I lived in the time when we had nightmares of the bomb. I remember imagining Russian missiles flying over the horizon to our south and blowing up Pittsburgh. Another time I remember dreaming of bombers dropping bombs directly on our school bus as if we were the target. I always woke up before they exploded but they were scary. I lost sleep and kept a watch over my shoulder.
My family exercised caution and prudence. We built a bomb shelter – or more appropriately a fallout shelter. We build sturdy stone walls to supplement the fortress like structure of our basement. My dad and Wayne Allison, our friend and carpenter who help build it, stuffed bricks into the spaces between the sturdy oak joists of our floors.
We were ready. Thank God we never used it except to build a place where we could throw darts and build a train layout. Oh, there was one time when we hid down there to respond to a tornado warning – but nothing came of that either. And it is good nothing happened too, because while Dad took care to have guns and bullets, he never provisioned it with water or food.