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September 28, 2008

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Jeff

John, this duck & cover stuff is inextricably connected in my memory with a particular classroom in P.S. 29 and with a particular event unrelated to the atomic bomb drills. I just can't be sure of the teacher or what grade it was ... the classroom was on the second floor, on the Slosson Ave. side. One day, we were all quietly doing work or taking a test, and a distant siren intruded (on my thoughts, anyway). I listened to it come closer and closer, waiting for that familiar moment when the ambulance would crest the hill and the sound would suddenly become much louder. And so all that happened, and an instant later there was a stunning, explosive crash, followed by the long, long, long winding down of the siren. The teacher looked out the window, grabbed some blankets I think and said, "Stay in your seats," before running out, as if that might happen. We all ran to the windows to watch. This classroom is also connected with the bomb drills because I recall the discussion of ducking under the desks or better yet, under the windows, to be safe(r) from the flying glass. There was also a drill where we filed calmly to the inner hallway, which was dark and mostly free of windows. We would sit down with our backs against the wall. I think the wall was tile at that height, but I'm not sure. Do you remember any of that? Anyway, the tea water's boiled ...

John Ptak

Jeff! I do remember the hallway exercise, but I remember going downstairs in that big (I say "big" but we were 10 or less so who knows)open area that was close by the lunch room and lining up along the walls there? No? I remember Mr. Rotelli being part of this, but little else. I do not remember the siren incident, which sounds like it could've been scary. Was Slosson Mrs. Schrieber?

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