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Interview with Louis John Vitale, May 19, 2004

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2004-05-19
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Narrator affiliation: Franciscan Priest, Co-Founder, Nevada Desert Experience
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nts_000157
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Louis Vitale. Interview, 2004 May 19. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d15h7c55f

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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Louis Vitale May 19, 2004 San Francisco, California Interview Conducted By Mary Palevsky © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Louis Vitale May 19, 2004 Conducted by Mary Palevsky Table of Contents Fr. Vitale recalls his childhood, family history, college education, and experiences in the U. S. Air Force. 1 After completing his military service, Fr. Vitale decided to undergo spiritual training and become a Franciscan. 4 Upon leaving the seminary, Fr. Vitale embraced social activism. He supported Cesar Chavez, anti- Vietnam protestors, and other popular causes. 5 Fr. Vitale studied sociology at the University of California- Los Angeles ( UCLA) and continued to support activist groups. 8 Fr. Vitale participated in anti- nuclear protests at the Nevada Test Site and the University of California- Berkeley. 11 Several demonstrators, including Fr. Vitale, were arrested at the Nevada Test Site for protesting against nuclear testing. Fr. Vitale also discusses his views regarding the morality of warfare, bombing, and the use of nuclear weapons. 18 Fr. Vitale describes an incident from his Air Force career in which he was directed to shoot down a commercial airliner that had been misidentified as a Soviet bomber en route to Chicago. 23 A wide variety of protest groups have held demonstrations at the Nevada Test Site, including NDE, Greenpeace, the American Peace Test, the Nuclear Freeze Movement, various faith- based groups, and several other organizations. 25 Fr. Vitale describes witnessing the crash of a Stealth fighter as he participated in a symbolic exorcism at the Nevada Test Site. 32 Fr. Vitale expresses his concern over the development of low- level nuclear weapons and voices his opinion that nuclear weapons testing fails to produce a viable deterrent to nuclear war. 36 A new generation of social activists has emerged to protest the development and testing of nuclear weapons. 41 Vitale_ L_ 05192004_ TOC_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Louis Vitale May 19, 2004 in San Francisco, California Conducted by Mary Palevsky Mary Palevsky: We’re going. Louis Vitale: Well, my name is Louis Vitale. I was born in Los Angeles County, San Gabriel— it was east San Gabriel, it wasn’t actually a city then— on June 1, 1932. So I’ll be seventy- two on the first of this month, June first. My father was actually born in San Francisco, but his mother died not long after he was born, and they went back to Sicily. He grew up there, or at least from five to twelve or seven to twelve, something like that. And when he came back here he really was an immigrant, he didn’t know the language or anything; even though he was technically native born he was still seen as an immigrant. So I grew up in a family with that kind of mentality. He was in the fish business. He was successful; it was a moderately good- sized business. He was extremely grateful to this country that when they came back he said— I remember him telling me one day how they came up here to San Francisco, we came to a family wedding and he was staying at a suite at the Hilton and his brother was there and they were having a party for my dad’s birthday. And my dad was musing on the fact as we drove in that he remembered walking the streets of San Francisco when they came back and wondering if he would ever, ever be able to eat in one of these restaurants in San Francisco. I say that because my father was extremely grateful to the United States, that he had been a street kid in Sicily and here he wasn’t. He never graduated from elementary school. He had one year of schooling because of this going back and forth, and yet he was at one point the president of the National Fisheries Institute of the United States. Because he was very active in the Italian- American community, he was introduced in the Senate on his birthday. Something like that, so he felt— I’m not saying UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 there’s any great success in America— but he felt that he had received a level of well- being in the United States, socially, politically, economically, that was unimaginable to him as a child. I grew up in that kind of milieu, went to good schools and so forth. I spent a little time at Notre Dame. I transferred from Loyola because I needed to be closer to home. But anyway I grew up around people who were upper middle class, that kind that Andrew Greeley talks about. The fastest upward mobile group in America had been these immigrants that came around the turn of the century, mostly Catholic immigrants, and he was