The Good Days

The day started with all of us standing, hands on our heart and pledging allegiance to the flag.

We then all sang the first, third and sixth stanza of Maryland, my Maryland.

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland! My Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumbers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Virginia should not call in vain,
Maryland! My Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain-
"Sic semper!" 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain,
Maryland! My Maryland!


Then we had a "Drop and Shelter" drill and a "Drop and Roll" drill for when the bomb would drop and all our clothes caught on fire. And learned that we had to keep our eyes closed tightly with one arm over our eyes so we would not go blind.

Then classes until recess and lunch.

We learned how the first thing you should know when you go into a new store is where the Fallout Shelters were. And when you walked on the street always remember where the closest Fallout Shelter was. During recess we played "Bomb" where when some one yelled "Bomb" we all dropped and rolled in the dirt with our eyes squeezed tight until the person called "All Clear". If you peaked you were blind and if you stopped rolling you were burned and the last one down was DEAD.

Soon it was summer but we couldn't go to the pool that year. It was closed because polio was too big a risk.

But I grew up and put the childish fears aside. We got a Geiger counter and all of us learned how to use it and learned basic decontamination procedures. We had a designated meeting place where we all would gather after a disaster and also a fairly complete first aid kit as well as a smaller kit we each had in our car (those of us old enough to drive). Lots of my friends Dads were in Korea. And then the Red Chinese drove the good Chinese out of China and the US sent the 7th Fleet to patrol the Formosa Straight and the question was whether Russia would support the Commies and were we about to start another war?

But then we got a new President who told us that Russia had put missiles in Cuba with nuclear warheads that could reach every city on the East Coast and it seemed we were really going to war with Russia.

But we made it through that and the President got shot and Martin Luther King got shot and the Presidents brother got shot and there were riots all over the country and cities were burning and the police dropped a fire bomb on top of a row house where protesters were holed up and banks were getting bombed and there was helter skelter and police were turning fire hoses on people and setting dogs on them and the National Guard was shooting students and crowds were protesting the war in Vietnam.

And we got another new President and he said we won in Vietnam and brought all the troops back and authorized a break-in and built an enemies list and got impeached and then a new President who pardoned him and another new President and in Iran our embassy got invaded and the staff held hostage and every night the news was about the hostage crisis and so we got another new President and when he got shot it didn't kill him but he did spend all our money and things were so much better in the past.