INT: Before we talk about Sputnik, can I just take you back to something we talked about earlier, again in the first part of the Fifties, you said there was a fear that 'bad people' were coming. Can you tell me about that and what you thought about. You talked to me about hiding your brother.
JA: Oh yes, yeah. There was this element that at some point through all of this there could be people coming into your home, in fact, and I do remember -- you know, very naive thoughts, I'm sure! (laugh) -- but..
INT: (interrupting her) Sorry, when you say 'the people', could you just, say, elucidate who the people are we're talking about?
JA: (overlap) The Russians, OK, yeah.
INT: Let me ask you one more.. What was the fear for you at home.. during this period?
JA: Alright. There was sort of a fear that the Russians could come into your home and somehow take you away from your home and that somehow you needed to be able to protect yourself. I mean, we were talking about bomb shelters, you know, building bomb shelters in the back yard and there were pictures in Life magazines and all these things about building in suburbia, you know, in your back yard you built these bomb shelters and you took water and canned goods and so forth. We didn't really have one. I don't really even know of anyone who did have one, but it was certainly you saw a lot in magazines and this connotation that this was happening somewhere in suburbia USA. But there cwas a feeling if you didn't have a bomb shelter that the bad guys, the Russians, could come into your home and somehow take you or parts of your family away from you and I don't remember so much reactions from my parents but I do remember feeling that somehow I had to think through protecting my brother who was only 3 years younger than me so it wasn't that he was a really really tiny infant, but I do remember thinking of places in our homes where I would take him and go that these people, these enemy people, these Russians, would never ever find us and we would again be, of course, very safe forever! (laugh)
INT: (unintelligible) So 1957, when did you first find out about Sput..
JA: Sputnik. , I don't know if this was the first time but I certainly do remember someone -- perhaps even the principal of the school -- coming around to the classrooms and I think there was even a film or two that they showed us about Sputnik being launched and the beeps that were being transmitted and back on to earth and so forth. I do remember vaguely the dog that they did in the second Sputnik and so forth, but most of all I remember the connotation of what that meant to us as young people, that here the Russians, the enemy, the bad people, were able to do this and somehow this was superior to what we were not able to do. They had somehow gained over us a very important step and perhaps we didn't understand the importance or what that step exactly was, but they did something that we didn't do and we were trying to do it and hadn't quite been able to do it. So as a result of that, very much so, that the students, it was put upon the students to really kind of focus on an education that would allow them to do this, to compete with and overcome and progress past this landmark that the Russians, the enemy, had done. So it was very much the (unintelligible) and of course more for the boys than the girls! (laugh) You know, the education of becoming engineers and going into the sciences and math and all those things much more than they were in the past that I recall anyway. As a result my ex-husband became an engineer, my brother became an engineer! Most of the people that I knew in my small environment went to become engineers! (laugh) After that, after they did that, they went into other things but they were.. I mean we were all sort of conditioned to think we should definitely.. this is what we need to do to overcome this.
INT: Did you during that period think of the Fifties and the Sixties, did you think there was any point where we were going to come to a nuclear conflict?
JA: I'm sure, yes. There were times that we thought that things were closer to a conflict, that the atomic bomb would be dropped either by us or by them and I think it was definitely used a lot as sort of a back-and-forth mechanism and I remember all these horrible films of, you know, 'the day after' or 'the day of' or something and the radioactive kinds of things and people being absolutely incinerated and all these horrible horrible things going on. So I do think, as I got a little older, that there was sort of a reality that there was this thing, this real thing, this bomb, that at any time, if either side kind of decided for whatever reasons, that it could go off and definitely affect all of us very very much. And that, you know, that there wasn't too much we as young people could do about it but it was certainly there within our governments.
INT: Was there a sense that the Russians were out to get Rush.. to get America?
JA: Yes, there was a sense that the Russians wanted to take over the world. That they wanted Communism to be everywhere and that we had to stop them, we had to put up walls to kind of stop that from happening. Now when they came into Cuba, my gosh, I mean they were there! (laugh) You know, they were just right next to us, right next to Florida and very close to our country. And you know, Khrushchev was real and, yes, it was something that we felt that we had to stop and that Korea and Vietnam and all these things came into play more to stop all of that, very much.
INT: Good. Is there a moment that you would say.. was the worst moment of the Cold War for you?
JA: In the Fifties?
INT: Throughout the period.
JA: Hmmm.... I have to think about this one for a little bit! (laugh) , like one particular moment... (inaudible)
INT: (overlap) ....was there a moment when you thought that was it.
JA: Yeah. For me, I think I always took all that very seriously. I do remember seeing some films, I guess it was the Korean War, I don't know, of a lot of people being injured and wounded and so forth. I certainly remember the Bay of Pigs and the whole crew Cuba kind of incident as being very real. But I think I must have been quite young actually and seeing that film on the radioactiveness of an atomic bomb which certainly really stayed with me and I was actually quite fearful, you know, that that, in fact, might really happen to us. It was actually quite terrifying. But there was nothing that you could really do as a child to change any of that. I mean, just.. had to really feel very strongly that your country was absolutely the best and was going to stop this and you just went on with your life, feeling that that's.. what was going to happen.
INT: Did you think -- again, particularly in the Fifties -- that you would survive?
JA: I don't think there was ever any question we would survive. I think it was very very strong that our country was right and therefore we would survive. You know, the right, the best, would always come forward and win and (laugh) you know, I don't think there was any question that we would survive. But that whatever this danger was, whoever came and took us, our country would come and rescue us and bring us back kind of thing. You know, it wasn't any kind of a permanent situation! (laugh) Very naive! (laugh)
INT: Did you think that you and your friends see it as a race, you're in a race with Russia?
JA: I think that was the message that the schools were giving, that there was definitely a race with Russia, the space race, it was very very much, yes. Yes, very much a race.