots on the floor, laces open and tongue pulled forward. Flight bag next to the chair, with his flight instruments, sidearm, etc. He slept in his skivvies and socks and could be up, dressed, and out the door in less than five minutes.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:11 PM

130. I remember THAT part too

my dad was a Navy subchaser (the VPs) who followed those missiles from point A to point B and living in military housing, though attending public schools, we were almost all military kids. I attended too many schools as we were always changing duty stations after each tour so I remember some schools did the "duck and cover" thing and in the newer buildings we were herded into the hallway where we knelt heads to the wall with our hands clasped over the backs of our necks. Funny, when in Key West during the missile crisis, they didn't make us do any of that, they must have figured it wasn't going to matter... we were toasted marshmallows and that was that. Mostly we were in the NE but I recall the horrible nightmares too, one in particular that I still involuntarily recall to this day.

I think that the type of violence we accept as a society, then and now, is how we manage to terrorize our children and anyone who has a sensitivity toward any kind of violence. We don't seem to have moved very far up the evolutionary ladder on that topic.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #130)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:31 PM

135. It's funny, but I was never

frightened by it. Maybe because my old man was SAC - and that was a job, it was a lifestyle that included the whole family. Maybe because I was pretty young.

I wrote my undergrad senior thesis on one of my dad's commands, the 34th ARS - the original "Looking Glass" squadron. He was Ops Commander there. I wanted to write the story from the perspective of the men and the families who lived that life, so I interviewed as many as I could get hold of, including my dad of course - and my mom and older siblings.

The one thing that has stuck in my head all those years was a comment made by one of the pilots. He said that the hardest part of going up for the rotation was knowing that if the button was pushed, Omaha would be one of the first targets. "I knew I'd be up in the sky, safe from all that - but my family was down below. So every time I left, it was like I might be saying goodbye forever."

He said that - but the wives and the kids showed a lot more sangfroid than he did. Always found that interesting.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:58 PM

11. Yo! Not to mention Junior High for the October Missile Crisis. Fun times.

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:58 PM

12. I am.

I also remember going to the auditorium in the 3rd grade and taking Russian lessons (by video) from Andrew K. Anastasia. I got a piece of lead from a pencil my bench mate had in her hand. When I sat down I put my hand out to balance and the rest is history. I still see the mark all these years later (50+).

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 04:59 PM

13. 2nd grade.. sitting in the hallways

facing the wall with our arms over our heads kneeling.. foreheads touching our knees.. waiting for the world to end.. I had the nightmares too.

which leads into other memories of our generation

I was teargassed at the University of Mn in the 70's.. and watched the St Paul police literally beat the hell out of people over the bridges between Coffman and the mall area..

Sitting that night at the Black Forest talking to people.. petrified to go back on campus the next day..

Yep... I guess I don't get quite as excited as some do.. because I have been there and done that.. and came out on the other side..

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Response to Peacetrain (Reply #13)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:58 PM

124. I remember it the way you did......

I don't remember ever getting under my desk but we did go out in the hallways where we put our heads down on our knees, covering our heads with our hands and arms and even at about 8 years old I was smart enough to be following the orders but saying to myself "this is stupid. If a nuclear bomb hits us what the heck is covering my head with my arms going to do?" I was a bit precocious as a child and my parents always taught us to think for ourselves.

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Response to llmart (Reply #124)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:08 PM

128. I know exactly what you mean

if a bomb goes off my arms over my head are supposed to protect me how??.. I think that is where the nightmares came from you knew this was not going to work.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

14. We did them in 1985

 

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Response to Boom Sound 416 (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:02 PM

19. I don't remember them from that late.

By then, I didn't think anyone was doing nuclear attack drills.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:06 PM

27. My folks thought it was pretty archaic too

 

But we did them once that year. No movie or anything. We did live in a target zone though.

We thought it was silly. We did the same drill for tornadoes so at that young age we (at least i did) equated the two

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:18 AM

146. Me either. I am forty, and we never did them.

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Response to Boom Sound 416 (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:12 PM

132. I remember them in the 80s too. n/t

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

15. Had to go down to the basement and sit against the wall.

Seemed sort of crazy as I had just transfered from a school where we watched the Nevada tests.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:02 PM

18. In 1962 we lived

very close to a civil defense siren. I was about 5 and can remember how horrifyingly loud
and eerie that siren was and they tested frequently in 1962.
I still get "that feeling" when I hear a CD siren, even today.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:03 PM

21. And all of the AM radios had the Conelrad triangles on

the tuning dial. I still have a couple of radios with those triangles on them.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #21)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 04:21 AM

159. Conelrad! I remember that! IIRC it was a feature of our tsunami alerts on O'ahu.

They broadcast from a tunnel.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:03 PM

23. Definitely the stuff of nightmares

I was in elementary school during the Cuban missile crisis. Living in Central Florida with MacGill AFB to the west of us, we knew if things went bad there would be a strike close to us.

