Air raid drill memories from under the desk

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By Anthony Buccino

We took cover in neat order in virtually any place that was away from the windows. We sneaked a look back and waited for the Russian’s A-bomb to come crashing through any one of the many windows in our school.

Rambling Round-Inside and Outside at the Same Time by Anthony BuccinoCarried out logically, comedian Robert Klein - a child of the 50s - noted that if you were burned beyond recognition in a nuclear holocaust, they could tell who you were by your name tags.

Whoever ‘they’ would be after World War III, nobody stopped to think about.

By the time I got to school, someone must have figured there was no reason to give my class dog tags, hah, let whoever is left figure out who were all these children turned to dust where the school used to be.

When the clanging bell finished tolling, we got the ‘all clear’ signal. Not until then were we allowed to rise up from the dust on the floor, the dark hallway lockers, or crawl out from under our desks.

We headed back to class and resumed quenching our thirst for knowledge safe in the comfort that if the Russians attacked, at least all the children in my school knew just what to do until the A-bomb came through the window.

First published in Worrall Community Newspapers on August 7, 1997.

Adapted from RAMBLING ROUND Inside and Outside at the Same Time



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New Jersey author Anthony Buccino's stories of the 1960s, transit coverage and other writings earned four Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism awards. The Pushcart Prize-nominated writer has been called ' “New Jersey’s ‘Garrison Keillor” or something to that effect.’

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