In “The 505” this book has major street cred. I’d heard about it for years, but finally realized, as I was driving to go launch a mountain bike ride, that I was driving by some of the EXACT locations described in this book and I should perhaps take the time. Glad I did. Also, I’ve been inside the Los Alamos lab. I’ve donned the clean suit and entered the room where death lives in test tubes. Back in the late 90’s. Memorable. Ten days, in and out. Nondisclosure. Good times.
I learned many things reading this book. Many. Disorder. Panic. Hardship and fear. Constant companions. Nagasaki was NOT the intended second target. Little details that were somehow emitted from my personal, mental history. That’s why I LOVE reading. You get the actual story. In details and you are allowed to create the visual all by your lonesome. Jennet Conant is the mind behind “109 East Palace,”
and she deserves credit for putting this baby together.
At one point in my foray into the lab we opened the door on an old wooden building that hadn’t been used since the time of Oppenheimer. There was an inch of dust on the floor. Rodent tracks only. This moment was a time capsule for me. Pinpoint. Every emotion funneled into that one second. Like what it must have felt like for the boys and girls, scattered in the hillsides, watching the flash of white light as it erupted from Trinity. There was, and is, no going back.
Just for fun I’ve added a few images of my trip to Trinity.
Storytelling Series: Daniel Milnor from Blurb Books on Vimeo.