Being born after World War II, lucky me, and all my cohorts, never have known a world without the threat of nuclear weapons, always the knowledge that life as we know it could be blown to bits at any time.
Oh, I exaggerate. Certainly we would have a few minutes warning of any said bomb. Enough time to climb into our bomb shelter. That no one has anymore.
But in the '60s, people did have bomb shelters. Not us. We had a wellpit--a cement room, underground, with a cement roof, that housed our well; we kept potatoes there all winter, too. How I hated that place! Full of dampness, darkness, bugs, and unseen creepy crawlies just waiting for me. I only entered during 1) tornado warnings and 2) when forced to go retrieve said potatoes.
But when I'd watch the news and hear about bomb shelters, I'd think about us living in that wellpit. And wondered, how long could we last on those potatoes? And, what would the world look like when we came out?
I grew up about an hour south of Cleveland--maybe not a main target of the bad guys, but back in the day, a hub of shipping and manufacturing. Maybe even bomb-worthy.
What's one of my first memories of school? Being taken into the hallway and taught how to kneel close to the wall, and tuck my head between my knees. Bomb threat drill. Yea, that would buy us a few extra minutes, wouldn't it?
I don't remember the Cuban missile crisis--too young. I don't think the little kids of today will remember this day's news, either--not enough drama, thank God--not enough danger, not today.
But we've lived with missile crisis fallout since 1962. And if I live to be as old as my gramma--101--I guess I'll feel good that we went 100 years with a threat of annihilation ... and not more.
So far, so good.