Were We Really Prepared?

With all the grim talk about North Korea launching missiles, I attempted to look back on the time we had a very frightening situation on our doorstep—the Cuban Missile Crisis. I hope you all learned about this at school. It involved a deal between Cuban leader Fidel Castro and the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. It was an awful time, but since I was only seven, my memories are quite fuzzy.

What I do remember were the drills. I know many speak of hiding under their desks. I don’t recall that. What I recall was being shepherded out in the hallway—presumably because of the windows in my classroom—and then being told to sit on the floor and cover my head with my hands. I look back and think how naïve people were in believing we could survive a nuclear attack by simply protecting ourselves with a desk or sitting away from a window.

I have vague recollections of seeing fallout shelter signs around town. I believe they were in the gyms of some of the schools. Perhaps someone reading this can add to or correct my memory.

                             bit.ly/2p6oWHe

Grandma apparently was preparing for our doom by stockpiling canned food such as soup, vegetables, and Spam—which was a disgusting ham-like meat. I guess the thought was that once the bombs were dropped, depending on where one lived, some people would survive but the food supply would be unsafe.

                              bit.ly/2oJoemw

When the crisis was averted, Grandma told me that one night, when she did not have the opportunity to go food shopping, she prepared a “fallout meal,” which consisted of all the food stored in the basement like the soup, Spam, and canned peas and creamed corn.

Would would Dad cook for our fallout meal? I think it would be more ethnic than Grandma’s dinner.

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