My father, who was a Cold Warrior, told me never to utter those words out loud in front of fliers on an airbase. Apparently their training impelled them scramble to the bombers whenever they heard these magic words, no matter if it was a nine year-old snot nose puke saying them. Imagine the awesome inner turmoil within me as I struggled to hold my tongue. What nine year-old wouldn't be tempted to send the adult world into an instant tizzy with a few banned words?
So those were the forbidden words that popped into my head when I saw this big beautiful Cold War sentinel rusting in the sun last month. I was on my way to Goodwill, so of course I pulled the car over and had to go check it out.
50 years ago it was the latest in technology, and the last line of Civil Defense in the event of a nuclear showdown...
And now it's little more than a perch for wild birds. Who like the rest of the squares, probably mistake it for an ugly cell phone tower.
My nine year-old self really wanted to scale that pole to see what was in the box -- likely just ancient leaky dry cell batteries, but think like gradeschooler -- it's probably got gold coins, hidden gangster loot, radiation badges, or at least an old air raid helmet inside.
But as I didn't fancy the idea of falling to my death when the rotted wood gave way or being arrested for terrorism/being a 30-something public jackass, I confined my curiosity the control panel on the ground floor.
Amazingly, most of the relays and transistors were left alone. Someone had stolen the cover panel long ago.
I wonder what the "blower" and "rotator" were for? Of course I flicked the toggles but there was no siren -- those Evereadys are long since dead.
Okay, who's the engineering geek out there who can tell me what this schemata means?
So I wonder if when the Berlin Wall came down back in 1989 the CEOs of the "Federal Sign and Signal Corporation" were all, "That's just F-ing wonderful! Now what do we do? What catastrophic and paralyzing fear can we make money off now?"
At some point it got a little hot and I slowly realized that, standing there in my summer shorts and socks full of burrs and barbs, I had wandered into a waist high field of wild grass smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake country.
Yeah, my inner 9 year old is pretty much in charge. I hope my Mom isn't reading.