We not only had the duck & cover drills, we had full blown evacuation drills. Every family was encouraged to have plans for where the kids would wait to be picked up by their parents and to have a plan for where the family would go to shelter after the bombs hit.

My parents' plan was to go shelter in the basement apartment at my grandmother's house. Even I knew enough to realize this was a bad plan - the windows faced Tampa and the house sat on the east side of lake in a basin more open to the west. It would have been a completely useless shelter.

A family down the block put in a bomb shelter. It was supposed to be a secret but their kids told their friends, the friends told their parents and the entire town knew where it was.

About the time all of this was happening I read "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alas,_Babylon) which was set in Florida not too far from where we lived. I decided that it would not be worth it to live through a nuclear war - the aftermath was just too horrible to consider.

For those who didn't live through those times, "Matinee" with John Goodman is a light hearted look at how kids dealt with them.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:05 PM

26. I remember watching News Reels at the Movies about the progress of the Korean War.

 

We also lived farly close to an air raid siren. I think they tested it a noon on every monday.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:06 PM

28. Norwalk-La Mirada Unified called them "Drop Drills".

 

The teachers would yell "DROP!" and we'd scramble under our desks until we were told it was ok to come out.

Last I remember was about sixth grade about '71 or so. I don't remember being affected by it in any lasting way though.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #28)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:19 PM

36. Norwalk-La Mirada, woot woot!!!

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Response to Iggo (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:21 PM

73. El Rancho Unified !!!

 

We did "Duck and Cover" but we told the kids it was for earthquakes...1971-1976.

As a kid in small town Nebraska in the 50's, my Dad (a Bircher) signed both of us up for an Air Raid Watch for 30 minutes weekly at the little Puddlejumper airport. For 30 minutes we looked through binoculars at the sky watching for "incoming communists".

I remembered wondering what we would do should they appear.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:45 PM

83. New River, Corvallis, Norwalk High... Do you remember the Lakewood Sheriff's Air Raid Siren?

 

It used to be tested every Friday at noon. We could hear it. I think it may still be there.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #83)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:42 PM

102. St. Paul ES, Foster Road ES, Benton JHS, and I woulda went to John Glenn, but we moved.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #28)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:19 PM

71. By the mid to late 1970s,

I think they were much pretty phased out, at least in SoCal.

We did have earthquake drills, of course; I went to South Pasadena schools as a little kid. Lincoln Elementary - now known as Arroyo Seco Elementary. I remember the earthquake drills quite vividly, even now, 35+ years later.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #28)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:30 AM

148. In L.A. too.

My wife has an interesting memory, which gives some insight into how institutions sometimes function poorly. At some point after the Sylmar earthquake in 1971, there was a sizeable aftershock. All the kids in her class instinctively got under their desks, as they thought they had been taught to do in the case of such a thing happening. The teacher was FURIOUS, and reprimanded the kids for being BAD BAD BAD because they got under their desks without her having said "Drop". If it wasn't according to the book, it was wrong!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:07 PM

29. That, and air raid sirens in one town I lived in.

I seem to remember 3rd grade under the desk drills, I think in later grades as we got bigger we had to line up in the halls
and I wondered why they did not lead us all downstairs to where the luchroom was, since it was below ground.
So, we got the school drills, we got the town sirens, and we got the tv suddenly going black, then emitting a high pitched sound,
the the "this was a test...if this had been a real attack, etc"
but learned pretty quickly that in event of a real attack, the tv transmission most likely would not work at all.

Then people wonder why us boomer kids liked the relaxing effects of pot years later......

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:08 PM

31. I never had drills. I was 14 when The Day After aired on TV.

By that time, I think it was tacitly understood that hiding under a desk was farting into a hurricane.

I still think everybody should see that movie. Nightmares and all. Most especially, anybody who finds themselves anywhere near the levers of power.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:09 PM

33. I Will Be 70 Soon And Remember The Drills Well.

 

The problem is that being under a desk would have done no good if you were anywhere near ground zero. Most Americans do not fully understand what nuclear weapons can do and actually how terrible they would be. Above ground tests have not happened for decades.

