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jaron summers (c) 2023
“We thought it was worth the risk,” ET said to me.
ET reminded me of Spielberg’s fun feature about a little guy who was trying to get home.
ET and I were flying to San Francisco. The year was about 2002. We were on a commercial airliner.
When I sat beside ET I noticed his tie, beach towel sized.
In addition it had a clasp with the initials ET.
I recognized him from TV.
For an hour he knocked back Scotch; I drank Cokes.
The more ET drank, the friendlier he became. He liked that I had recognized him and chuckled at a couple of things I said.
As we landed at noon in San Francisco he said, “I can tell you want to ask me a question, what is is?”
“Dr. Teller, at the first test of the hydrogen bomb, didn’t someone ask you if you were worried that a chain reaction would vaporize the earth?”
“I wasn’t at the Pacific Proving Grounds. I watched the results from a basement in Berkley on seismographic equipment.”
I had to find out more about our planet vaporizing.
Again, he guessed what I was thinking.
“In answer to your question … sure, we thought there was a chance that the earth would be vaporized. But I felt it was worth the risk,” said the man, known as “The Father of the Hydrogen Bomb.”
A delightful traveling companion … even if he was stark raving mad.
Many think Peter Sellers played Dr. Teller in
Kubrick‘s Dr. Strangelove.