Before finding this picture, I remember the mushroom explosion and viewing it closer than the normal viewers from the city of Las Vegas where I lived as a child. Though since my father worked at the Nevada Atomic Test site, our family was able to view it closer still and within a protected area, if there is such a thing. My mother didn’t take a picture; she probably thought it would melt the camera, so thank goodness for the Internet providing a vivid picture for others to see what I had replayed over and over in my head like a video.
So why am I writing about Atomic Bombs on my writing blog? There are many other ‘V’ words, but Vegas came to mind. Growing up in Vegas is a magical place for a child to conjure up all sorts of stories to write about from Horny Toads to sitting in the back seat of the car with my sister as my parents drove home at nighttime and viewing the bright lights of the city that never sleeps in the distance. We only saw the colorful Vegas lights and shapes from a distance.
Lots of memories took place in Vegas, such as flash floods and dust storms. Tortoises like SoSlow that I wrote about in a previous blog, and Tarantulas and Scorpions in Captivity that my dad would bring home from the test site in coffee cans to show us kids what to avoid while playing out in the desert sun. He’d shake the spiders out from separate Five-pound coffee cans. The Tarantula wanted to show off his legs span and wouldn’t shake loose onto the table for the lesson, so he remained in the can. Other fun activities like lots of swimming and drinking Kool-Aid to stave off the heat took place in Vegas, and even experimenting with frying an egg on the hot sidewalk occupied my time as a child. At times Vegas was beige and drab from the desert sand, but imagination made it enchanting, and descriptive, if not terrifying at times.
But the most fantastic memory of all was when I saw the last above ground Nuclear Bomb go off right before my eyes. The picture above says it all, and you can read more details on Wikipedia right here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sunbeam
Let me know a vivid memory that you have from childhood, one that ignited all your senses. I’d love to hear your stories when you have a chance.