At one time it was entertainment in Vegas. People used to go just outside of Vegas to watch detonations in the desert in the 1950's. If you go on youtube you can see videos of some of these tests. For instance in the Bikini Atoll blast they fired a bomb that was mistakenly 3X larger than planned. They had to quickly rescue some scientists in a bunker before they got fried by radiation.

The reason was that the hydrogen bomb contained an isotope of lithium. They used lithium 4 and lithium 6. Lithium 4 was 2/3rds of material packed into the bomb. And lithium 6 was the other third that was part of the active material. What they did not figure was that at detonation the lithium 4 became lithium 6 and the bomb over exploded.

If anyone has watched Heroes on TV there was a character they were pursuing who could explode. Even though it is sci fi it is also actually possible. If you were to release the atomic bonding of a person immediately they would produce enough energy equal to an atom bomb or two.

Everyone and everything is 98% empty space. We all nothing more than atoms held together by atomic forces with empty space in between. Quantum mechanics reveals a far different world than we experience.

Anyone who want to see a really neat youtube video can go to that site and enter Symphony Of Science and look for the Morgan Freeman video about quantum mechanics. You will look at reality very differently. It has the top quantum physicists in thw world in it.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Reply #33)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 11:19 PM

142. Got that down in college chemistry. A sense of 'we're not quite here,' but damn, it's still great.

Thinking like this is popular now, incorporated into the best woo. Entertaining mix of science, fiction and faith. Reality is not as sure and heavy as told.

Thanks for the anecdote on the human body. We are, as said in poetry, 'the body electric.'

My SIL grew upnear the White Sands missile range. The schools she attended in the 50s were underground.

I thought that was just sad. Looking out the window at nature was one of my favorite activities, LOL.

No matter what, I love science, it is the search for truth, and best without blinders.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:17 PM

35. We called it "Butts up, squealing."

Our house in La Mirada was not far from the Air Raid siren.

Loud, and stuck in my brain forever.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:20 PM

37. We had on on the corner of my street in Chatsworth, CA.

 

It was tested every Sat., always scared the shit out of us kids.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:22 PM

38. 'Duck and Cover' the Civil Defense film...

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:58 PM

55. Creepy Civil Defense marionettes hunkering down

 

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Response to K.O. Stradivarius (Reply #55)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:04 AM

144. welcome to DU

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:22 PM

39. Yes I remember those days.

I was around 7 when the Cuban missile crisis was going on, my mom was terrified. My Dad spent every evening, watching Walter Cronkite, making us go upstairs and play. The tension at school was palpable the teachers were obviously stressed. We also had more drills than normal during that time.

Like hiding under that desk would save us...I guess it was easier to kiss our butts goodbye....

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:25 PM

40. Yup! Such good times! What ever happened to that wonderful world in which we all worried

about nuclear annihilation and stuff like that? That was a real source of cultural innovation: Hey! I was just thinkin, y'know, since we could be evaporated by a nuclear fireball at any moment, mebbe we should have sex!


But we seem to have stopped worrying!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:26 PM

41. We were out in the hallway..(some schools have indoor hallways)..down on the floor, against the wall

with our faces toward the wall with our hands over our heads.

We, also, had mock bus evacuations...supposedly would take us up in the hills if an attack happened.

Growing up near an active nuclear facility we were told over and over how vulnerable we
were for attack.

I never had bad dreams, but I still listen carefully to all the jets I hear overhead...even to this day
I follow the sound....


Tikki
ps, also, very anti nuclear...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:27 PM

42. We had an earthquake drill at work once, and......

I told my cubemate that I wasn't coming out after it was over--there might be aftershocks!

(for some reason, my boss didn't see the humor in it.... )

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:34 PM

43. Sometime in the mid-fifties in Connecticut ....

Second grade ... maybe third ... we were under our desks but were too young to understand how futile the exercise was or even the nature of an atomic bomb.
There were no ICBMs then. The Nike Anti-Aircraft missile battery in the town next door was operational and my Cub Scout troop made a visit to the place.
By the early 60's, the bombs had gotten bigger, the missiles were too fast to shot down and the home-based fallout shelter had come into fashion.
They made it all seem so normal: the prospect of being vaporized without warning, the idea that we might have to hide in the basement for weeks and weeks, the idea that we'd have to protect ourselves from desperate neighbors. It wasn't just me or my family or my school: everyone and everything I knew was in danger, all the time. At any given moment you could look around you and know that it could all be ashes in 20 minutes.
NOBODY COMPLAINED! No adults stood up to tell us kids that the situation was totally fucked up and that people should not have to live that way.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:36 PM

44. Oh, yeah. Scary stuff.

And even as a little kid I had a pretty good idea that "Duck and Cover" was completely useless and that if The Bomb fell we'd all be dead, right now.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:36 PM

45. Me too and I had recurring nightmares for decades

about running home from school and seeing the flashes over the hills in my little western PA town of East Pittsburgh. I think we all have PTSD from those days.

