Exhibit News

Particles on the Wall is excited to announce upcoming exhibits!

 

The REACH Museum

June 29 - October 21, 2016.

The REACH Museum
1943 Columbia Park Trail
Richland, WA 99352
Sun & Mon: Closed
Tue - Sat: 10:00AM-4:30PM

Visitthereach.org

REACH POTW Flyer.jpg

 

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Particles on the Wall 2nd edition from Healthy World Press

 


Richland, Washington

 

 

                      

          I grew up in a desert.  A desert twice over, second-growth desert – the first settlers, ranchers and orchardists, were forced out by the government in the 1940s to make way for the biggest stateside secret of the war, the building of the Hanford atomic plant.  The plan, though even its workers hadn’t known it at the time, made the plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.  The high school team was named the Bombers.  The school ring had a mushroom cloud on it.

          My father had a security clearance.  I didn’t know what he did for a living, just that he rode the bus out into the desert every day, like every other father I knew.  At supper he’d tell us sometimes what he’d seen on the forty-mile trip – rabbits, deer, coyotes, goats gone wild.  In winter the goats sheltered in a bank left standing where a town had been, the bank’s cement walls too thick to be flattened.  Perhaps he told us about this because he wasn’t supposed to talk about work.

         I grew up in the wind.  Wind in the cottonwoods of the shelterbelt, then in the walls of the house, or filling your clothes, bringing you dust.  Tumbleweeds rolled through town, down the streets named for dead army engineers, up the ones named for the trees from some greener world.  Past the schools named for the white men who took that remote corner of the West from the Indians.  Past the one named for their Indian guide, and the one for the chief the defeated without killing.  Past the neon atom spinning above the Uptown Theater, “uptown,” a wild dream, a single block of shops two blocks north of “downtown” and its small handful of stores. Past the bowling alley, the Atomic Lanes.

          This is the landscape by which all others are found wanting. The bare hills – such extravagance of browns and grays.  The silvery browns.  The brassy, coppery, golden grays.  The bois de Boulogne, the hills of Umbria, even Seattle just over the mountains – too green, too many trees. The canyons of Manhattan – so much to see, you couldn’t see anything.  Richland had more than enough sky.  Wind was the landscape.  It had swept out the past; the present was dust.  I can almost taste it.  The rain smelled sweetly of it.  Even the snow was dusty. Even the dust, though we didn’t know it then, was radioactive.            

 

                                                                                                            --- Debora Greger

 

Included in the collection, Desert Fathers, Uranium Daughters, by Debora Greger, published by Penguin Books, 1996. Copyright (c) 1996 by Debora Greger. Used by permission of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.