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Interview with Anne Symens-Bucher, August 6, 2005

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2005-08-06
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Narrator affiliation: Co-Founder, Nevada Desert Experience
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nts_000183
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Symens-Bucher, Anne. Interview, 2005 August 06. 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/d1fn11420

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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Anne Symens- Bucher August 6, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Suzanne Becker © 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 Anne Symens- Bucher August 6, 2005 Conducted by Suzanne Becker Table of Contents Introduction: born Oakland, CA ( 1957), family background, involvement with Catholic Worker 1 Work with Franciscan Provincial Fr. Louis Vitale and Pacific Life Community 3 Involvement with first Lenten Desert Experience at NTS, takes over Instruments of Peace project ( 1982) 5 Forms Nevada Desert Experience with Michael Affleck and Duncan McMurdy ( 1984) 7 Formation of American Peace Test ( 1985) 9 Images of the NTS and its meaning in the antinuclear movement 10 Meeting Terry Symens at the NTS ( 1982) 12 Relationship between NTS protesters and workers, and personal relationship with James Merlino 14 Meaning of “ crossing the line” at the Nevada Test Site 17 Family support of involvement in protest movement, and trying to understand both sides of the issue 20 Marriage and children, training in nonviolent communication with Marshall Rosenberg 24 Meeting with weapons scientist, pseudonym “ Paul” and is influence on her activism 25 Conclusion: reflections on NDE’s and peace movement’s roles in future activism 32 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Anne Symens- Bucher August 6, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Suzanne Becker [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Anne Symens- Bucher: My name is Anne Symens- Bucher, and I was born in September of 1957, September 17th, which is significant in that it’s the Feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis of Assisi, so I love that about me. I’d say I was born into a Franciscan family in a Franciscan parish in Oakland, California. I had five priests in my family, growing up, Franciscan priests. So it shaped me, for sure, in a big way. It’s also Constitution Day, and I can remember one of my great- uncles, one of the Franciscans, sending me a card when I was a kid, pointing out that I was born on the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution and on the Feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis, these two traditions, how they came together in my life. And I think it was prophetic in a lot of ways that he would have said that to me. That same great- uncle was— What was his name? Victor Bucher. He was one of the earliest subscribers to The Catholic Worker newspaper, which I discovered when I went to the Catholic Worker, in New York City when I was nineteen years old. One of the first jobs I was doing was working on updating the filing system and I found a card, his original card, newspaper subscription in the files, as of 1936, and the Catholic Worker started in 1933. So I used to think that the beginning of my activism was my experience with the New York Catholic Worker, but I really think it was the Franciscan upbringing I had that took me to The Catholic Worker. Can you talk about that a bit, what that was like, when you talk about a Franciscan upbringing? Well, for me it was sort of archetypal. With all these priests in the family, there was always, it seemed like, a lot of family gatherings around ordinations or jubilee celebrations. We lived in UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 California, so a number of those would happen at the missions. So I have these memories of being a young child going to these missions and being in these old churches and the incense and the friar processions. I just loved it. I can remember as a child, I wanted to be a Franciscan, but then I also thought, well, when I get married, I’ll have Franciscans as bridesmaids. I mean that was what it looked like. It made a big impact on me. When my uncle was ordained, at the time it was 1964 and my sister and brother and I were the little children who walked up the [ aisle]; we were all dressed up and carried something in the front of the procession. I did that when I was like five years old for a cousin who had been ordained. Even as a very young child, I actually loved— One of my favorite stories is my uncle’s first mass. It was pouring rain, I was seven years old and all dressed up, and we were standing out, and in order not to be in the rain, we were inside the friary which is connected to the church. There was a door through the cloister and there was special permission trying to be gotten to allow my sister and I to walk down this hallway so that we wouldn’t have to be out in the rain. The sense that I had of that as a child was that, you know, the pope himself was being contacted— and I can just remember, it seemed like it was a big deal to be getting this permission. Then when we finally got the permission, I can remember walking down this hall; it was just this dark hall with all these doors that were shut. And I can remember thinking, what was the big deal? What was that all about? Well, many years later when I was about twenty- four years old, I ended up working in that very same hallway, and it was a while before I realized, made the connection, that as a child that had been the same hallway that I had walked down. And so I was actually the first lay person, first woman to start working in the Provincial Office for the Franciscans. I did that when I came back from The Catholic Worker. