"I can just remember being out on a tractor because back then we didn't have cabs on tractors. And all of a sudden, you'd see this huge shadow coming over. And we was right in the path where just day after day after day [B-52s flew practice missions]. I mean, it got to be a common, a common thing. You knew they was coming over. Boy, they were low! And you could see people in the cockpits, they were that low. And they were huge. I looked forward to them. I mean it was, it was just – Something that big that was able to fly and was so low to the ground. It was a neat spectacle…"
     Question: "There were ICBMs [Inter-Continental Balistic Missiles] planted in a few fields around here rather than crops. Were you aware of that?"
     "Over here by Bradshaw I knew where one of the bases were. And over by Hallam. I knew where there were several of the locations. And I guess I was intrigued by part of this, that we could actually do something to defend ourselves with these missiles in place. And I thought they were necessary. I think when I grew up in the 60s, you know, the Cuban missile crisis. I knew that there were deep concerns and it sounded like there was Communists, Communist Russia against the United States. And if we didn't have some control over that, eventually it was going to be either one or the other, communism or democracy. So yeah, as a kid, I was very concerned…
     "I can remember seeing some humorous things like Mickey Rooney's surviving the atomic bomb tests, you know. And it was an old movie where he comes out and – I mean, he was just fried but he survived this. He wasn't supposed to have been where he was, where they were doing a test. And you started to think how destructive then with, you know, with Hiroshima and those things. You could see how much destruction an atomic device would have."

Paul Underwood – Cold War on the Farm


Other Excerpts from Paul Underwood’s Interview:

One-Room Schools
TV Dinners
Pesticides & Fertilizers