Sciencescience

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 05:09 PM

Bomb Shelter Honeymoon, 1959 Style!

That 1959 Miami Herald headline proved prophetic for Melvin and Maria Mininson who, after a celebrated two-week honeymoon in a Miami fallout shelter, have remained happily married for an amazing 41 years.

The Mininsons descend into their honeymoon shelter
The pair whose civil defense stunt was featured in numerous newspapers and magazines including LIFE and PRAVDA recall that they had already been seeing each other casually for ten years when, on a date, they heard a radio promotion for an unusual contest. The station, in conjunction with Bomb Shelters, Inc. (a firm whose business card featured a mushroom cloud and the slogan "It will save your life."), were seeking a couple willing to marry and then immediately spend two weeks in a fallout shelter. A "real" all-expenses-paid Mexican honeymoon was promised to the winners.

Reflecting back on the moment that changed their lives, Mel Mininson says with a hearty laugh, "I just looked over at Maria and we both knew it was now or never!" The Mininsons are quick to point out, however, that contest or no contest they would have eventually taken the matrimonial plunge. The convergence of geopolitics, commerce and luck merely served to expedite their vows.

....


Got powdered milk?
Directly after the reception - wedding cake leftovers in tow - the newly minted Mininsons descended into a 12-ft. deep, 6 x 14ft. wide shelter - and the annals of Atomic Pop Culture. Sheriff Tom Kelly, Chief of Dade County Civil Defense, officially sealed the Exit Hatch and a large calendar - marking the days until that seal would be broken - sat waiting to be X-'d off as each of the 14 days passed.

One of the first things that Mel and Maria noticed about their honeymoon suite was how hot it was. On some days the temperature would exceed 90 degrees. They later learned that this was due to the fact that the concrete in the brand new shelter had not yet properly cooled. Indeed, the 22-ton structure had been built in a hurry to meet the demands of the contest schedule.

When not taking Noxzema sponge baths to beat the heat, the Mininsons were kept busy with a strict regime of Civil Defense-issued tasks like applying lime to their chemical toilet and operating the air filtration system with a hand crank. C.D. officials were also obsessed with food preparation in the shelter. "They wanted to know how we prepared the food, what we prepared, what cans we used, why we didn’t eat the peanut butter…" says a still bemused Mel. They also played cards and argued vigorously over the finer points on the rules of checkers. All this activity combined with the publicity machine that whirled above them left little time for boredom.

http://www.conelrad.com/atomic_honeymooners.html








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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bomb Shelter Honeymoon, 1959 Style! (Original post)
wonderwarthog Jun 1 OP
Squeek Jun 1 #1
wonderwarthog Jun 1 #2
Frankenvoter Jun 1 #3
wonderwarthog Jun 1 #8
Squeek Jun 1 #4
wonderwarthog Jun 1 #7
Currentsitguy Jun 3 #11
wonderwarthog Jun 3 #15
Lowrider1984 Jun 1 #5
wonderwarthog Jun 1 #6
Lowrider1984 Jun 2 #9
akaConcernedCanuk Jun 2 #10
wonderwarthog Jun 3 #14
Currentsitguy Jun 3 #12
wonderwarthog Jun 3 #13
Currentsitguy Jun 4 #16
oflguy Jun 10 #17
wonderwarthog Jun 11 #18

Response to wonderwarthog (Original post)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 05:21 PM

1. I remember

seeing the backyard fallout shelters in every other backyard in the 50s.

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Response to Squeek (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 05:24 PM

2. I take note



of where all the old fallout shelter signs are on public buildings.

Ya never know.


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Response to wonderwarthog (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:00 PM

3. And be crammed in with helpless phone drones waiting on orders on what to do next from the govt?

I think not, depending where a nuke goes off I'll watch the wind and go the other direction.

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Response to Frankenvoter (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:55 PM

8. Or build your own...



like they did when it was still America.



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Response to wonderwarthog (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:07 PM

4. I do too!

One of the quirks of getting older...

finding out where all the public restrooms are and...

keeping track of the shelter signs.


Priorities

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Response to Squeek (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:54 PM

7. Yep



One of my rules -

never pass up a bathroom!


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Response to wonderwarthog (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 3, 2019, 05:15 PM

11. I have an original

I pried it off of the elementary school I attended years later when they began to demolish it.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 3, 2019, 09:46 PM

15. Mancave decor!


But now what do I do if the air raid sirens go off!









... and kiss my ass goodbye!

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Response to Squeek (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:46 PM

5. My Dad, an Air Force Master Sergeant, built a concrete one behind our garage.

Once it was finished, he built an extension of the garage over it. It had bunk beds, a special radio, a hand-cranked ventilation fan that pulled fresh air in from the outside, and survival food storage, all in a 20' x 10' x 8' high box. There was a 2-foot square area in one wall that was thinner than the 8" walls, so you could break it out with a hammer and dig your way out, in case the garage fell on it.
My Mom was skeptical all through the process, and once it was finished, she told us "Good luck. I will take my chances with the Russians!" She said she wasn't going to live in that hole.
I guess it is still there.

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Response to Lowrider1984 (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 06:53 PM

6. Thanks for sharing the memory!

I have to wonder how many of these still exist, unbeknownst to the home owners!


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Response to wonderwarthog (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 10:29 AM

9. Yeah,

surprise!

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Response to wonderwarthog (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2019, 11:24 AM

10. Reminded me of one of my favorite DVDs . . . .



Quite an amusing, as well as thought provoking movie



CC

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Response to akaConcernedCanuk (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 3, 2019, 09:43 PM

14. Damn!



Now I have to watch this!


Thanks, C.C.!


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Response to wonderwarthog (Original post)

Mon Jun 3, 2019, 05:20 PM

12. There's a song about that

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 3, 2019, 09:41 PM

13. I miss wingvents



on car windows.

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Response to wonderwarthog (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 4, 2019, 07:36 AM

16. Me too

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Response to wonderwarthog (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:32 AM

17. I still remember the drills we practiced when I was in school

We would have to crawl under our desks and cover our heads with our hands.

Every day at noon the air raid sirens went off for about a minute. Those things terrified me as a child.

Then many years later, I read that we came very close to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, MUCH closer that we were led to believe for decades.

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Response to oflguy (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 06:45 PM

18. I remember well.


I grew up with it too.

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