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Response to livetohike (Reply #45)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:24 PM

76. I had a recurring nightmare about those days too. I was 6/7 at the time.

In the dream I was in a car with my friend Patty and her dad. They dropped me off at the end of my street and I watched them drive away. When I turned around my whole neighborhood was a pile of smoking rubble and I knew I was the only one left. Terrifying dream, very glad when I stopped having it.


We didn't go under our desks but lined up facing the walls in the hall.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:38 PM

46. Me.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:45 PM

47. There was a Nike missile site not far from my elementary school.




This was in the mid 1950's, just outside of Boston. The site was on a hill and we could see them raise the missiles some times when they had a drill. I remember thinking even then "one of these days this might not be a drill".

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #47)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:55 PM

89. We had one in my town.

Nobody was gonna mess with us.

Or maybe we were gonna be a target.

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #47)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:47 AM

150. one near my elementary school also

We thought it cool at the time. Later when it had closed down we climbed the fence and went into one of the bunkers. Of course there was nothing left there, just a big concrete room under those steel doors
that would open for the missiles.

I guess being near a school was not a consideration..

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:48 PM

48. Yes, and I have had recurring nightmares

since about seeing mushroom clouds in the distance. n/t

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:52 PM

50. I remember them well.

I started elementary school in 1951. We had those drills off and on for a few years terrifying the students. It was a big bad joke on us all.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:55 PM

52. Don't lean on the horses, children...

A-bomb drills. Nothing like them.

-- Mal

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:57 PM

53. Third grade during the Cuban missile crisis...

We lived in NJ . We had to go through the coat room to grab our coats then go into the hall, face the wall and kneel down with our coats over our heads.

Years later, I said to my dad, "If there had been a missile strike, we would have been incinerated in neat little rows."

And yes, I read everything I could about nuclear weapons as well as nuclear power and have been vehemently against them since then.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:58 PM

54. We had them in Panama (where I was a school child)...although

I do give ample credit to our teachers who TOLD us it was futile, since the canal was a certain target and we would all be vaporized before we could get under a desk..

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #54)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:06 PM

59. You would have been among the first to know there was a war going on.




For maybe a nanosecond.

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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #59)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:18 PM

70. and the rest of our stateside family lived in Kansas..(Minutemen silos)

We were all doomed

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #70)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:24 PM

75. Not a warm and fuzzy feeling for sure.





I'd like to think all that shit is behind us but who can say to any degree of certainty?


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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:02 PM

56. Yeah, I remember.

 

It was a bit of a break from chanting back the multiplication tables. But you are correct, I think, in this a big part of forming an opinion about nuclear energy. That and the rumors about radiation from nuclear testing all across the Great Basin where I grew up. Happy to say, I'm still ducking and dodging at age 61.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:02 PM

57. Got one better

Grew up in the coal/iron hills of Pennsylvania and when we drilled we all ran outside to crouch down beside an old heap of iron slag. The theory, I guess, was that Pittsburgh would be blasted so we duck-squatted down on the south side of the hill and it would protect us from the radiation, heat, and pressure wave coming from the north. Damn, those were fun days.

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Response to packman (Reply #57)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:59 PM

112. I can do one better.

I am 74 and was a child in Philadelphia during WWII. There were air raid drills during that time. We had black shades that had to be drawn and all the lights turned off. The sirens were deafening.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:05 PM

58. Yes. Had more than a few when I was

in elementary school in Ohio.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:06 PM

60. I remember them quite well.

 

All the fire stations also had air raid warning sirens that they would test once a week.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:07 PM

61. me

 

but we wen and sat against the hallway with our heads down

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:11 PM

62. Good grief, I remember those drills well.

Once a week, the bell would ring and we'd have to climb under the desks and wait for whatever. Not a fun memory.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:13 PM

63. I remember.

We had drills to get us home as fast as possible, too, in case of attack. I was born in 1946, so got the full measure of Cold War paranoia. I used to have bad dreams about the earth being blown up, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:15 PM

64. You bet! - and did you know

that children in China were also have drills for when the US would drop a nuclear bomb on China? My friend went through that. At recess the kids made bricks out of mud to reinforce the walls of the shelters that were dug out below the school buildings. I told her we only thought we could possibly bomb Russia but their thinking was that since we had bombed Japan, they would be bombed too.