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 I lived there with Dorothy Day and that was a big mind- opening experience for me. I went to The Catholic Worker because I wanted to give my life in service of the poor. [ That] is really what I wanted. I took really literally the notion that the extra coat in my closet belonged to the poor and I just wanted to live that way. I was attracted by those kinds of ideals, and not so much any kind of activist political analysis, which I didn’t really have. So it was a very eye- opening experience to be there. And we went down to [ 00: 05: 00] D. C. and were part of a protest in front of the White House when President Carter was entertaining the Latin American dictators. I remember that vividly. My first demonstration before that was actually at Shoreham, Long Island nuclear power plant that they were putting in. That opened up all that world for me, and when I came back to Oakland to start a Catholic Worker, I had way more of a consciousness about it. So it was what was going on in the world. Then in, I guess it was in 1981, [ I] got to be friends with Michael Affleck. Now, I was wondering, have you talked with him? No. I mean he’s another person that would be great to talk with. I would love to. Yes. By the way, he is going to come out here for our twenty- fifth Lenten Desert Experience [ LDE] in March of 2006. OK. Good. Good to know. Yes, I called him up and I said, OK, it’s LDE 25. You’ve got to come back. So he said he would. Anyway, we were friends, and he had approached Louis Vitale to do this eight hundredth anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis, Instruments of Peace project. I was just captivated by UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 the whole idea of the Lenten Desert Experience, which is what it was called, this going out into the desert for this forty- day vigil. And this is out at the [ Nevada] test site [ NTS] that you do this. Right. Had you been familiar with the test site? Had you really known much about it before? I knew about it. When I started working for Louis— Louis became the Provincial of the Franciscans right about the same time that I moved back from New York City to start a Catholic Worker in Oakland. And I wanted to support the house by the work of my hands, not just donations, which is the traditional way Catholic Workers are supported. So it just worked out for me to start working for him. It was very part- time and I was like a part- time secretary. As I got to know Louis, I got to know [ about the NTS] because he had just come from Las Vegas, so hearing the stories. But I hadn’t known anything about it. I had been involved with a group called Pacific Life Community prior to going to the New York Catholic Worker. We were focused more on Lockheed Missile and Space. That was where I did my first civil disobedience. But I was very much at that point in my life looking seriously at civil disobedience as something I felt called to, and so the Nevada Test Site seemed like a place where I would want to be open to that. And we certainly had a story that nothing had happened there since the late fifties in terms of civil disobedience or any big kind of demonstrations, and was out in the middle of a very conservative part of the country, very remote part of the country, and that anything we did would probably have some pretty serious consequences. There were a group of us who were actually being invited, as people who were planning to go, to have a reflection process beforehand. There was a number of us, mostly Franciscan men UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 and women who met on a regular basis to study, pray, discern about whether or not we wanted to act and do civil disobedience at the test site. So I was in that process leading up to going down for Holy Week of 1982. But I mean it took one time out there and I just was just blown away by the place. “ Blown away” how? Well, first of all, I had a notion of the desert as a place that I would not sort of enjoy esthetically, so I was really struck by the beauty of the place. I wasn’t expecting it to be a place that I would consider beautiful. So that was a large part of it. But over the period of that week, of going out every morning, just the rhythm of getting up early, going out there, the vigil, something about the vastness of the desert and being at the mercy of the elements and the wind and the cold and how it could change from one day to the next. It was profound for me to be in that kind of a ecological environment. And then just to think about what was going on, out of sight but close to where we were standing. In that first year, that first Lenten Desert Experience, we actually were up the road. [ 00: 10: 00] I’m sure you’ve been told this. We weren’t very far from the actual entrance to the test site, in a spot that had been cordoned off for us. And so we would wander around in that area and we could still find bits of stakes from the tents that had been part of the place where the atomic soldiers had camped. Camp Desert Rock. Yes. And the paths, rock pathways that would’ve been created as part of that. That was very moving for me. I can remember— can we stop for just a second? Sure. [ 00: 10: 43] [ At this point, the recording is paused and then restarted.] UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 I don’t even remember now the name of it, I used to know, but one of the atmospheric tests was right before I was born in 1957. August, I think [ Newton, 09/ 16/ 1957]. Several. I can look that up. Yes. Anyway, but just— Part of the Plumbbob series [ 5/ 08/ 1957- 10/ 07/ 1957]. Yes. Thinking about how— I can just remember standing there and just like this just excruciating pain of, I was born into this age, like never a day in my life was there not a nuclear world, you know. That from the point of which I came into— and I had no choice about it. Nobody ever asked me how did I feel about this, you know, just something I was born into. And a profound sense of connection with the soldiers who had been there and, you know. So being in that place was really very powerful and transforming for me. And then on Good Friday, we started from down the road and walked, did the Stations of the Cross and carried a cross up the road. It was extremely moving in every way I could imagine. I wanted to stay involved and I just wanted to come back again. We never thought that Lenten Desert Experience One was going to be Lenten Desert Experience One. It was just the Lenten Desert Experience. It was a one- time thing, and that was going to be that. But when it was over, Mike [ Affleck] was planning to move back east. He had been the one who organized the year and this was like the culminating event and Louis didn’t want to see it end, so he expanded my job from typing letters to taking over the Instruments of Peace project. And largely what that meant was— I mean I was completely inexperienced. I hadn’t organized anything ever in my life, any event or anything. So I was blindly learning on the job. The second year, I was up in Oakland, and with [ Sister] Rosemary Lynch and Judy Treichel down here, we created an event that was basically during Holy Week. It might’ve only UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 been Good Friday. I’m forgetting. It’s amazing how these things used to be so clear in my mind. But in any event, it was a much smaller witness. It probably was all of Holy Week, now that I’m thinking about it. I came down here and we had different