This is mandatory reading in these parts, and I believe this should be mandatory reading for all of us. This is a wonderful book covering a story that never got as much play as you would imagine it would.
Peggy Pond Church’s “The House at Otowi Bridge,” tells the story of Edith Warner, an unlikely, unsuspecting easterner who ends up living in a one-room teahouse on the single-gauge “Chili Line” railroad near Los Alamos. This also happens to be the exact location that kindles the beginning of the atomic era.
Warner, over a period of twenty-years, begins to be the bridge between the scientists working secretly in Los Alamos and the pueblo people who have called the area home for longer than any of us can imagine.
Warner is a remarkable person but the main takeaway for me was reading about people who were in rhythm with nature in a wild place quickly being subdued by “progress.”
What went down in Los Alamos forever changed the world, but underneath this reality is an interesting philosophy that I will let Edith Warner say in her own words.
“I began to understand that nothing men may do, not even the atomic bomb, can in anyway touch or change the essence of this country.”
BUY IT, KEEP IT, REREAD IT.