Our neighborhood was in direct sight of the Boeing Plant I - a designated target.
My mother said if the world was that stupid she was going to stand out in the middle of it!! Not good for the kids.

I too had the dreams - seeing nuclear warheads go up in the sky and people trying to find cover before they came down.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:15 PM

65. We ducked under our desks for the Atomic bomb

But we went out into the hallway and knelt up against the walls, hands clasped behind our heads, for the Hydrogen bomb.

Like a fire drill for the end of the world.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:15 PM

66. I am, but it didn't happen very often

They taught us to do it just in case...this was catholic school - the nun always had us covered with her rosary beads.

I do remember in the 40's before the atom bomb was dropped = turning off the lights for an air raid warning - the sirens and men with flashlights on the street.. then the sirens for "all clear"

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:16 PM

67. Don't Eat the Snow !

We were told not to eat snow because the Russians were doing atmospheric testing and the fallout was drifting into Montana. Funny- we were closer to Nevada than Russia.

Oh, and we always knew not to eat the "yellow" snow.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:16 PM

68. remember them well. Quite ironic too

since the school we were in was so old and dilapidated that a spark would probably have us in roaring flames in seconds.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:18 PM

69. "Duck and Cover" and the unsaid part, 'and kiss your kitty-ass goodby'

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:21 PM

72. checking in!

I remember them from grade school. I started high school in '75 so they were only a memory then.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:23 PM

74. Orange County, 1956-1961..yep, me too n/t

 

same thing in North Carolina... dad was in the Marines.. so yeah, we got the drill alright...

Imagine his dismay that the propaganda backfired on me just a few short years later.. poor dad..

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:25 PM

77. Yes. We had "civil defense" drills in the late 60s

on different days than we had fire drills. We didn't sit under the desks. We lined up in the hallways, sitting down with hands over heads!

Some said it would help with tornadoes.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:32 PM

78. This is me



Or at least my near mirror image. And that's rather haunting. Even more so because I cannot tell you with a certainty whether that is me or not. But I know what she is feeling.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:40 PM

80. Yup. Second and third grade, (1958-60)

 

but I can't remember whether we kept doing them in 4th, 5th, etc.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:40 PM

81. Yes, and living in NYC,

9/11 brought it all back to me

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:41 PM

82. I was at the tail end of that during the Reagan Era

It had sort of the opposite effect on me- by confronting death and annihilation on that scale when I was capable of it, it allowed me to live without fear of things like "terrorism" and other assorted bogeymen.

I do however think we are an especially crazy bunch of monkeys to be playing with things like this that could kill all of us. Sheer luck that we haven't had a diplomacy oops that ended up irradiating the planet.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #82)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:46 PM

105. And the Reagan Administration had their own "duck and cover" mentality.

I remember how they said when a nuclear war was imminent, to dig a hole, throw a couple of doors on it and cover it with three feet of dirt. Even-numbered cars would evacuate a city first, followed by odd-numbered cars. Always keep change-of-address cards with you because after a nuclear war, you'd need to drop them in the nearest mailbox to let the post office know where to forward your mail. And just like in the 50's, don't forget your duct tape!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:49 PM

84. I remember when they were doing the tests and watching them from the schoolyard.

 

We were living in LV at the time. Flash! then the cloud.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:51 PM

85. I also lived in the LA area....Long Beach

and I remember it vividly from grammar school thru high school!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:53 PM

86. You mean it's OK to come out now?

*Phew* That's a relief.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:54 PM

87. My parents actually built a fall-out shelter in our back yard!

We lived in a Central Valley (CA) town that was/is blazing hot in the summer... and I still can't believe they chose to spend that much money on a bomb shelter instead of a pool! I did play "dungeon" down there, but that was no way near as fun--and desirable-- as a pool would have been in the sizzling summer. (Had to settle for a Slip n' Slide!)

Needless to say, I always kind of assumed we were seconds aways from nuclear annihilation. (Otherwise, why would my parents take such extreme measures?!) I also remember thinking that it wouldn't be worth it to survive (in the bomb shelter), if all our our friends and neighbors were dead or dying!

