The Cold War Warms Up! Confessions of a Young Wolverine.

My high school class, 1984.

My high school class, 1984.

I miss the Cold War. Lucky for me it’s back.

I came of age during the era of Reagan, tape cassettes, video arcades, and VHS recorders. It was also the age of the Soviet Union – the bad guys on the other side of the planet who were going to nuke us in the middle of a school day, which is why we practiced those duck-and-cover drills. Apparently, hiding under a desk with your hands over your head is enough to counter the effects of a nuclear blast.

Most of us only knew the USSR as a giant,  red-colored country on the other side of the globe designated by a golden hammer and sickle. We knew it was cold there, and that the Soviets liked to  lineup and march in high-stepping fashion while wearing fur coats,  apparently to keep warm.  We knew they had lots of missiles, and were very fond of them, because they were always having parades with missiles instead of floats like normal people.   And we knew they had buildings with big swirly, twirly gumdrops on top, like something from the Candy Land game.  In short, they were like an exotic alien species on the other side of the planet. They even lived behind an iron curtain, which made them sound that much more menacing.

But the thing we knew most about the Soviets was that they wanted to kill us.  There was simplicity in that , and even comfort.   At least we knew who the enemy was  and from where death would come.  We didn’t worry about backpack bombers , or shoe bombers, or underwear bombers.   We knew that if we woke up one morning and the sky was filled with contrails, the end had come .   As long as the sky was clear, life went on. Continue reading