Thursday, August 6, 2015


Robert Shafer 


1952. Chicago, Illinois.

"We're going to have an air raid drill," the teacher announced. "When the siren sounds, get down on your knees next to your desk. Put your hands over your head and your elbows on your desk seat. Use your desk for co
ver. It'll protect you from the blast."

The school staged these drills every month. The siren began its long wail and we children scrambled into the position as instructed and hoped we'd be safe when the Russians dropped an Atomic bomb on top of us.

During a school assembly, the principal showed a film which shouted about the danger we faced and told us what to do when a bomb exploded. If you were outside, in the open, you were supposed to fall down and cover your head when you saw the bright flash in the sky. At home, crawl under your bed if you were in your bedroom. After a while, I did worry about that terrifying nuclear blast. On my walk to and from school I scanned the horizon looking for the bright light of the explosion. I imagined clouds of destruction billowing miles high and frantically looked for places to hide. 

The fear of the A-bomb entered my dreams. The entire skyline filled with eyeball destroying super-bright flashes and towering mushroom clouds. Gigantic waves of deadly radiation rolled towards me and engulfed me. My clothes burned off, my skin peeled from my body and my screams of agony echoed for blocks.

Robert Shafer –

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