Thursday, September 9, 2010

Duck and Cover

For some reason I was recently reminded of life during the Cold War. My life was nowhere near as hard as the lives of those under Communism, so my complaints are mild compared to theirs.

We used to "duck and cover" at school. The siren would go off and we would drop to the ground, cover our eyes and heads with our arms and wait things out.  In class, we got under the desks and did the same.  This was an earthquake drill in kindergarten through 3rd grade, and a Russian attack drill starting in 4th grade.  Duck and cover. We were ready.

Also, when I was a child, we had a monthly air raid siren test, city-wide. The last Friday of the month, at 9:15 in the morning, the siren would blare.  We used to joke that it would be the perfect time for the Russians to attack, since we wouldn't duck and cover because it's just a test.

I don't know about my friends, but I had occasional nightmares about the bomb. I don't remember the specifics, but scary was a big part of it.

As late as 1986 I thought a "hot" war was still possible.  I was driving home from work, late at night, when blinding flashes went off around me, blinding me as I drove.  My car stalled, from my own clutch-work it turned out, but still...  I was momentarily convinced that nukes were going off around me. Luckily, the oil refinery was merely exploding.  Whew!

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