posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 11:27 PM
When I was a young lad in my pre teens, I was growing up in a climate of genuine fear. It was the early sixties and there was a real concern that the
"Russkies" were going to attack at any moment.
In school, we practiced "ducking and covering" -- bending over and tucking our heads under our desks. A sure fire way to survive any nuclear
attack, I'm sure. But, just in case we somehow managed to make it, our school had a fallout shelter in the basement. Stocked with food and water,
we were ready.
In case an attack came during "after school" hours, my folks were sent reams of material from the Civil Defense (CD) authorities. With a bit of
cement, concrete blocks and some lumber, the booklets from CD illustrated how we could build our own fallout shelter in our basement.
I suppose it was because my parents had lived through the horrors of WWII, as refugees from Eastern Europe, they had a keen insight and desire to make
sure their kids survived. My Father, a carpenter, went overboard and turned one corner of the basement into a bunker that would have assured Saddam
Two layers of concrete blocks for walls, steel beams for a ceiling, I am certain that my Father intended for us to survive anything. I was never one
to question my Father's construction and design abilities -- especially as a kid -- but I remember asking him whether a thin, wooden, hollow core
door with an old bathroom lock was sufficient. It looked so out-of-place when viewed, as a whole, against this mighty structure. He just shrugged
and said "it's either going to be enough or it isn't....I hope we never find out".
We never did find out, thank God. The Cuban Missile Crisis past and the world settled into an uneasy peace. The U.S. and Russia settled into the
Cold War and the we all developed a sort of complacency.
The basement fallout shelter became my hangout through my "teen-age" years. Those double walls and ceiling were quite sound-proof and it was the
one place where I could crank up the "Doors" and "Led Zeppelin" up to ten. If anything had happened while I was partying with my friends
in the fallout shelter, we would never had heard a thing until after the fact.
My parents built that shelter not because they were paranoid. They built that shelter because they felt that it was simply a prudent thing to do for
the times. There was, in their opinion, a real and present danger from Russia and from a nuclear exchange. Maybe there was a "real" danger. Maybe
there wasn't. Nevertheless, that shelter probably gave them something that was important to them -- peace of mind.
As for Tom Cruise, well, I don't have anything to really say about Tom. I don't think that he's a great actor but I must say that I have enjoyed
most of the films that he has made. I will reserve my comments about his beliefs in Scientology -- they aren't necessarily positive ones. But I
will say that if building a bunker offers him a modicum of "peace of mind" then so be it.
We do live in unpredictable times. There is a real and present danger of turmoil that could befall the U.S. from terrorism, man-made and natural
calamities. If Tom feels that he would be happier and feel safer with a bunker, I can't fault him. A sense of security is something that is
difficult to find. I just find it a bit troubling, on a personal note, to think that "after the smoke clears", the survivors will have to endure
one additional hardship -- Tom Cruise.