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More From the Road

By admin Published: July 27, 2008

I keep meaning to post but I have been spending most of the day going through boxes (my father was a saver) and then going to sleep early. And through it all, thinking about the past -- and not only my own.

How, for instance, do you not pause over a 1962 booklet called "Family Shelter Designs"? It's not a camping guide. Put out by the Office of Civil Defense, it offered instructions on building a fallout shelter -- eight different designs "for construction in backyards and basements, and for use by families who do not have access to community shelters or who prefer that their shelters be at their homes."

"If properly constructed," it notes, "all the shelters have a fallout radiation protection factor of at least 100 -- the minimum recommended by the Department of Defense." We did not have a shelter but one of our next-door neighbors did; I don't know if they used the CD instructions or not.

Then there's the 1935 yearbook from Duncan Union High School in Arizona, which proudly proclaims itself the school's first annual. And a 1948 yearbook from what was then the Georgia State College for Women, with a picture of my chemistry-major mother at work in a laboratory.

And a family book of "household accounts" from April 1950. The list includes 25 cents spent at a bakery, loaves of bread for 16 cents each, "Cokes and Orange Crush" for $1.02.

You can see how the time passes. And how small the world is. From another box: "Peter Rabbit Goes to School" and other books from the old Saalfield publishing company, in Akron.

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