This BBC News story fascinates me. As do all things from this era relating to the Manhattan Project. Part of my interest has to do with the frightening power of nuclear weaponry, and the fact that just like every other technology nuclear weapons are becoming smaller and smaller.
But my real interest stems from the fact that I feel an actual personal connection to the events that took place in that remote New Mexico town. When I see this photo, I can't help but wonder if my grandfather touched this bottle. If it played a role in his work. If he felt any connection to it.
To me my grandfather will always be the quiet, lanky guy, with the big hands, sitting in a pool of light in his big blue chair, reading. The guy who, when we went out to eat Mexican food, would make masks out of the tortillas, drape them over his face, pull out his ears, and stick his tongue through the mouth hole. Who would hang spoons off his nose. Who would participate in ice fights, hucking the freezing little cubes harder than anyone else in the family. Who said, "Rules are for people who don't know their own limitations." And "Why be difficult when with a little more effort you can be impossible." And who I carried to bed the night of his stroke.
I miss him.