The Nike Base

The year was 1962 and I was in the second grade.  On top of a hill over looking the area where I lived as a child, was a area called ” The Nike Base”.   I had heard many stores and rumors over the years about the Nike base, (it was kind of an area 51 to us kids) but I never really knew for sure what was going on there.  I think it had something to do with radar and missile storage/launching.  I remember the time when the Bay of pigs/ Cuban missile crisis  was taking place all of the adults were beside themselves with talk  about what might be happening at the base.  There was talk about building bomb shelters in back yards, a general feeling of panic was every where you turned.

I went to the grocery store with my mom and I was shocked to see that almost all the shelves were empty, only a few scattered canned goods were left, everything had been picked over, the only things remaining were damaged goods.

At school when ever we heard an alarm  we practiced getting under our tables and chairs while we were in our class rooms,  we even practiced what to do if we were out at recess.  I remember hearing one of the older kids making the comment,  “bend over and kiss your ass good-bye”.   They say to this very day it was the closest we have ever come to nuclear war, it was a very scary time indeed.

I don’t think anybody who lived though that time really got over it for some time.  The movie,  Dr. Strangelove, or how to Stop Worrying and learn to Love the Bomb.      Helped,  at least everyone could relax and laugh once again.     If you have never seen the movie I highly recommend it, it’s one of my favorites.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this story.  The Nike base, just don’t do it!

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