“No, Dad, Grandpa doesn’t think anyone’s gonna drop a bomb on us, especially the Russians. And another thing, he’s always thinking about the future. He’s just not scared, like you.”
“Look, son, listen to me. The Russians are gearing up for war. There’s been more above ground nuclear testing these days than ever before—one test every three days, I think I read. And they’re stockpiling missiles and they have a bigger army than we have. And don’t forget about those Sputniks. God knows what they’re up to. You just don’t understand the Russians. And what’s wrong with being scared? I was scared in the Pacific, and to be honest with you that’s what kept me alive.”
“Grandpa told me the Russian people don’t want war. It’s the Communists that hate us. And Grandpa says they won’t ever attack us.”
“Why not?”
“Because they have no balls. That’s what Grandpa says. No balls.”
“So that’s why I’m nuts. Because the Commies have no balls.”
“No, he says you’re nuts because you’ve spent the entire summer—the best part of the year, he says—building a stupid bomb shelter in the basement worrying about something that will never happen. And you know what, Dad, I think he’s right.”
“That I’m nuts?”
“No, that the Soviet Union will never attack us. Grandpa says a man protects himself by the way he thinks, not by what he does.”
“Well, I’m doing what I think is the best for my family. And one other thing. If the bomb does fall, I got news for you, your Grandpa will beat us all down the stairs to get in here first. How ’bout that?”
— Shaping the Story, chapter 13