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Response to deurbano (Reply #87)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:24 PM

96. I remember the fall-out shelter craze! One of the items of discussion was....

"Is it ethical to shoot your neighbors if they try to take shelter in your fallout shelter and you don't have room?" There was also a question of preserving your 'survival rations' from your neighbors.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:54 PM

88. Yep. Then I perfected the technique in Vietnam, Republic of ..

I hated those Soviet built Katyusha 122mm rockets and the 82mm mortars with a passion. When I could not make it to a bunker, it was "DUCK AND COVER" - often under the sheet of PSP (pierced steel planking) that was beneath my bunk's mattress in my hooch. I guess the Cold War taught me something useful!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:57 PM

90. I remember having this poster during my high school days. . .

NOTICE

INSTRUCTIONS TO PATRON ON PREMISES
IN CASE OF NUCLEAR BOMB ATTACK


Upon the First Warning:

Stay clear of all windows

Keep hands free of glasses, bottles, cigarettes, etc.

Stand away from bar, tables, orchestra equipment and furniture.

Loosen necktie, unbutton coat and any other restrictive clothing.

Remove glasses. empty pockets of all sharp objects such as pens, pencils, etc.

Immediately upon seeing the brilliant flash of nuclear explosion, bend over and place your head firmly between you legs.

Then kiss your ass goodbye.



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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:03 PM

91. I confess. Scarred my psyche forever. Thanks for reminiscing.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:06 PM

92. First they showed us films

 

of what atomic weapons can do i.e destroy entire cities. Then they'd have us get under our desks during nuclear attack drills. Hell, even in elementary school we weren't credulous enough to buy into that shit.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:08 PM

93. Yep, I hear ya....

...Grammar school for me. By the time I reached jr. high, the powers that be apparently decided that upon a close detonation, we would be toast anyway, so what's the point. That is we'd be the lucky ones and not have to live through the aftermath. Scary days back then.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:09 PM

94. My mom would

and some of the old buildings would still have signs saying Atomic Bomb Shelters. as if that would help

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:32 PM

97. I remember. even at a young age, I thought it was incredibly stupid, and asked what we were

supposed to do about the stuff coming in from the sides. was basically told to stop asking silly questions.

living near a ground zero target, I very early decided that I really didn't care--since I would be one of the first ones gone.

and then we had the duct tape and plastic insanity of the chimp era. I could not believe anybody would take that nonsense seriously. but then, didn't rummy make a fortune on his alcoa stock?

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:36 PM

99. I do vividly ....

The area where I lived as a kid would have been vaporized during a nuclear exchange. "Duck and cover". It made the days during the Cuban missile crisis very interesting.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:42 PM

101. Yeah, early to mid 1960s. But we were never told why, so no bad dreams.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:42 PM

103. Yep, I remember those well! n/t

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:45 PM

104. Bend over and kiss it goodbye.

The reward was the ABC gum under there.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:52 PM

106. These were all over Manhattan.

 



Still run into one here and there where the buildings haven't been torn down.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:53 PM

108. Yep. And the air raid siren tests... n/t

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:54 PM

109. Thanks for all the posts!

Looks like a lot of DUers were around then...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:56 PM

111. Not only that! I'm old enough to remember the first time they started doing drills

 

on the 1st Monday of every month. Nobody bothered to tell me, so at about 7-8 years old I'm walking home for lunch. Right then the air raid (now you may call them tornado) sirens started to blow, and I freaked. I dived behind the nearest bushes, and lay low waiting for death.

Well, you know the rest of the story, but at the time I was pretty freaked out.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:12 PM

114. I am...

All because the Cuban Crisis came to a head on my 5th Birthday. Suddenly, everyone in the room was focused on president Kennedy's address to the nation.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:17 PM

115. Present. nt

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:23 PM

117. Here's The Lyrics to the Song 'Duck and Cover'

as we sang them.

"When the fireball lights the sky,
Then you know you're going to die.
Stick your head between your legs,
And then kiss your ass goodbye.

As you duck and cover, duck and cover,
Time to duck and cover, duck and cover."

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:32 PM

118. We still do them.

"Duck and cover" is also an earthquake drill.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:34 PM

119. me! Army brat - raised on army bases, we were always having those things. "cover your neck"!

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:39 PM

120. Oh, yes. Especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

And double especially, since I was living in south Florida at the time. I remember going with my father, from store to store, buying the maximum of jugs of water and cans of beans, and helping him store them in the internal closet where we were going to survive after The Big Flash.

