Those who know me know I am an apocalypse nutcase, a nuclear weapon obsessed writer, so imagine my surprise and yeah, delight, when I was told there is an old NIKE missile silo somewhere near where I live.
No way. If you don’t know, NIKE missile sites were placed all around the country and were a line of defense in a nuclear attack. So I researched. Sure enough, I located information on it, then took the coordinates and found it via Google satellite.
Holy shit, it’s 2 miles from my home. Not only is it there, but semi-operational. The only downfall is the warhead is a NIKE Ajax (Conventional warhead). So, after I dropped Baby Frank off with his mom, I decided to take a ride.
“Great One is taking you on a field trip,” I told Violet with excitement, and she in turn shrieked with delight.
In case I was doing anything illegal, I had my story all concocted and ready should the police show up. I made the turn up the winding dirt road that went for about a mile. I explained to Violet how this particular site was constructed in 1956. At the top of the hill we passed by an old fence, the ‘Government Property’ sign dangling and worn.
My heart fluttered with visions of finding remnants of the radar system, and taking a picture of my granddaughter in her sundress. Grass high around her, Violet looking pathetic and vagrant, dilapidated radar in the back, make that photo back and white and you got a book cover!
At the top of the hill there were buildings. Not one looked used, but they didn’t look worn. It was there I noticed the top of the hill overlooked a crest. After parking the car, I grabbed Violet and walked closer.
Whoa. There it was, down below. It looked like an old launch pad with a rundown building next to it. Across the hill . . . the radar. It was covered with weeds and grass, rusted. What a vision.
“Oh, Violet! Pay dirt!” Although it would be a slight trek, it would be worth it, heck, I wouldn't even have to get too close. I could get my shot. So I turned and headed back toward the car for my camera.
It was as we approached the car . . . ‘whoop-whoop!’
Shit. A single police car pulled up. OK, no, I had this. I did. I was standing there holding a baby, obviously I was harmless.
“You need some help? You lost?” The cop asked. “I watched you turn up here.”
At that instant, every reason, every excuse, left me. “Um . . .” Then I got it. “Isn’t there a farmer’s market around here? I saw the tomatoes sign with the arrow. I thought it pointed up here.”
“Yeah, that sign is deceiving, it’s the other road,” he told me.
I thanked him, he complimented the baby, then he stood there, waiting and watching for me to get in the car. As if he knew I had ulterior motives other than tomatoes. I drove off and of course he followed, and because he followed, I had to stop at the tomato stand. Now I’m stuck with tomatoes I don’t want.
Oh, well, I’ll try again on a Sunday.