Stevieslaw: Bert the Turtle

Stevieslaw: Bert the Turtle

Those of us of a certain age remember “Duck and Cover.” In my case, I learned it at PS 165, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY—less than ten miles from a projected ground zero. We regularly practiced the art of diving under our desks and covering our heads, so we would be prepared when the air raid sirens announced an imminent nuclear attack from Russia. My childhood included subway stations that doubled as fall-out shelters, clearly labeled by black and yellow radiation symbols that dated back to WWII. The shelters, we were told, were packed with bottled water and government surplus cheddar cheese. My friends and I all expected nuclear war to happen (as it almost did, once or twice) and we grew up with a certain fear, that I believe we carried with us our entire lives. We were the “duck and cover” era in the same way that our parents were the “depression era.”.

You will be pleased to know then that the original “Duck and Cover,” civil defense film, first aired in 1951 and featuring an adorable Bert the Turtle is still available on line. With Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump already talking trash about increasing the strength and number of nuclear weapons, it may be a suitable film to share with our loved ones over the Holiday Season. And, perhaps The Donald, himself a child of New York in the 50’s, should spend some time watching the 9 minute film and reliving his childhood “duck and covers.” He might even Tweet about it.

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