too. I felt a lot more entitlement than my dad did, and I didn’t have a whole lot of hesitation when it later came on to taking some more questioning stances than he did. But anyway I started out well. Like many of our political figures today, I went to college. The Vietnam War was coming. We all, or most of us anyway, went into ROTC [ Reserve Officer Training Corps] so we could go on and finish college, and come out officers. I went into the Air Force. I was an intercept officer. The book [ Ken Butigan, Pilgrimage Through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site ( New York: State University of New York Press, 2003)] says that I was a pilot but I wasn’t. I was an intercept officer, which is the back seat jock in two- man intercept aircraft. What does that mean, “ intercept officer”? The intercept officer is in a two- seater air defense fighter. I ran the radar, ran the intercept. The pilot would get us there and then I would direct the intercept so that we would shoot down the plane, with the radar lock- on, directions and all of that. I was also a navigator so I could’ve been in a bombardier. But as far as navigating on strategic aircraft, I had that much alertness that I didn’t want to do that. That’s the only thing I can remember as a kind of social conscience or social protest, I didn’t like the idea of dropping nuclear bombs on anybody. But other than that, I UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 voted for Republican candidates. I thought Eisenhower was a good general so he’d be the right person to run the country. I had that kind of mentality. Let me ask you a question. You said “ dropping nuclear bombs” so you know that you’re in a plane that’s going to drop nuclear bombs. I figured I’d be in SAC [ Strategic Air Command], yes. I did have a slight astigmatism to distance, which is why I wasn’t a pilot, but I had good grades and things so I could pick pretty much choose [ 00: 05: 00] where I went and what I was in. And so the action would have been in SAC, in the Strategic Air Command, for that field. I went into these interceptors because I could see shooting down bombers that were coming in but I didn’t see myself as being on a bomber crew. There’s a magazine I have, I could show you. The Italians did one in which they did an interview with me and they got a little mixed up: they have a front page story in which it tells about me being the pilot of the Enola Gay who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable. I thought, Oh my God, my enemies have done this to me. I was stunned when that came out. But anyway, it was a mix- up actually. I think it was the tail gunner of the plane over Nagasaki who entered a monastery, and so since I was being interviewed, because I was a known Franciscan who had been in the military but was a pacifist now, I think they mixed those up or something like that. Anyway, so I came out of the Air Force very young. I debated about maybe making it a career. This was in the 1950s. I graduated from college in 1954 and I was in until about 1957, 1958, in the military, and when I came out I debated about possibly staying in. The guy I flew with and I, we were just super gung- ho. We thought we were the most noble, dedicated guys in the Air Force, just like people you see testifying from Iraq or any of the other war zones. My family were all in business, and my uncle had sent me the applications for Harvard Business UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 School. That was just beginning to be the thing, to go get an MBA. And then I had just gotten this desire to be a priest and as I searched that out, it was maybe to be a Franciscan and follow the way of St. Francis, and I had that application in my hand. So either one of those two applications— Harvard Business School or go to the Franciscans— or stay in the service, and I debated those. I chose which clearly was the least desirable for my father by leaving the Air Force and going to the seminary, entering the Franciscans. So that’s what I chose to do, but I still had the same kind of politics and so forth. I was very loyal to the American position and the American way of life. I’m technically a “ Korean vet” but the Korean War was really basically over, and so we were in the beginning ages of really the Cold War as I entered the Franciscans. In our training, the first years, you’re undercover. We had a couple years of college at Mission San Luis Rey, also very remote, and then we had a year of spiritual training at Mission San Miguel, very remote at that time. We never went out, never went anywhere. We didn’t see magazines or newspapers or much of anything like that. So I adhered to those kind of politics. Then I spent four years at Mission Santa Barbara in theology school and we were still very much confined, housebound. I remember that my pulse was so low that if I went to give blood I’d have to jump up and down, and I’m very hyper normally. But I began to get exposed through some of my mentors, some of the teachers. Very many things were happening, and that was the early 1960s. Well, most significant for us was the Vatican Council in the Catholic Church. It was beginning