Once upon a time there was a nuclear family,
And we lived in a family time,
And we’d unite in a family way.
And off in the ancient mountain,
They were splitting every nucleus.
They said, “Don’t be alarmed,
Just don’t try this at home.”
-From “The Great Unknown” by Dar Williams
I grew up during the Cold War. As the US created and tested new radioactive weapons, my own nuclear family slowly disintegrated.
In school we practiced “duck and cover drills.” During these drills we ducked under our desks and covered our heads with our hands, or we went into the hallway and kneeled in front of our lockers. We girls carefully pulled our dresses over our bottoms as we knelt–because, of course, feminine modesty is important even in the face of impending nuclear disaster
At the beginning of each school year in the Dallas, Texas, public school district…
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