Mystified

Ah. another cold Wednesday morning in New Orleans. Although, apparently it is going to be in the seventies this weekend, just in time for the holiday. Clearly, it’s going to be another bipolar winter in New Orleans. But at least this morning wasn’t as bad as Monday and Tuesday.

I continue to struggle with the book, but I think I’ve solved the problem I was having–I’ve found the character’s voice, without which writing the book is near impossible. I think I’m going to hit the required groove soon, which is also quite lovely–particularly as I continue to fall further and further behind on it. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that it’ll be finished on time, but then again…who knows what distractions lie in my immediate future?

Heavy heaving sigh.

But in odd news of the coincidental, last weekend I was looking something up on Google Earth, which of course led me into the wormhole of hey, let me look up every place I’ve ever lived and every place I went to school and so on and so forth, and of course as I explored Lyon County, Kansas–which led to me to some important findings for a secret project I’ve been working on for two years and hope to get back to with a vengeance in January–I started reliving some of my old high school memories from Kansas, and tried to locate (drum roll please) the missile base.

Back on the dark days of the Cold War, the Midwest was riddled with nuclear missile bases, and there was one near the small town of Bushong, which we drove past in the school bus on our way to school every morning. The only way you knew there was a town there was because you could see the Bushong water tower from the road, and through the foliage you could see the roof of the old high school, closed and absorbed in the 1950’s into the high school I went to, Northern Heights. You knew you were at Bushong when you got to the railroad tracks; there wasn’t even a sign. The presence of the missile base–which was long abandoned at the time I lived there–meant that Bushong was still considered a potential target for nuclear attack, should it ever come, from the Soviet Union. When the ABC movie-for-television about the aftermath of a nuclear war, The Day After, aired in the early 1980’s, it made that message very clear–there were lots of missiles in Kansas, and Kansas would definitely be a major target.

All the kids knew about the missile base, and I went out there twice. I am sure it was trespassing; I think at that time the land still belonged to the government because I remember the big gate had military signs on it and warned people away; but there were also holes in the fencing and there were no guards. It was completely deserted. I remember there was a hill, with a big metal door built into the side of it. I know both times we went out there we opened the door–it wasn’t even locked–and with the daylight you could see along the entry hall, which dead-ended about thirty or forty feet, bisecting at a ninety degree angle another hallway which went off in both directions. It was pitch dark down there, and I remember you could barely read the warning side on the wall all the way down there–but it was clearly a warning about radiation. You keep hear water dripping, and other weird sounds…and no, we never ventured inside.

I always thought it would make an interesting setting for a story, or novel.

So, the other day I was trying to find it on Google Earth, with no luck.

Then, today, someone I knew way back when in Kansas posted a link to this blog someone wrote about visiting Bushong and the missile base.

How weird is that? Should I take it as a sign to start thinking about a book about the missile base?

And now back to the spice mines.

Here’s today’s hunk:

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