FIFTY YEARS AGO, my dad decided we needed a bomb shelter more than we needed carpeting in the home. The rest is history.
I spent a few weeks working in a small space inside the Old Executive Office Building (in the photo by Andrew Prokos) where defense analysts pored over high resolution photos taken by U-2 aircraft in October 1962. The black and white images showed medium range ballistic missile sites in Cuba. When President Kennedy announced their existence to Americans, DIY bomb shelters became the rage.
As I explain in my Audioboo below, our bomb shelter got funded from money reserved for carpeting. And the cache of food and drink didn't go to waste--summertime in the 60s with four brothers ensured that.
But October 1962 changed the course of my life, resulting in time in uniform that might not have ever occurred without missiles first being placed in Cuba.