The tunnel in the above image leads to the generator room, where all the juice for my father’s fallout shelter is made. (For background, click here.)
The well pump isn’t really the subject I had in mind when I took this photo. I was looking more at that old flannel jacket. My father was wearing it the very first day of the shelter cycle, when he embarked on his twenty-year journey to tame the future. He still wears the old jacket when he’s in the shelter — because it really gets cold down there.
So here he is: my father. Looks pretty normal, doesn’t he? So, with everything you’ve read and seen, what do you think of him?
The above picture was taken in the supply closet of what was supposed to be a kind of schoolroom, located in the top floor of the fallout shelter my father built when I was about seven years old. (For background, click here.) Many of the books in this schoolroom’s little library consist of children’s stories, mostly Arthurian tales or other similar hymns to fantasy and heroism.
The above image is of a battery bank. It’s one of the many sources of power for my father’s fallout shelter. (For background, click here.) A few summers ago, my father discovered that many of the batteries were corroding and needed to be replaced. So he bought fifty new batteries (at fifty pounds each) and he and I lugged them into the shelter to hook them up to the bank. The math: 50 batteries x 50 lb. = 2.25 tons. Yeah, it was a very long day.
These sneakers have sat unmolested on this shelf for nearly twenty years, since my father first built his fallout shelter. (For background, click here.) Actually, it isn’t fair to call it “his” fallout shelter. A few others still have reserved bunks that they’ll use in the event of global unrest. But there were once many others. Over the years, most have completely divested themselves of the situation, choosing to recede into lives far away. As far as my father is concerned, their lack of communication means they’ve forfeited their right to salvation.
The above picture is of a timing belt for a generator circulating system. (For background, click here.) The circulating system consists of a large series of pumps and belts that can experience all kinds of problems. My father has many spare parts, which is important considering the fallout shelter was built twenty years ago (some parts might be very difficult to come by).
This is a monitor for the diesel tank that fuels the generators that run the fallout shelter my father built. (For more background, click here.) The monitor was installed some years ago at the behest of the environmental quality guys in Helena. Understandably, any fuel tank (in this case a 9,000-gallon behemoth) needs monitoring. So far, there have been no leaks. As you can see, on the day this photo was taken, all functions were normal.
The dark-haired fellow is my father. He’s struggling to open the rather heavy blast door to the fallout shelter. (For background, click here.) Although this shelter can’t take a direct hit from a nuclear weapon, it can withstand quite a lot of shock. The shelter is called a “fallout shelter” because it’s designed to protect those inside from the effects of nuclear winter.
Not long before the Soviet Union collapsed, my father and some of his close associates built a fallout shelter in Montana. Although my family, of course, has not had to use the shelter, my father (like many Westerners) still believes that a nuclear exchange of some kind is imminent.
The above picture is of some strainers hanging from the curved ceiling of the kitchen, located on the top floor of the shelter. The ceiling is curved because the shelter is encased in a rebar-reinforced cement egg, which is designed to withstand the shock of both seismic activity (in the event of earth changes) and nuclear detonations (in the event of disastrous changes in human behavior).
I will post more pictures in the near future of the shelter and related items.