It’s A ‘Family Thing’


New Mexico Map

New Mexico Map

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It is a common human phenomenon, when faces with one’s (believed) end of life to look backward with clarity. Now, My Dear Readers, I have not received any new news. I have not, yet, had the surgery or biopsy. Yet, I find myself engaging in that behavior. Just today, while talking with one of the few best friends I have… that still calls me… still talks with me… that my condition has not scared away. We were talking and, somehow, I digressed and told James about how my parents met.

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More precisely, where they met and fell in love back before the end of the Second World War. MY father never spoke of this time of his life, and with good reason. My father was an X-Ray technician, during the Second World War, and until he was taken away from work by cancer. It has taken me years and years to piece this together, from old pictures taken of my father and mother. One taken the day they got married on the streets of Los Alamos, and one taken of my father standing outside the building he was housed while stationed during the Manhattan Project[1].

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My Father @ The Manhattan Project Housing 1943

My Father @ The Manhattan Project Housing 1943

(My Father @ The Manhattan Project Housing 1943)

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My mother was born, in 1903, on one of the three Indian Reservations located near the Black Mesa and White Rock Canyon. All three; San Ildefonso[2], Tesuque[3]and the Nambé Pueblo[4] Indian Reservations are located right around the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She left the reservation, as a teenager, and got a job as a waitress in a little diner just off the Los Alamos base. This is where she met my father, and once his tour of duty was complete, they married.

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Dad and Mom in Santa Fe New Mexico circa 1943

Dad and Mom in Santa Fe New Mexico circa 1943

(Dad and Mom in Santa Fe New Mexico circa 1943)

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They were very much in love and, like many other couples at this time, found the events at Los Alamos drew them together. My mother often told me about how she served breakfast, or lunch or dinner to J. Robert Oppenheimer[5], my father and dozens of the others that came off the base to eat at this diner. Now, it wasn’t because the food was all that great at this diner, it was just that this diner was the single closest to the Los Alamos base during the time of the Manhattan Project.

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Map of Los Alamos and Surrounding Reservations

Map of Los Alamos and Surrounding Reservations

(Map of Los Alamos and Surrounding Reservations)

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My father worked on ‘Fat Man’[6] (the implosion type bomb project) that was later drop on Nagasaki, Japan August 9th 1945. My father never spoke of his work on this project, and it is only through much research, study of pictures and comparisons of historical documentation that I was able to put together; my mother’s recollections, the narrative of their early life together, family photos and historical photographs.

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Dad at the Los Alamos Barracks 1944 in X-Ray Tech Uniform

Dad at the Los Alamos Barracks 1944 in X-Ray Tech Uniform

(Dad at the Los Alamos Barracks 1944 in X-Ray Tech Uniform)

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The ‘Fat Man’ bomb was the only device (designed, created and constructed) at Los Alamos that employed X-Ray technicians. These technicians were needed to X-Ray the parts of the spherical ‘shell’ that housed the explosive material. There could be NO weak spots, hairline fractures of defects of any kind in the shell, least the concussive force would escape the shell and not result in the chain reaction of the fissile material in the center.

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Dad and Mom Just Hours Before Getting Married

Dad and Mom Just Hours Before Getting Married

(Dad and Mom Just Hours Before Getting Married)

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Like I explained, at the beginning of this article My Dear Readers, the events of the past several weeks and the (strong) possibility that I might be diagnosed with cancer have caused me to look back. Look back at my life, and at the wonderful turn of events that lead to the marriage of my father and mother, and eventually, my birth. The single greatest destructive device, in the history of mankind (at that point), was being constructed in Los Alamos. My father was a part (yes, a small part… just an X-Ray technician) of the team that built ‘Fat Man’ that was dropped on Nagasaki.

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Yet, in the shadow of the creation of the great destructive device, a great love was born. Out of that love a thirty year marriage was forged and I, my brother Darrel and my brother Ken were born. It really is… well, almost poetic how the Manhattan Project and the ‘Fat Man’ are responsible for my life! If it were not for my father getting stationed at Los Alamos? He and my mother would have never met. My mother, often, told me how “Ken got me out of that God Forsaken place…” and gave her the opportunity to be more than just a ‘Half-breed Waitress’ at little diner in the middle of nowhere.

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Dad Los Alamos Barracks 1944

Dad Los Alamos Barracks 1944

(Dad Los Alamos Barracks 1944)

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That my father excelled, during his training, as an X-Ray technician was the reason he was picked to his assignment to Los Alamos for the Manhattan Project. They truly were ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ and I am so very fortunate to be the son of the wonderful Americans and… a product of American History. I often wondered… just why my father passed away so very wuickly from cancer. Why it spread so very fast, in his body, compared to other men who smoked that were his age. Now, when I realize where my father worked… and on what he preformed X-Rays… well, massive environmental exposure to radioactive materials, at Los Alamos, that would certainly explain why!

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I have no hard feelings. I have no time for, nor any desire, for negative feelings or hatred or animosity. How could I possibly curse where my father was exposed… and bless the union that flowered in that desert? I honestly believe that their meeting was nothing short of a miraculous set of circumstances, that resulted in my birth. Well, the birth of myself and my brothers Darrell and Ken. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the ‘project’ and regardless that the bomb my father worked on… was one of the single greatest destructive forces ever released by mankind.

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If it were not for The Manhattan Project, and my father’s work on that project, my parents would have never met, and I would not be here to write these words and share my stories. I am happy and grateful for the events that transpired which brought me, to you, My Dear Readers. Yes, if it could have happened any other way… if they could have met… if the war could have neded without the use of the ‘Fat Man’ bomb? Of course that would be a better world. Yet, we do not live in that world, we live here in this one.

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the ned of that late-night creation. Yes, it is (right now) 2:33AM Pacific time, Tuesday morning July 29th 2014. I just could not seem to stop my mind from racing over the events of the day, today. I just could not get it out of my mind that… well, the results of my biopsy… just might… tell me I have cancer. It just keeps swirling around in my mind… and I just had to spend some time with my mind engaged elsewhere. So, I will publish this article… and then it is off to bed! I am hoping that I can get to sleep… and not have any nightmares. Well, at least not nightmares that I couldn’t turn into a story, that is!

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Thak you for sitting with me and helping me get my mind off of things. I hope that you have a wonderful day. Until my next publication…

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

PLEASE Shop at The Other Shoe eBay Store!

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http://www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

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© 2010 – 2014 Hanning Web Wurx for The Other Shoe

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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

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