I found this musty handbook from 1962 in a pile of similarly musty magazines and articles in a booth at the Inman Park Arts Festival several years back. The illustrated cover was what initially caught my eye but then I glanced at the large bold lettering at the top and I immediately put it in my "to buy" pile. The cover is classic: your average white American family enjoying life as best as they can after an atomic attack. What I love the most about it is that Mom is in her day dress, apron and all, preparing dinner, and Dad is relaxing in his jacket, smoking a pipe, having just finished reading the liner notes to something by the Ray Coniff Singers, probably. I didn't even take a gander at what was inside until later at home. Most of what you'll find in the handbook is pretty standard construction "how-to's" -- it could've been sold at a Home Depot if they had them back then. In the table of contents you'll find chapter headings with titles like: "How You Can Survive a Nuclear War", "Build a Shelter Now", "Stock Up Now", "Have a Plan of Action Now", "While You Are in Shelter", "Evacuation", etc. This one was interesting: "Guerrilla Warfare", with the tagline, "It'll be done by the people who survive with equipment that survives." The chapter is filled with then-impressive photos of military weapons and vehicles: jets, tanks, missiles, and the like.
I especially liked this picture, which Ward calls "The Loneliest Man in the World," opining that, "Me thinks this was wishful thinking on his part for installing three beds, don't you agree?"
This is how I picture Thers's Uncle Dave, who was supposed to have gold hidden in his Flushing electronics shop, but really just had old canned food and broken electronics, stored against the day when Michael Richards' Favorite Minority were supposed to come marching up Northern Boulevard and target such shops for attack. He also had many, many publications from the John Birch Society, which probably won't surprise you at all.
I hope Spike sees this; it's just his sort of thing.
And a thematic video!