Every year the Heart O’ Texas Fair was held at the Waco Coliseum. They always had a huge display Air Force planes and Army vehicles.
I loved climbing into the jets and the tanks.
This year the fair had something new, something I’d never seen before. There were a whole bunch of fallout shelters on display.
Some were tiny affairs, barely big enough for two people to crouch down in.
Some were big enough for the entire family, and amazingly well outfitted.
We got to climb into them and look around.
The idea was to bury them in your back yard. Then, if the Russians attacked with atomic bombs, the family would climb into the shelter.
When the bomb went off, we’d be safe underground.
We’d store enough food and water in there to last until the radiation from the fallout was safe enough to come out.
I really wanted one. I thought it would be kind of cool to camp out in one, safe underground while the war was going on. Dad wanted no part of it.
First of all, we couldn’t afford one. But even if we could, what about the neighbors? They’d want in, too, and there wouldn’t be room for them, or enough food and water for everyone. If they were scared enough they might try to force their way in.
Would we buy a gun to defend ourselves? Would we shoot our friends and neighbors?
And besides, even if we got one and there was a nuclear war and we survived, what kind of world would be left for us to live in?
And what if we bought one and there never was a war? What would we use it for?
I had an answer for that. What if there’s another tornado?
And even if there’s not a war or a tornado, it would make a really cool playhouse for me and Linda.
And I could store all my comic books there.
That’s probably the best reason to have one I’ve heard yet, Dad said.