In its heyday, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics went by the Cyrillic initials CCCP. It was the USSR or the Soviet Union or, more commonly, just “Russia,” which was terribly inexact, but which worked in general conversation. Growing up on Amelia Island in Florida, I remember—vaguely—the green U.S. Army convoys driving south on U.S. Highway 1 during the “Cuban Missile Crisis” in October 1962. The U.S. and the CCCP were close to war.
At school we practiced “duck and cover.” The maneuver taught us that, in case of a monstrously bright flash—presumably the Mayport Naval Station 20 miles to the south …read more