to raise questions. The fact that as the bishops from all over the world came together, they brought questions from where they were coming from. And the forum itself was the first time in about a hundred years that there was a forum, because normally things just came down and here it was and you were told what to do. But this was a somewhat democratic forum, and so we began to raise questions we had never UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 raised before, which were regarding Church practice: Why do we go to church and we don’t understand what’s going on because they’re speaking Latin? Or why is the priest facing the other way? Et cetera, et cetera. There were a lot of just superficial things, but then to me what was fascinating, and for some reason really struck a chord with me— even though I had not been a social activist— really touched a note with me was the questions coming from the poor of the world. What can we say about the poverty of the world and the struggles of the world? And then somewhere and I don’t even know where it came from, I got the sense of war and all of [ 00: 10: 00] that. The Vietnam War was going on, so when I got out of the seminary that was a very big thing. And in fact, the last year I was there we even were allowed to go to a peace march and I began to, well again questioning, Why are we doing this? Why are we there? I used to fill questionnaires out on this, as to What made you change from being so pro- whatever the United States was doing and then to be so challenging? But I guess part of it was that process of what was going on in the Church. And then I extended that to society, people I was around. I remember coming out of the seminary and right away saying to somebody, Do you know anybody that’s doing anything about the Vietnam War? I met a young Maryknoll priest and he was quite involved. Well, he says, well, come with me, we’re meeting with some clergymen and we, ve got a group in Los Angeles called, let’s see, it was— we got involved in supporting the draft resistance, I forget now, “ Clergy for Support of Draft Resisters.” And so that was what I felt committed to. I got involved with them. I also got involved with César Chávez and the farm worker movement. Our Franciscans were involved with him very early on. He was just becoming active at that time, but that was considered radical in the Church. And the area where he was, the bishop was not open to people UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 coming in there and supporting him. They were very locked in with the growers. So we would go in there and we’d bring food and things and then we would go out into the fields and support those who were striking and observe what was going on. I got to know César Chávez. I was extremely impressed with his nonviolence. That was really my first encounter with that. Would he talk to you about it or would he talk to groups of people about it? Yes. He did both. I had good access to him. In fact one time he did this twenty- five- day fast. It was broken when Bobby Kennedy came and Walter Reuther and all of that. And I remember that I went to the breaking of the fast. That poster there [ indicating poster] was given to me by his wife. That’s a little bit of recognition— I think they had a recognition breakfast or something. Anyway, I was there when they had this historic breaking of the strike. I remember Walter Reuther was there, the president of the United Auto Workers. And right at Delano in this place called Forty Acres, which was the headquarters of the farm worker union, were these big towers and they were the Voice of America. And I remember Walter Reuther pointing out in the shadows of the Voice of America, which broadcast to the world the wonderful lifestyle of America, [ saying] We have people living like this. So I was very impressed with these kinds of people. Also I even was involved with some civil rights leaders. That was going on too. I was in Chicago; I went to Chicago for summer school and met Dr. Martin Luther King and that was all very active. So it was really a very exciting time, stimulating time. Let me ask you this thing, because what I’m hearing and I’m wondering if this would be a correct way of understanding what you’re saying. When you leave the Air Force as a young man, your choice to go into the Franciscans, something must have been calling you in a direction of a religion as opposed to say an MBA, as you say, but it almost sounds as if it’s when you have been there a while that this, for lack of a better word, epiphany or some kind of insight comes. