I didn't want to melt.
The Declassified History. At midday, and again in the early evening of October 16, 1962, John F. Kennedy called together a group of his closest advisers at the White House. Late the night before, the CIA had produced detailed photo intelligence identifying Soviet nuclear missile installations under construction on the island of Cuba, some ninety miles off the Florida coast; now the president and his men confronted the dangerous decision of how the United States should respond . . . (The Cuban Missle Crisis)
I was in elementary school. Mom sent me off to school that day with full knowledge that it could be the very last day she said, "Goodbye, I love you." We lived about 3 miles from the huge
Being so young, my understanding of the situation was limited. Everyone at our house was quiet and my parent’s faces were drawn and pale. I was worried about not having any socks and I did not want to eat my cream of wheat. It was leathery on the top and mushy in the middle.
Other than the tension in our little home, everyone was carrying on as usual. My sister Trish and I walked the mile to school together and Nick rode on ahead on his bike. Mike left early for his first period class in high school. Our four older siblings were off to Colleges and Universities.
The teachers at school seemed to be at odds just like my parents. They weren't allowing any noise in the classroom and they were whispering in the hallways.
Classes began with the teacher telling us that we would be doing a series of drills during the day. The first drill was very similar to what we did for earthquakes. We got to squat on the floor besides our top-heavy desks. We were hiding from something I was sure.
The second drill was fun because it took us out of the classroom. Every student lined up next to a classmate and then we power-walked to the high school about 3/4 a mile away where we were escorted into a basement hallway sitting butt to butt on the cold floor. I remember David S. sticking his stinky shoe under my bottom and jiggling it. He was a brat. (Now he is a surgeon.)
It seemed to take forever for the squishing of little bodies and the counting of heads. While we waited for the adults to decide on the seating arrangements the other kids started telling me about the "bomb" and how our bodies would melt. I also learned that radiation flew straight and couldn't sneak around corners. There was a wealth of information being shared over stinky saddle shoes and sticky bodies.
I think I had a tuna sandwich for lunch, because after that I never wanted tuna again. I still will not eat it. My stomach hurt and I attributed it to that. I didn't want to be bombed. Who was Khrushchev and where was
Mom was a Christian, and I know that she prayed with me that night and asked that my scary thoughts would go away.
She was also much wiser than I gave her credit. The next year she arranged for my classroom to go on a fieldtrip to visit the