Obviously, in retrospect, it wouldn't have helped, but it did temporarily keep my mind off my classmates' developing boobies.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:42 PM

121. 56, I remember

It's why I've decided to build my survival shelter out of 5/8" thick particle board, just like the thermonuclear-proof school desks of my childhood.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #121)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 02:00 AM

154. BWAH! good one!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:48 PM

122. Oh yeah. And lived near the Davis-Besse nuke plant for a time as well.

When the question isn't "will we be wiped out by an atomic explosion", but "what kind of explosion will it be", your ability to take the future seriously never quite develops.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:51 PM

123. In my school in the mid to late 1950's, the air raid drill was

we all went to the auditorium and crouched under the metal folding chairs. I always wondered how that was going to help when the school collapsed on top of me.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:00 PM

125. They called them "air raid drills" ...

Last edited Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:35 PM - Edit history (1)

... and had us crouch down in the hall, away from all windows and doors. In order not to frighten us, they absolutely refused to explain why we were doing this. This was in the late '60s and early '70s.

We kids were too afraid to even ask the teachers what this was about. "Fire drills" were in case of fire; "bomb scares" were when somebody called the school and said there was a bomb; but "air raid drills" were a mystery.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:04 PM

126. We had tornado drills, but also worried about air raids.

The Air Raid sirens used to go off on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at noon, depending on where one lived.

I can see, though, how the early boomers were freaked out by all the propaganda and decided to drop out and turn on.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:05 PM

127. 1951 - 1955: Atom bomb tests seen from Los Angeles

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:10 PM

129. I remember them

I never had bad dreams about them.

I was in Catholic grammar school when these drills started to happen. Fortunately, the nuns did not provide visuals like you seem to have been supplied with.

Like most kids, we were told to hide under our desks and we complied. We weren't told really why.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:25 PM

133. We still do them...

... as earthquake drills.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:27 PM

134. third grade, D.C. elementary

. . . got my first kiss underneath a desk during one. She caught me by surprise. Said she just wanted to try it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:37 PM

136. I am. Even in grammar school my friend Bill and class

nerd, who had sat behind me for years, knew what a crock it was. He actually went down the list of what would happen to you if you saw the flash. Over the years it became a joke and an opportunity for us to talk to each other while under the desks and the Sister was distracted. I also had neighbors who actually built bomb shelters. They had no clue what they would do after they ran out of supplies and oxygen and had to emerge into a radioactive and otherwise dead world. They never thought it through to that point.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:56 PM

137. I do.

 

Not old enough to understand the (alleged) rationale for it tho.

In fact, I still don't: Getting under the desk would totally protect me from a nuclear bomb....

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 10:18 PM

138. I remember that, the dog tags we were given and the assignments as to who'd die at school or home.

I lived in range of the Cuban missiles and it was in our faces. We had the sirens and aircraft buzzed the school for more terror.

I wasn't afraid, I developed a certain sense of fatalism. It was guaranteed we'd be hit for strategic reasons.

Plus they educated us with everything nukes did to the people of Japan. They showed us how most of us would be incinerated.

Then long stories of the misery of the 'survivors.' We knew that even if we survived, our lives wouldn't be worth living anyway.

It was in elementary school. I didn't hate the Russians, the Cubans or any of them. But I realized some adults were going to get us all killed for nothing. Effing Idiots.



Nine Inch Nails - Right Where It Belongs


See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you're on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it's all
Right where it belongs

(Chorus)
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks?
Would you find yourself
Find yourself afraid to see?

What if all the world's inside of your head
Just creations of your own?
Your devils and your gods
All the living and the dead
And you're really all alone?
You can live in this illusion
You can choose to believe
You keep looking but you can't find the woods
While you're hiding in the trees

(Chorus)
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you used to know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks
Would you find yourself
Find yourself afraid to see?


And so it goes.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 10:25 PM

139. I remember the T-V propaganda scaring everyone about Commies.

 

We had neighbors spending their life savings on nuclear fallout shelters. As if that was going to do any good!!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 10:31 PM

140. No, what I remember most is

being in the Army and trained to "put your ass to the blast,"; turning around,
assuming the prone position and taking the shock wave with your back.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 11:33 PM

143. We never had drills

But I have never forgiven the government for frightening me. From age seven to age fourteen, I was always worried about the bomb.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:12 AM

145. Remember them well. Grew up in Southern NV and for science

we went outside and turned our backs to the test site direction so the flash from the bomb wouldn't blind us. We then turned around and watched the mushroom cloud go by. And, we did this over and over again. Most of my classmates died from various forms of cancer. The people conducting the tests knew that people would be harmed and they didn't care. We were all part a grand unknown experiment. In some papers from that time, the government officials called the downwind people disposable people or something like that. I never trusted anything anyone said about nuclear energy after that.