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Sometimes you hear people saying, I knew that I was called and so I went into the— whatever religious order it might be, but it sounds like there was a progression somehow. There was. There was probably two stages actually. I haven’t really thought about this very much, but one would be, I was in college, I was a very big social activist, you know, “ party- party.” I ran for student president or senior class president on a party ticket, “ party- party” ticket. I actually lost. I’ve always been ashamed to mention this but I think that all of a sudden I got this, How could God let me lose when I’m such a good guy? or something like that. It rained the day of the elections and my friends were farther away from the polls and they were in the business school and they weren’t going to bother to go, something like that, you know, how could this happen? All of a sudden I got this light on that maybe God wanted me to do something else. Now I was ready to go join the Jesuits right that day and all of that, and I said, Take it easy; graduate. And then I graduated and went in the service. But there was that religious call, it that kept coming back to me when I was in the service, even though [ 00: 15: 00] I was pretty “ party active.” The last year I was there I bought myself this little Jaguar roadster, I had to have it. I just found a new girlfriend and I was like “ party- party” and all of that. But I had this other thing in me— there was some other call there— it was basically a religious call. And then I was searching where to join and I thought the Jesuits would send me to school and I didn’t want to go to school. The Franciscans ended up doing the same thing. If you join the diocese priesthood you’re stuck in the diocese. People warned me that I’d be too close to my family, my family said I’d be too close to my friends and I’d never have enough time to concentrate on what I was doing. I saw a book at the Trappist monastery on religious groups and it had the Franciscans and it said that you have to have a love for God, a love for your fellow man, I guess they said at that time, and a good sense of humor. And I thought, Oh that sounds UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 like a good outfit to go with. But I think it was destiny. I think either God called me or there was an instinctive part of me that gravitated toward that. I’d met a couple of Franciscans that my folks knew. While still in the service I remember this one young airman who’d been with the Franciscans who said, Once the little poverello St. Francis gets a hold on you, you can never let go. I guess there was something there that I hadn’t even really wrestled with— I do remember the fact that I did read a book about him and I was very struck by the fact that he had come from a business much richer than mine, but businessman father and gave that up. And I guess I— maybe because it was romantic or what, but that did touch me, I do remember that, it touched me. So I don’t know. But I think it was when I went to the religious training and then was going through theology school, and then the changes that were going on between the Church and the society. In other words, the 1960s. It was like it was in the air, the chemistry of the 1960s. It would either take you one way or the other. And even though all my family, all my family, were to the right, I went to the left. In fact a very good friend of mine who was extremely radical, more radical than I was, although he went out of the country, very, very radical, his brother was an FBI agent and we used to laugh about how in many families that the religious journey, pilgrimage if you want, took us in a kind of different direction. I remember when I did come out of seminary, I was sent to UCLA [ University of California at Los Angeles] to graduate school because they were going to have me teach in the Order. We had a college. And they chose sociology because they didn’t have anybody doing that, which again seemed to be a good choice for me. I went to UCLA and the Watts riots were going on, there was just all this activity, and of course the youth movement. So I got a lot of exposure to a lot of things, and I got involved there in the peace movement. And I remember Dr. Spock UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 did this thing. Remember? He did this thing where he collected draft cards, and of course these were kids that their mothers had raised on his books, and he got a prison sentence. He and [ William] Sloane Coffin, I think, there were two or three of them, they got these prison sentences. So we said, Well, we’ll do just what they did so they’ll have to send all of us to prison if they want to pursue this. So we did that. I was in Los Angeles going to UCLA, and living in our Franciscan house in downtown L. A. I remember going over to the federal building and saying [ to myself] on my way there, what are you doing? Everything that you have held dear— your patriotism, you love the country, you���re a veteran, your position in the Church— you’re going to get thrown out doing this kind of stuff. And your family, you’re going against all of those. And I remember thinking that, and then it was just like this is like the cutting of the umbilical cord or something. It was like, well, there I am. I can do no other. And it did happen. Really all of those came down on me, not super heavy. I managed to slide under the ropes partly because I was a graduate student, and even as a religious priest I had more freedom than somebody who was in the parish in Los Angeles I would’ve gotten more and more control on me. But in the Franciscans we’re just a lot more open than other groups were. Our head, our what we call Provincial, was very open. Who was that at that time? Alan McCoy. He’s in L. A. now. Anyway, he got very involved in all the Latin American [ 00: 20: 00] stuff in the Church. So I was open to a lot of that. I almost got involved with the Berrigan brothers [ Philip and Daniel]. We were trying to find them the just before they did their first action. They invited this Maryknoll friend of mine but we couldn’t find them. They were at some hotel, so we missed the opportunity. So I became involved as an activist, but meanwhile I went to school. I was finishing a graduate program. Our college had closed by then. