Leon Victim Of Nuclear Fallout

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 09:24 AM.

Sometimes I think America is not the smartest country on earth.

Daddy bought a TV a year or so later and Walter Cronkite kept a close eye on the commies for us. That Khrushchev guy never looked happy in black and white. We played ball, learned to drive, dated, spent some great afternoons out at the clay pits and made plans to graduate and move on, all under the specter of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. We raced them to outer space, cheered against them in the Olympics and faced off against them in Berlin, Korea and Cuba. Even Vietnam always seemed to be a pawn in a larger game.

Old habits die hard. But the fear slowly left me as the passing years revealed a Russia that seemed more bent on threatening and posturing, than bombing. They toned down the rhetoric and tore down the Wall. “Red Alerts” and air raid drills drifted into obscurity. I turned my attention to making a living and raising children….. 

The fear for the safety and welfare of America has once again awakened in my heart. This time is has nothing to do with Russians, Taliban, foreign agents or intercontinental ballistic missiles.

            I am afraid that America is going to self destruct from the inside out! We rant and rave at each other on the Senate floor, “Meet the Press”, traffic jams and local get-togethers. “My way or no way” has become the national yell. We seem more angry and hostile than friendly and hospitable. It’s enough to make you re-read Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”.

            Leon was the only casualty I know of from the atomic threat in the 1950’s. Daddy whipped him when he couldn’t find our hammer. Dad allowed that the oldest son was responsible for the tools. It didn’t dawn on Dave or me until it was too late that we had taken that hammer down to our fallout shelter to bust open those walnuts in case of an emergency.

            I’m not sure we can all come out with just a whipping if the “bomb” blows up from within.

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