The Nike Base,,,, Just don’t do it!

The initial excitement of summer vacation is well behind us, and now us kids are bored to death with our usual pastimes and looking for  something new and exciting to keep us occupied.  So a few of us decide to sneak up to the Nike base and see what kind of trouble we could get into.

Going to the Nike base was risky business, at least that is what we convinced ourselves of.  We all pretended we were secret agents, and did our best job of acting stealth as we looked around.

We found an old tire laying on the ground and ditched the spy vs spy game for a new idea.  We would bring the tire home and turn it into a tire swing.  Yeah…..great idea! 

The tire was very heavy for a group of 9 year olds to move, and very time consuming too.  It was  a hot summer day so that made the tire hot to the touch.  But with team effort we managed to get the tire to the street.

The Nike base was located high on a hill, so now we had the task of somehow getting the tire to a lower level.  We were all tired from lugging the tire around.   Then someone in the group had the bright idea to roll the tire down the steep road, ( this road had a lot of cars traveling on it.)  What were we thinking?

So the plan starts off great, it was so much easier to roll the tire than to carry it.  We were all so proud of ourselves, we would be back home in no time swinging on a tire swing,  YIPPY!

But then our plan went terribly wrong.  The tire quickly picked up some major speed and got away from us.  We chased the tire but our little legs just couldn’t keep up with the mighty tire.   It seemed the tire had a mind of its own,  it remembered it’s previous life on the road.

We all stood there with our mouths wide open and in disbelief as to what was happening.  The tire was following every curve in the road and rolling down the road at and alarming rate.  Then the worst thing that could possible happen started to unfold.

The light at the intersection turned green and cars were now headed up the hill towards us and the out of control tire.

We watched as the tire was heading straight for a car and prayed that it would miss the car but, no such luck, the tire hit the side of the car and left a terrible black mark.  The dreaded mark of the beast!

The tire must have grown tired from it’s few moments of being possessed and finally came to a screeching halt.

We all came to our sense’s and starting running away as fast as we could, just as the man who’s car had been hit by the tire was driving past us, waving his fist and cussing up a storm.

I felt terrible for days after this happened and I carried the guilt of the tire incident with me to the point I had nightmares about tires rolling and crashing into things for years.

I wonder.   What would Freud say about my nightmares?


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!