Friendly Fallout 1953
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Nevada Press
Contents [Includes Preface]
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las vegas, nevada • 1 january 1953
Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Happy New Year!! An explosion of sound bombards the midnight desert air. Whistles, shouts, laughter, sirens, bells, car horns and party horns, firecrackers, and even an echoed gunshot or two. Outside the Desert Inn casino, a conga...
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Smoke from a dozen cigarettes filters down the narrow aisle. Jack clears his throat, lights a Marlboro, draws a deep breath, and then blows smoke rings that twine together in the stale morning air. Rather like a mushroom cloud, Jack imagines, as he stretches his legs on the empty...
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Dennis and Ted are sitting in their Jeep when Annie hits the ground. Wear- ing goggles, they can look directly at the flash.
Yeah. Whiter than white. ...
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“Atta girl, Ruthie!”
Music to my ears. I scooped the trick across the table and squared it onto the pile in front of me. Six no-trump, bid and well made. Howard was delighted. Game, set, and match. Just like that. ...
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From Newton, Massachusetts, to Cactus Springs, Nevada. Via Normandy. And Baltimore. And Dallas. A real pathway to success. Zigzagging. Ending, for now, in the empty desert, tending bar. Hal draws two more pitchers of beer for the flyboys, pours a scotch and soda plus a Jim Beam...
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The old man lay curled against the cold. Beneath his faded mustache, as he breathed faintly in and out, soft snores ruffled the silent midnight air. Turning on the narrow cot, he tugged at a thin blanket that provided little warmth. He coughed a little, turned again. ...
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“Cute,” giggles Ginger, holding a wrinkled page up so her five cohorts can see. “Some short-timer must have spent his last hours printing it out.”
“Or just a few seconds,” Candi snickers. “Look at the sloppy printing. Red crayon, like grade school.” ...
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“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Me neither. And I’ve been in this business forever.”
Crouched alongside a pregnant ewe in the confines of a wooden chute, the two men shake their heads. ...
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Five Chevys, a Studebaker and a Nash, two Plymouths, a Pontiac, a Cadillac, half a dozen Fords and a dozen pickups, one brand-new, another an aged Model T. A milk truck, a bakery delivery truck, a Greyhound bus carrying twenty-three passengers, a flatbed hauling coils of steel. ...
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“Eight hours and counting.”
“North-northwest, three knots.” ...
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“And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.” Brother Orson’s baritone conjoins the words, turns phrases into sonorous chords that roll mightily throughout the chapel. ...
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Finally—a few minutes of free time.
Got to Las Vegas about noon yesterday. Off the train quickly, then stood around in the hot sun for a while. Couldn’t see much of the city, but it sure sounds like fun! Noise everywhere. ...
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“A toast to Upshot-Knothole!” Tom waves his coffee mug in the air.
Glen hoists his, too, clanging the white porcelain against Tom’s half- empty cup. David, Henry, and Alan join in quickly, thumping mugs together as if they hold champagne. ...
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To begin unraveling the entanglements generated by miscalculations of “friendly fallout,” I read general histories about atomic testing before delving into the specific events of 1953. Barton Hacker’s Elements of Controversy: The Atomic Energy Commission and Radiation Safety...
Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2010