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Where had the college been? In Oceanside, at San Luis Rey Mission. The bishopric of Reno, which included in those days all of Nevada, contacted our Provincial— he’d heard about something. We had what they call a chapter, an assembly, and some of us had actually brought up the fact that we should be doing more work with the poor and maybe some work around peace. And it got in the papers and so the bishop there was wanting to do something in the city, particularly in the Westside community. He had worked in Open Housing in Michigan and so they asked our Provincial if we had anybody who could come and work there and our Provincial said, Well, before we do anything like that, we’d probably want to do a study or something, and we do have a young Franciscan who’s working in sociology and he could come over there for three months, or I think he said less than that, thirty days or something. Anyway, so I went over there and started looking around and living in that neighborhood and seeing what we could do, how we could support welfare mothers and farm workers and that sort of thing. Meanwhile the Vietnam War was still going on. This was about 1968. And so there was a very small group of people— Leonard Storm, who was the head of the biology department at UNLV [ University of Nevada, Las Vegas] and a very active Quaker, and a small, small group of people— that were protesting the Vietnam War, and I joined with them. We had some little tiny protests and then I remember that I got a letter from someone who later became one of the editors of Commonweal magazine. He said that we’re winding down the Vietnam War but we just had a discussion that the real threat for humankind now is nuclear bombs. They were just growing and growing, nuclear bombs and this nuclear arms race. And somewhere about that time someone mentioned to me about the nuclear test site [ Nevada Test Site] near Las Vegas, and when I was younger, even in the military, I can remember seeing pictures of the above ground tests going off and the impact it had and all that. I said, Is that still going on? So I asked a UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 minister friend and he asked some parishioner, Ron Kiehn, I think it was. There was [ Harold] Cunningham, [ Frank] Strabala, and Ron Kiehn, or something like that. I can look that up. So these are the REECo [ Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company], EG& G [ Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier] people. Ron was in this other minister’s church and so he said, I’ll ask him. He’ll know what’s going on. And then he said, Yes, they do do this testing, and he said something about protests. He said, Well, the government has found out if you do the most objectionable things in very remote places, nobody’s going to bother you. And I remembered that there were some military evaders that went on trial here in the Presidio in San Francisco and there were so many protesters that they moved it to Barstow. They moved the trial to the military base there in Barstow. There was this one priest that I knew, an Episcopal priest who worked for Clergy and Laymen Against the War in Vietnam, and he went to represent and to protest, but he was the only one. They had a little motel or something out in the middle of the desert. He stayed in a motel, but they had a remote place and they didn’t get bothered by anybody. And I thought about that and I thought, “ yes.” I still find that challenging, this statement that the military figures, if they do the most really despicable things in places that are very difficult to get to and unpleasant, nobody’s going to bother them. [ 00: 25: 00] So we began then to look into that, and actually we began with Dr. Storm and his wife Trudy and they had a couple kids and then a couple of other people, just a few of us. Do you remember names of those people? No, I don’t remember. Anyway, Storm was a real figurehead at that time, between the university and the Quakers, and you’ll find him in the university records for sure. He’s deceased, so his wife Trudy remarried and lives, I think, in Bakersfield. