The American Museum of Science and Energy threads
together stories from my youth into a quilt of historic proportion.
This museum is in Oak Ridge, TN, the "Secret City" where my grandparents lived
(the picture above of a home like theirs is part of the museum's
exhibits) and where my mother and grandfather and thousands like them
worked at secret jobs in secret buildings. I grew up summers and
Thanksgivings in Oak Ridge.
Because of Oak Ridge, phrases like Secret City, K-25 and the Atomic
Bomb seasoned my childhood's alphabet soup right alongside Sunday
school, swimming pools and summer camp.
Today, the museum unfolds the real story of atomic energy, the
Manhattan project and, without singling them out, how my family,
unknowingly, was part of America's violent wartime past. Everything
was a secret back then.