THE SANDBOX ~ Petty Gripes, and Cat Fights
Issue #126 ~ 07/17/01
Dick McCoy (45/46), Anita Hughes (52),
Burt Pierard (59), Bob Mattson (64),
Barbara Franco (69), Geoff Rothwell (71)
>>From: Dick McCoy (45/46)

Re: The Bomb
    David Douglas (62) had it just right in the 7/15/01
edition of THE SANDBOX.
    Those of us in the Class of '45 knew all too well
what graduation would bring. We would certainly be the
fodder in the landing on the beaches of Japan, Operation
Olympus (or Olympic).
    In the summer of '45 I contacted Army recruiters with
the idea of signing up after my "last summer," to put it
dramatically. Then the Bomb was dropped. I decided
immediately to quit the enlistment which was not final,
and return to school in the fall to make up a deficiency
for graduation. I was only 17 and would wait for the
draft, which came after my birthday in December.
    Thus, I have some selfish incentive to decry the
annual bashing of the U.S. each August. The bombs were
horrible, but no more so than the firestorms in Tokyo and
Hamburg started by our incendiary devices. And certainly
no more so than the terrible abuses of the Japanese
wherever they conquered. I had the opportunity of seeing
the results of the Death March from Bataan in two
surviving patients that I cared for as a medic after the
war. Weighing about 80 pounds each, they were not a pretty
    The Bomb was exploded, some 400,000 died, and many
others were casualties. A large and sad number, but not
compared with some 50 million dead during the long war.

-Dick McCoy (45/46)
>>From: Anita Hughes Hogan (52)

Re: cancer deaths in tri-cities
To: Betty Avant (69)
    I think most of us have seen or known many people in
the tri-cities that have died from cancer, whether they
worked in the Hanford Area or not. I worked at Safeway in
Richland for many years. Two of our very young people
passed away of the dreaded disease. One was our wonderful
assistant manager, Gary Gundberg (sp). He was only 32.
Jim Cardone worked with us for years and passed away at
age 35. I have had many friends that were gone by age 52
or so. There have been reported radiation leaks back in
the 40s and perhaps early 50s. Also has caused a lot of
thyroid problems (my wonderful mother being one of them).
>From what was reported on television, I understand that
it was also passed through cow's milk. I think for those
of us that drank raw milk from local friends, that could
have been a problem. I am just sounding off - there was a
tremendous amount of media coverage over this some years

Thanks for listening.
-Anita Hughes Hogan (52)
>>From: Burt Pierard (59)

    The criticism of the killing of "noncombatants" (read
civilians here) at Hiroshima and Nagasaki would make more
sense if it was directed at the "blanket bombing" of
Germany where the Allies openly admitted they were trying
to break the will of the German people to resist. It
would also make more sense if it was directed at the
indiscriminate firebombing of Tokyo (ironically,
disabling the Japanese A-bomb Development Lab) and
approximately fifty other Japanese cities where many more
people were killed than by the two A-bomb attacks.
Apparently these were perfectly OK because they were
accomplished with conventional bombs, not nuclear. Where
is the outcry of criticism and the floating of prayer
candles in response to those events?
    The question that arises concerning the "victims" of
the A-bomb attacks is whether they were really
noncombatants? Recently declassified documents (since
1995) and searches of the Japanese Archives have revealed
that the "Bushido Code" governed the whole Japanese
population. After Okinowa, the entire populace was being
trained to fight to the death and kill as many Allies as
possible before dying. One woman has recounted her
experience of being trained as a Third Grader in how to
kill Americans with a pointed bamboo stick. She said that
she was told (by her teacher) that if she didn't kill at
least ten Americans, she wouldn't earn the right to die.
A civilian Code of Arms was issued to all "civilians"
instructing them in various ways of killing Americans
with common household implements. The Code, similar to
the Military Code of Arms, did not include the word
"surrender." The old men, women and children were also
drilled in military procedures. Do these sound like
    And what about the approximately 100 thousand Allied
Prisoners of War (mostly American) imprisoned in Japan
who were told they would be executed at the first sign of
invasion? Does anybody who knows of the Bataan Death
March and the Rape of Nanking doubt that the Japanese
would have done exactly what they threatened?
    Most of the Los Alamos scientists agreed that the use
of the A-bomb was the right thing to do (to shorten the
war) but would impose enormous demands on future
generations to control this new energy source without
self-destructing. They were absolutely correct and even
though there have been some tense moments, we have
managed to survive 56 years and I can't help but think
that the demonstration of how horrific the alternatives
has somehow contributed to our survival.

Bomber Cheers,
-Burt Pierard (59) ~ Monroe, WA
>>From: Bob Mattson (64)

Re: PC @ PC

At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of
the school team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly
insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic
Virginia chiefs truly like the name. [Bombers] === White
pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or
anyone else's pride. Racist? ===That gay pride should
extend no further than your rights or my rights.
Homophobe? === What does all this mean? It means that
telling us what to think has evolved into telling us what
to say, so telling us what to do can't be too far
behind.=== Incubators for this rampant epidemic of new
McCarthyism === Disavow cultural correctness with massive
disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and
onerous laws that weaken personal freedom === It caught
my attention, please find and read "Winning the Cultural
War" Charlton Heston's Speech to the Harvard Law School
Forum, Feb 16, 1999.

Bomber Pride,
-Bob Mattson (64)
>>From: Barbara Franco Sherer (69)

To: Betty Avant (69)
Re: 7/15 entry in THE SANDBOX
    I, too, work in the medical field. I have also lost
many friends to cancer, most of whom never smoked and
lead relatively healthy lives. I have lived in Bellevue,
Wash., for the past 25 years. Most of the people I know
who have died from cancer have never even visited
Richland or had any association with "the plant". I
firmly believe that we live in such a stressful and toxic
environment (even the good, clean NW), that more people
who have no family histories are developing varieties of
cancer. About the best we can all do is reduce the
critical variables as best we can, i.e don't smoke,
exercise, eat lots of fruits and veggies, if you drink
do it moderately. One of the newer thoughts is taking a
more positive outlook on things can make people feel
better in general as well as reducing illness. Makes
sense to me. I'm sure there will be whole new spin to
elevating symposia as a result of these theories.

Bombers always,
-Barbara Franco Sherer (69)
>>From: Geoff Rothwell (71)

Re: Cancer
To: Betti Avant (69)
    My reading of THE SANDBOX would find this entry a
little tame. My mother died of skin cancer, but I doubt
that it was from anything that my father brought home
from the Federal Building or exposure suffered while they
lived in Pasco in 1952 (when I was conceived!). I think
it was the sun's rays that did it to her, and could do it
to me. Cancer is many diseases and it is up to us to
educate each other about avoiding cancer, particularly
skin cancer, given the intense solar radiation present in
Richland. I would love to learn about alumni battles or
near misses with skin cancer. See you all soon in
Richland for the Class of '71 reunion.

-Geoff Rothwell (71)
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