Duck and Cover

I got to spend some time behind the dirty windshield this week. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance. I did a six hour round trip to Maine.

I know I complain about technology but I have to say I have become a fan of audio streaming, especially podcasts. I think back to ten or twenty years ago when all I had to listen to was AM or FM radio. Satellite radio came along but even that had its limitations. But now that has changed.

I recall back in the day when I first started driving a lot for work, I always wondered how I could use the time more productively. Now I know some of you will say I could listen to NPR, and I would but I could only listen in small doses. Then along comes streaming. With podcasts I can now listen and get educated. Yes as is the case with anything, there is a lot of trash out there but you can find some interesting stuff.

On this trip i listened to a history podcast about the Cold War. “The program is called “American History Tellers“. I lived through the Cold War but didn’t really know much about it. Listening to the podcast I began to understand some of the things that were happening when I was younger.

For example, one thing I remember was when I was in elementary school, I think the second grade, one fall day just before lunch we all had to go to the gym and we were being sent home. No one ever said why. I just remember everyone (adults) seemed awfully excited and nervous. Even my mother was that way. It wasn’t until much later that I realized this was what is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Everyone thought this was it, the end of the world.

I remember doing the whole “duck and cover “ thing, like crawling under our desk was going to save us. I remember the air raid sirens around town, one fairly close to the house. I remember Civil Defense shelters.

Listening to the podcast I learned how close we really came to the end. All through the Cold War there were several close calls. There were planes flying around with nuclear warheads on them 24 hours a day. One of them crashed and fortunately for the world no one jumped the gun thinking we were under attack.

It was a different time back then. At least for me. What did I know about nuclear weapons? What did I know about the “Iron Curtain “? What did I know about how close we came? Now that I know, it scares the hell out of me.

Please feel free to comment and share this with people you know, people you don’t know and people you would like to know.

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