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We were a safety-minded family, perhaps we inherited this from our elders. Our grandfather was a Detroit policeman, always careful to put his gun out of our reach atop a tall clock in the dining room. Our godfather was a Detroit fire man, who saw more than his share of fires, accidental or arson, depending on the economics of the area. Our father was head of safety, security, and fire prevention for a gas company and its pipeline. How could we siblings not absorb these civic minded concerns (and its free floating anxiety?)
It didn't help that we had regular drills at school to avoid the hazards of a nuclear bomb, we practiced hiding under our desks and cradling our heads in our hands. Tornado warnings had classrooms of children filing into the asbestos rich basement for shelter. I can remember the trucks spraying DTD along the residential street during summer twilights. Kids with less than vigilient parents would play in the fog. Remember the airplanes that we could see out our classroom windows spreading chemicals to destroy the insects that caused Dutch Elm disease. When we romped in the network of city parks, missle silos were never far from our jungle gyms or swing sets.
As the eldest my self-assigned duty was to keep the family in water and food. I'd take the glass bottles delivered by the milkman, fill them wiath water and store them in our fruit cellar cum bomb shelter. We would survive because we were exactly 20 miles from the cross roads of downtown Detroit, just outside the 20 mile limit.
My oldest brother, when young, was very civic minded. He was an up and coming detective in his own eyes when he copied down the license plate number to the dismay of the woman driver who backed into another car and hoped to get away without leaving a note. My brother took pencil and paper out of his school bag (precurser to the modern backpack) and dutifully wrote down her license plate number and description of her car. She followed him part way home pleading with the 2nd grader not to turn her in.
My middle brother hearing a tornado warning on the kitchen radio, ran to his bike and in the spirit of early colonialist and silversmith Paul Revere sped around the block shouting the weather warning. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to cross the street, so only one block was thoroughly warned, while the others not on his route had to use their wiles to survive.
While all these small efforts were mainly our security blanket for childish worries, they did make us feel a little safer and part of our nation's defense. It was probably a better apprach than the neightbor who built a real bomb shelter and collapsed a wall of his house's foundation.