Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Secret City

PHOTO: Some of the first housing in Oak Ridge were trailors... lot and lots of trailors.


I’ve been in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the past two days. It’s the city of my birth. Yep, 60 years ago, little Debbie Doughty made her debut and joined her big brother and parents in our country’s Secret City. I was born in 1951, but a few years earlier in 1943, these gorgeous green hills felt a disturbance in the force as bulldozers and atomic reactors shoved their way onto the peaceful landscape. By August 6, 1945, the proud, but clueless citizen’s of Oak Ridge woke up to the news that they had help build the first atomic bomb that had wiped Hiroshima from the world map.

So, why am I here and not out riding LuLu across the Wisconsin countryside with abandon and flourish? Research. My next novel has the 1943 Oak Ridge as a backdrop and I needed to come ‘home’ to get my bearings. I haven’t lived here since first grade, but it has been amazing how I’ve been able to sniff out schools and houses and other landmarks I can only vaguely recall. Of course, my mom is along and has been sniffing right along with me. Yesterday she showed me the very first little house I ever lived in. She’s also shown herself to be a pretty good research assistant as I had her in the local library and up to her eyeballs in copies of old photographs she needed to catalog for me.

Our work here is nearly finished and tomorrow we’ll head back to Memphis, and then by weeks end, I’ll head home to Wisconsin and my sweet hubby… oh, and LuLu.

I’ve been blessed this week two-fold: I’ve had a homecoming of sorts and have been able to reconnect to a part of me that has been almost lost, at the same time, had the fun of digging in old, dusty files and discovering long forgotten photos (one of my most favorite things to do); AND I’ve gotten to spend some special time with my mom. I’m one blessed giddy gal.

Say, have you had anything good come your way lately? Anything? If so, smile and thank our Creator for such loving attention to detail—I hear it’s one of His specialties.



No comments: