Dad worked there
Everybody's dad worked on the base. Not because they were in the service; they just worked there.
I'm not sure what they did there on the base. My dad never told me what he did. "A lot of different things," he'd say when I asked. As I got older, I learned not to ask. It was strange to grow up there, in Albuquerque. The Government was an ever-present influence in everyone's lives, yet nobody was that aware of it. Since 1947, the Atomic Energy Commission and Sandia National Laboratories had made their home at Sandia Army Base. And everybody's dad worked there.

Sonic Booms
"What's a sonic boom, mommy?"
"They're testing something, that's all. A rocket or something." Sonic booms. We heard them every morning when I was young. Nobody thought much of them. It was normal to hear those things in Albuquerque. Sonic booms were caused by rocket sleds racing across the desert faster than sound. That was Sandia's business. The AEC worked quietly. Sonic booms were unique to Albuquerque in the sixties. But I guess every city has its own character.

Family Day, 1965
Every five years the AEC had Family Day. Something like a science fair. It was the only time I ever saw my dad's office--we didn't go in 1970. All muy friends from school were there. Everybody's dad . . . They were doing a lot of new things there on the base in 1965. I saw lasers, rocket sleds, radiation suits, nuclear reactors, and my dad's computer, Sadie. She was as big as a living room. And noisy. Sadie and the lasers impressed me in 1965.
When I took physics in college, we experimented with lasers. I thought about Family Day and wondered how many of my classmates had seen a laser in 1965. Not many, I figured. Unless they were from Albuquerque.

Views: 4

Comment by Doc on April 24, 2008 at 11:39am
I originally wrote this for a graduate writing class I was taking at the University of Texas in 1985. I am not adding or changing anything. More installments to follow . . .
Comment by Lloyd Thrap on April 24, 2008 at 9:24pm
Having grown up in Los Alamos I interested in other perspectives on the influence in everyone's lives living in these environments has had.

Comment

You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

Black Cherry Pie!!! 8 Replies

Started by Adelita in General Discussion. Last reply by vinceinburque Aug 17.

Protein Shake Shack? 1 Reply

Started by Kitson Harvey in Food & Drink. Last reply by Phil_0 Aug 14.

HMOs in Albuquerque 3 Replies

Started by PJH in General Discussion. Last reply by PJH Aug 12.

My blog for where to go for lunch in ABQ 2 Replies

Started by Gretchen Winchester in Food & Drink. Last reply by Ron Da Bomb Aug 12.

Latest Activity

Alex Curtas's event was featured
Thumbnail

Danger Carnival at Tractor Brewing - Wells Park

September 19, 2015 at 7pm to September 20, 2015 at 12am
15 minutes ago
Alex Curtas posted an event
Thumbnail

Danger Carnival at Tractor Brewing - Wells Park

September 19, 2015 at 7pm to September 20, 2015 at 12am
1 hour ago
shotsie commented on Phil_0's blog post Morning Fix: Summer Bounty
1 hour ago
Dee Cohen commented on Adelita's blog post We Are This City Manifesto by Hakim Bellamy
1 hour ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2015   Created by Duke City Fix.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service