Living a Nuclear Childhood

By Michael Willard

When I was seven, I vividly remember the evacuation of the entire Whitehaven Elementary School in Memphis because Soviet nuclear missiles were headed our way.

Of course, it was a test, but the school principal announced over a tinny intercom later that day that nearly all of us would have been incinerated in the blast and firestorm. It was pretty heavy stuff for a kid.

After all, it was an age when we neighborhood kids drew down on one another with harmless cap pistols and pretended we…