Monday, February 8, 2010


Good afternoon.  A cold, but sunny day in the city.  Well, the dreaded dental appointment was completed, and the wisdom tooth is gone.  Almost chickened out again...especially when he told me that my new piece is ready for a try on, but not complete.  But, I was pretty proud of myself....and tired of going through all this anxiety, so I told him to tighten my old one and take the tooth out.  I've vacation time coming, and if it didn't stay in, I'd take some time, but it appears to be working. 

I was really taken aback yesterday when I heard the news about that power plant explosion in Connecticut.  Brought up some old childhood memories.  You know, usually when we talk about our childhood memories, 99 % of the time, what we talk about is those great memories...the fun memories like spinning in the rain and not caring what you look like, bike riding, games of hide and seek, tag...your first friend.  I know that these are the first memories that come upfront for me. 

We tend to forget or brush off to the side those memories that we want to forget; but the truth is, not all was fun and games when I was growing up.  Not too long ago I spoke of growing up in the age of the nuclear missle crisis...participating in air raid drills when the whistle would blow and all of us children would form a line and move into the hallway.  There we would sit, backs against the wall, knees up, heads down, arms crossed over our that would really save us.  I also remember many a night sitting up in bed, watching sky, watching for that dreaded missle to come into view.  What horrors for a child to endure.

But, that's not the memories that resurfaced when I heard that news yesterday.    I know what those families are going through and my heart and my prayers go out to everyone of them.  You see, yesterday's headlines were the headlines from the past for me.  I grew up only a few miles from the Picatinny Arsenal.  The article here speaks of an explosion in a powder plant that happened September 12, 1940.  I hadn't been born yet, but I lost an uncle in that uncle I would never get to meet.  The following plaque lists the names of all who died in that blast.

My dad, my grandfather, and my aunt all worked at Picatinny Arsenal as well as the families of most of my classmates.  It was the only place to work back then...aside from the mines which were also a dangerous place to work.  But those headlines yesterday brought back those memories of sitting in a classroom, and suddenly, the loud explosion.  We never knew if our families were a part of it or not.  I remember one time my aunt had a close call, when one of her co-workers had their fingers blown off.   But they went back, day after day, those brave men and women. 

When I turned 18, I went for an interview there...and I was hired.  The 'hazardous pay' was fantastic, but not enough to tempt me.  I had a lot of living to do.  I'd seen and heard too much of what went on there.  I know today there are probably many more safety measures taken, but we're talking 40 odd years ago.  So, I worked in a few other factories for minimal wage until I realized that I wanted more from my life.  Hence, I moved to New York City. 

So today I ask that we all say a prayer and light a candle for all those who perished or were injured in yesterday's blast.  I've lived through it.


  1. Yes, we should all remember those who suffer or die through workplace accidents. They pay the hidden toll for our consumer society.

    P.S. Glad that tooth is gone! Hurray for you in finally getting it out.

  2. So sorry to hear about the blast in Connecticut and the one your family had to endure as well. Those folks are very brave and what are you going to do if you have to make a have to work somewhere. Thank you for a meaningful post.

  3. You are so right about remembering the good times on our blogs...
    I remember the fears of the 1950's and nuclear bombs coming from Russia. How silly now, but then....ya.
    Sorry to hear of the losses your family endured but good to hear of your smart decisions. And yes, a prayer or two going out to the families involved in the latest blast. How sad...

  4. I was sorry to hear about the accident. It made the news even here in Finland. :(

  5. Hello Mary..
    Just stopping by to say hello. These accidents are so sad...I'm sorry you lost an uncle in this manner. So tragic for all families involved.
    I do hope you've been well and keeping nice and warm this winter.

  6. Bringing up memories of the cold war. Let us hope that never gets back like it was. Glad to hear you got the tooth taken care of. Will the Tooth Fairey be coming? :) X.

  7. so good to hear you are getting that tooth taken care of.... I agree with steve... what a find for the tooth fairy.. wonder if the $ goes up the older you get.. If only.... I heard about the explosion dreadful... I will keep them in my thoughts as well as you. blessings

  8. Wisdom Tooth is gone! Yessssssssss!

    And also yes, sadness at that terrible accident.


  9. I kind of wish the tooth fairy would come, but the dentist broke it in pieces. He drilled peices loose and pulled one by one. It took longer, but I didn't have to hear that awful crunch when he pulled it; as a matter of fact, he used that high powered drill which I thought was just loosening around the edges...and I didn't even know when the last piece was pulled. Done this way it needed no stitches, and I have already been eating...but alas no tooth for under the pillow.

    Thanks all for your concern.

  10. I have a dentist appointment this afternoon too. I am probably also taking off a wisdom tooth. Wish me luck.
    This story is still untold. Not many people know what is going on in those places. My first glimpse to that world was through your words.
    Blessed be and i am keeping those families in my heart and prayers