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Friday, July 3, 2009

HOM: 1976 Flashback

Ruth & Dick came out for a visit and some sightseeing, so Mom & Dad, Gordon & Lois, and Lyn & I got together for a day in Glacier. We took three cars and started out by going up the Middle Fork, then up to Saint Mary's, then back to East Glacier and heading west-bound for Logan Pass. There were some memorable events that day. First there was the meteor . . . We were heading west when something big streaked by barely over the mountains above us. Later the news said it was a meteor that hit someplace in Canada, but what I saw looked a heck of of a lot more like a missile, with a streamlined body ahead of the contrail. It made me pretty tense, and Gordon too. Back in those days, Russia boasted that they would destroy the U.S. before its 200th birthday, and this was getting pretty close to the deadline. There wasn't any radio reception in the pocket in the mountains we were driving through, but we wondered what was going on back out in civilization. Had WWIII started? It was a relief to get back in radio range and find that all was normal with no reports of attacks or invasions. Paranoid reaction? Yes, but remember that in the fifties and sixties nuclear war was a very real threat. Actually it still is, if you pay attention to North Korea. Was it a natural phenomenon or was it man made? I still think somebody's missile got loose, maybe from a Nevada test as the bearing it came from would match that origin, and the government hushed it up. I admit I'd never seen a meteorite before, but I'd seen missiles, and this sure looked like one. The next even was the traffic jam. Two hours of bumper-to-bumper idleness in the middle of nowhere, with folks getting out and socializing and puzzling over what had shut the traffic flow down. We eventually learned that a motor home on the Garden Wall had come around a sharp corner straddling the center line and was clobbered by an oncoming car. It took quite a while to get the mess fixed and cars moving again. Last, and funniest, we stopped at a nice spot and set up a table for the picnic. I don't remember who sat where, but I remember that when the person across from Lois got up the table tipped over on her. Mom was worried, but if I remember right Gordon was laughing while he figured out how to extract his wife from the table. No, I didn't get a picture. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)