Bomb Drills

Chet had forgotten to remove his hat when he entered Mrs. Ks’ First Grade classroom at Hillcrest School. Mrs. K said, ‘Chet, please remove your hat in the house.’ Billy B. wondered why the first-grade teacher called the School…the House? Jane had been troubled by the increasing number of Bomb Drills that they had participated in. It was October 1962 and the news had been scary. Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev had sent Nuclear Bombs to Cuba which was 90 miles from the coast of the state of Florida. Billy B. and Chet and Jane had been to Mirimar Beach, Florida in 1961 and swam in the Gulf of Mexico. Billy B. considered that Florida must be a lot like the Garden of Eden in the Bible. It was such a peaceful time and carefree and happy…Billy B. wondered how it must be now with the threat of imminent nuclear bombs striking it. He wondered what Miramar Beach would look like after receiving a bomb…

Chet loved the television show, Lost In Space, and he had received some minor star status for his spot-on portrayal of the Lost In Space Robot. Between playing with his Action Figures, with Daniel Boone being his favorite, and planning Halloween with Jane and Buddy and Daryl and Billy B….he could not imagine something so terrible as a nuclear bomb…and the cartoonish adult protection against its’ devastation was to duck and cover…your head… Chet had seen better plans of protection in the B Movies that he and Billy B. and Jane loved to watch in the Orpheum Theatre that was in Eldorado. In those movies, there were bunkers and bomb shelters and missiles to shoot down the errant bombs.

Brenda who was Billy B.’s cousin…ran into the first-grade classroom and yelled for Billy B. to come with her now! At the same time, the bomb alarm peeled… Billy B. and Chet and Jane and Brenda filed out to the hallway to Duck and Cover against the hallway wall. Billy B. asked his cousin if she had heard anything…and she said that Miramar Beach had already been hit…

President Kennedy’s voice was being broadcast through the School’s intercom system. The President said that our worst fears have been realized and that he was speaking to the country from a secure location. Chet thought…probably a bunker lined with steel…

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