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 So we would have little vigils at the Atomic Energy Commission, the AEC. This would be around 1970 or maybe very early 1970s. OK. So this is earlier than your later protests? Yes, this is pretty early. Oh yes, way before. Yes, definitely. No, we didn’t do that until 1982. So at that time we didn’t even have the energy to go out to the test site so we gathered there at the Atomic Energy [ Commission] building. It was the Atomic Energy Commission, then it became ERDA, Energy Research [ and] Development Agency, and then it became the Department of Energy [ DOE]. So the AEC building in Las Vegas was where at that point? People talk about— I can find it. Yes, it’s— I’d know if I— not too far from where it is— no, they’ve moved now. Where are they— Bechtel’s at a different place now. They’re out at Losee Road up in North Las Vegas now. It was right west of Circus Circus [ casino]. That’s the road that goes down there— I forget what that is. There’s a post office on that road and there���s a— at least there was. It was the next major road over from the Strip there, or on the other side of the freeway. Right. That’s fine. Yes, anyway, so we would have these little gatherings. This one gal, Diana, and then the Storms had their little kids, they’d be in the circle and we’d just do an hour or two of protest. And so then we found out about the neutron bomb. I think it was the first time we went out there, and I’m not sure what year that was. It was the early 1970s, and we went out to the test site and had a little vigil out there. And that was the beginning. Now if you talk to Sister Rosemary Lynch— have you talked to her? I’m going to. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 OK. Rosemary talks about the first witness at the test site and this book, Butigan’s book, is about the second witness that started in 1982. But Rosemary really talks about how before people came from California and so forth, they were working out there. And I was part of that when I was still there. I was there regularly until 1979 and then I was elected to the head of our province order and I went to California, but then I would go back for these protests. They were there all along, and I think with the Sagebrush Alliance, but Rosemary was part of that. And then we started going out there and there was an incident when the Hibakusha [ Japanese survivors or Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings] came and so forth, and we did different things out there at that time. Nobody got arrested. There was a group that came from Japan, the survivors. But anyway so we started getting involved with that. Our role was, we were there, we had put together a little group called the Franciscan Center with a little bit of funding from the diocese, and it was a center for social justice in the southern part of Nevada. We were working with welfare mothers, with open housing, and we did some work around farm workers up in what do you call it? It’s a city when you’re going north towards Utah and they have casinos there now. Overton. In that area. I was always very fascinated by the issue of the test site and I think that that comes from having been in the military. Rosemary was interested also. There was Fred Landau, he was working at the university [ UNLV] and may still. [ 00: 30: 00] Anyway, I should know because I knew him really well. We would do things around, trying to raise the issue. I remember we came over here to this area one time and there was a conference in Santa Cruz not about nuclear testing but just nuclear weapons. We went, Fred and I went to that and we said that we were representing Nevada where they did nuclear testing. And he was saying, They don’t do that anymore. You know there’s been a moratorium on testing, because they were just UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 thinking of above ground testing. And even within people in the antinuclear movement, they didn’t know anything was going on. They were doing lots of testing at that time, lots of testing. And fortunately the person who was conducting this is a well- known activist but I don’t remember his name either but from Columbia University I think. He said, Well, yes there is, they are doing some, but it’s all going computer and within another year or two it’ll be gone, and this was still in the early 1970s. So anyway we made our little fledgling efforts. Well, then what happened was that I remember when Rocky Flats [ Colorado] became a big issue, about the nuclear weapons there, and they developed some large actions there where they got a lot of people. Meanwhile there were some hearings around nuclear exposure, at the Nevada Test Site, so they had hearings in Las Vegas. Very, very interesting. Sister Rosemary was quite involved in that. And there were congressional people that came. They got lots of people. But that’s where we were shocked. We had people off our street going and testifying how they would be sitting on their porches and they were just getting Geiger counters and it was going off the scale. They were jumping up and down on the porch; they were so hot at that time, how many family members had died and all of that sort of thing. I guess that was after Baneberry so there was a lot about the Baneberry victims. Sister Rosemary had known some families, she had gotten to know families, the widows thereof and so forth, and the lack of response they were getting. So we were getting more and more interested in that, about survivors and all of that. But I remember when th