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Response to kiranon (Reply #145)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 02:53 AM

155. Fascinating I never heard this before with school children.

I had an Uncle who died in the late 1960's what they thought at the time was Lupus. When he passed away they did a very thorough autopsy paid for by the military. My Father was convinced it had something to do with Nuclear Tests in the early 1950's.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:20 AM

147. yup.. started school in the early 50`s

we still had the real mayday celebrations until the commie threat turned mayday into law day

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:34 AM

149. me, and kiss your ass goodbye

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:55 AM

151. Yes, I do remember them well

I was in elementary school. And the whole time under the desk, all I could think about was making sure to pull down my skirt in the back where my rear end was hanging out from the desk. And I would look up at the windows lining the upper part of the wall by me and wonder if all the glass would break and com shattering down on me. I remember it well.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 01:32 AM

153. Duck & Cover, Sputnik, Cuban missiles, assassinations, moon landing, U-2, VN War, Watergate...

...Annette & Cubby, Salk & Sabin, Davy Crockett, Elvis and Buddy Holly, James Dean, "Howdy, Mr. Dillon," Disneyland, Kitchen Debate, Hula Hoops, Ann Margret, party lines, color TV, Zip Codes, Beatles, Stones and British Invasion, Free Speech Movement, Black Panthers, 'West Side Story', Charles Manson, Four Dead in O-Hi-O, Woodstock, "I Have a Dream"...

Not necessarily in that order. It was the Chinese curse...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 03:45 AM

156. My first thought was this when I saw the OP

 



I remember the drills too

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 04:13 AM

157. Oh Gods yes. We lived in Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley. The day a jet crashed on our school....

Last edited Sat Sep 28, 2013, 04:46 AM - Edit history (1)

.... I know that every single one of us kids and our teachers thought it was The Bomb come at last. We'd had the drills, "under God" was added to the Pledge right after we'd learned it the original way, I was only in 4th grade.

So there we were minding our own business and we get this airplane sound, only instead of giving us a sonic boom and flying off with ever-fainter noise, it got louder. And louder. And lower and closer. Just when it seemed it couldn't get any louder our teacher turned pale and said, "Drop!" Which we did, just as the damn thing hit the junior high school playground across the fence from our school.

I read a lot of sci-fi growing up, and there were a number of nuclear apocalypse novels and novellas, some quite graphic; saw all the photos of Hiroshima in Life magazine; saw The Day After on tv. Participated in many conversations about how to survive. Probably the most ludicrous idea was to "protect" oneself by digging a hole and lying down in it -- kee-rist, how tidy to have dug your own grave.

I gave up the greater part of my fear when we survived the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was days of absolute hell -- and then we survived. I was in high school and I made up my mind not to live like that any more.

Oddly enough, despite everything in my childhood and adolescence, I never actually had nuclear dreams the way you did. I think my conscious mind was doing quite enough worrying and processing. Instead I had recurring nightmares about other things...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 04:13 AM

158. When I saw the thread title, my first thought was "Monika Lewinsky?"

The "duck and cover" drill were waaay before I was born

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 06:17 AM

160. Back in grade school I actually thought those drills would save my life.

 

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 06:58 AM

161. I think it went

"If you see the flash, duck under your desk, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye."

I lived just down the street from a SAC base, near Cuba, during the missile crisis. The B-52s, loaded with missiles under the wings, would scramble over my house, riding low and fully fueled all 8 engines blasting for what they were worth. It would rattle the windows and doors.

Frequent under the desk drills and roaring daily reminders....

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 11:52 AM

164. I remember the drills and the movies.

I'm 55, and these things went on until some time in the 1970s here. I always wondered why we still did the drills (first the under the desk and later crouching in the hall, though we always had our backs to the wall) so much longer than a lot of other places.

After all, what reason did they have to bomb us? No big cities, no military bases or nuclear power plants close by. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized we were a target because of the Western Electric plant that made some sort of parts for military planes.

I bought Alas, Babylon when I was in middle school, 6th or 7th grade, from the Scholastic book club. Why they had books like that for young kids I'll never know, but it started a life-long love of post apocalyptic fiction. Yes, I'm weird.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 12:26 PM

165. Heck,I spent a couple of days

In a bomb shelter (in our home, under the garage) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, so yes I recall those drills a vividly.

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