Sunday, July 17, 2016

"The technological equivalent of Pearl Harbor"

Back in the early 1990s I was the managing editor of the local newspaper in the city where the temporary headquarters of the Superconducting Super Collider were located - DeSoto, Texas.

The SSC itself was being constructed due south across the county line in Ellis County, and would encircle (underground) the county seat of Waxahachie. The labs and other facilities were supposed to move to the actual SSC site later.

Coverage of the construction of the SSC was an ongoing news item in my paper, until - of course - Congress cancelled the funding. My editorial criticizing the decision was quoted in The New York Times, and Sen. Phil Gramm quoted one of my lines in a speech, that it was "The technological equivalent of Pearl Harbor."

Years later - after I started a second career as a spec fic writer - I drew upon the experience as an inspiration and jumping off point for my short story "The Witch of Waxahachie", which Mike Resnick liked and Eric Flint bought for Jim Baen's Universe. It was published in April 2008.

Back in 2003 my wife and I bought some property in a tax resale auction as an investment. It has an undeveloped cabin, and over the years we have used it as long-term storage. We are finally selling it, and so yesterday I went to retrieve whatever was in there we wished to save.

Going through a briefcase of very old stuff, I found this button. I dusted it off and gave it a polish, and it looks good as new.

Sure brings back memories.

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