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I went out to get the mail yesterday and had to run back in to grab my camera.  Dramatic clouds after a brief hail storm.

A stressful week in many ways, and I’ve spent way too much time online following the news and thinking about the sorts of things that bring down Presidents.  The Watergate hearings are my first memory of paying attention to politics and I’ve got quite a significant case of déjà vu happening right now.

For those of a certain age who remember the last time:

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A bit of political ephemera I inherited from my father, another political junkie.

 

On the home front, a couple of fun things came in the mail this week.

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Been lusting after this pattern for a while and finally decided it was time.

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I had to order some boring black rayon/lycra knit to combine with some of my other knit pieces and I was unable to resist the lure of the Hello Kitty cotton knit.

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One of my favorite dinners this week–started with this chicken on a Greek pita with veg and topped with this sauce and some feta.

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Saturday evening sewing.  I have obviously not yet learned important life lessons regarding:  1)  NEVER use heavier fabrics like purple twill for a bag pattern that calls for quilting cotton, and 2) NEVER use contrasting thread for topstitching.

On Saturday morning, I took a bus tour through the older parts of Richland, the next town over from where I live.  Someday I really must do a long post on the history of this area (which is super-interesting, at least to me), but here’s the condensed version.

In 1942, the U.S. government chose a parcel of land in eastern Washington state to be the site of a plutonium production facility as part of the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear bomb technology.  At that time, there were two small farming communities there, the towns of Hanford and White Bluffs, plus a few Native American settlements.  The few thousand residents were paid for their land and given 30 to 60 days to leave.  The feds brought in workers from all over the country to raze the towns and construct in their place plutonium-producing nuclear reactors, plus everything that would be needed to house, feed, transport, and entertain hundreds of employees in the middle of the desert.  There was literally nothing and nobody out there, which was by design, as the project was top secret and even most of the people employed at the site didn’t know what they were working on.

The tiny town of Richland, Washington, was unincorporated and became the new home of these workers.  Saturday’s bus tour was to look for remnants of World War 2 and Cold War construction projects in the midst of modern Richland.

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Here’s the bus in front of the Reach museum, which organized the tour.  It dates from the early 1950s, and was used to pick up workers in Richland and ferry them out to the Hanford site.

 

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How things have changed–the bus has ashtrays!

 

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This is one of the H houses built between 1943 and 1945.  Each of the different house floor plans was designated by a letter of the alphabet, so they’re now called Alphabet Houses.

 

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This looks like a B duplex; the windows have been replaced and the house appears to be in pretty good shape.  There were originally about 1,000 duplexes–most are gone and many of the remaining ones are a bit run down.

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I think this is an A duplex.  Note the detached garage at the right; that would be a later addition, as none of these houses had garages.

Richland also still has a theater, a shopping center, a federal courthouse and some other structures built by the government during this period.  And the parcel of land that the government bought all those years ago was back in the news this week because of the mess they made out there and are still trying to clean up.

A big thank you, as always, to Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins for starting Sunday Sevens and keeping us all grabbing for our cameras.

Have a great week, everybody, and keep well away from any 20-foot pits filled with radioactive material, okay?

STH

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