things each day, but our numbers were quite reduced. And then at the end of that, really a sense of wow, we want to really turn this into something. Then Mike and Duncan McMurdy who I had been at the New York Catholic Worker with, we got together and said, let’s go for another big event. That would have been ’ 84. That became the third Lenten Desert Experience. And at the end of the third Lenten Desert Experience, we had a clear sense that we wanted to create an organization and keep this going, and so it was in August of 1984 that we officially formed Nevada Desert Experience. We chose the name to keep the connection to these first three LDEs so that there’d be some consistency. Then it became NDE, basically, how most people know us. The first thing we did as NDE was we had a Franciscan Peacemakers event in October. It was to coincide with the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, and we invited [ Father] Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, to come out. He’s been out several times since. He was out last year? Yes. So that began a style of organizing where we would invite people to come in and be speakers and then, create an event, and then go out to the test site as part of the event. So I’ve been basically doing that. It’ll be the twenty- fifth one coming up here in 2006, I’m working on right now. [ 00: 15: 00] Wow. Did you have any sense that what you were creating was going to grow into something so huge and have this long of an impact? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Not at all. I think probably if you had asked me then, I would’ve said, well, we don’t want to keep coming out here because we want to stop this. Whether it was misguided or not, I don’t know. We had a sense that if we could stop testing, we could stop everything because of the essential place that testing had in the design, development, and deployment of nuclear weapons. Of course, testing stopped, in theory. I mean underground testing, full- blown underground testing. And it didn’t stop, really. Looking back, there was a moment, and the moment was missed; the opportunity was missed, and then the technology just passed the moment. Now the technology is so sophisticated that you don’t really even need underground testing. Right. They’ve moved on to different types of— Right. It was sort of like when atmospheric testing ended. Certainly moving testing underground was a lot more safe in terms of health effects. But they also didn’t really need to continue to test atmospherically, so when it went underground, it really took the head off the movement, the anti- testing movement which was quite strong, as you know. People were pretty concerned when they were finding strontium- 90 in the milk of cows clear across the country. Right, all the way up to New York. Yes. So once it was underground, it was out of sight, out of mind. Right. But there were some pretty big actions out there in the mid- to- late eighties. What were some of those first big actions like? Well, the seeds of that— I would say that Nevada Desert Experience is like leaven. We’ve never had really big actions. For us, a big action is four to five hundred people. So the ones that were the really big actions, those were the ones organized by American Peace Test [ APT] and other— I always forget the actual acronym— The Freeze [ Nuclear Freeze Movement]? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 Well, American Peace Test, I’ll get back to that in a minute, but there was the doctors’ association, American Public Health [ Association]— Jackie Cabasso could tell you about it. Have you interviewed her or Andy Lichterman? [ Of the Western States Legal Foundation] No. There’s two more people that would be important to talk to. Yes, the list goes on. Nancy Hale? Nancy Hale? Yes, Nancy Hale and Duncan McMurdy are actually married. And so what happened was, twenty years ago in 1985, we officially had been an organization for a year by that time. One of the things we did start to do in 1984, after the Franciscan Peacemakers, was approach Sojourners and Pax Christi and Fellowship of Reconciliation and a couple of other organizations to invite them to co- sponsor an event for the fortieth anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And folks from the Direct Action Task Force of the [ Nuclear] Freeze Movement came to that event. Jim Rice was at Sojourners and he was the Sojourners organizer. He was part of helping to make that event happen. We held an August Desert Witness. He was also on the Direct Action Task Force with Freeze, so was Nancy Hale, and I believe Jessie Cox was, as well. She was in it from the start. But for sure Nancy. So they came out and were captivated by the place, like everybody else who ever comes out, and said, we’ve got to do something here. That was the impetus for forming the American Peace Test. It grew out of that group of people who were really working within the Freeze Movement but really longing for more direct action. So they started this campaign organization at the test site, and then they were the ones who brought in the large numbers. And so it was a very exciting time because, you know, you look back on it now. I mean it was a very dangerous time. It was a time of a lot of rhetoric about the Soviet Union. But we UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 didn’t know what the impact would be. We just knew there was a lot of antinuclear fervor in the country, and more and more attention on the test site, which we were really happy about because when we first came out here nobody was, for the most part, doing anything. I mean the Franciscan community here would occasionally go out, small numbers of them. That’s how Louis and Rosemary were engaged. But it was out of [ 00: 20: 00] sight, out of mind, and chosen for that reason. I don’t remember his name. These things go out of my head. I used to go around and give presentations about this and I created a slide show, which I still have sitting on a shelf someplace. But the Atomic Energy Commissioner at the time, he actually said that the desert test site was a good place to throw used razor blades. So there really was this sense of it being a wasteland and not a place that anybody would— Right. Which is so interesting because it doesn’t matter whether I’m talking to, people who are environmentally minded or people that have worked at the test site— I mean the desert always has this image of just being this wasteland, this empty space. But anybody you talk to says it’s beautiful out there and that it really is this moving piece of land and people are always amazed. Yes, and I think for me, being out there, especially in different times of the year, being out there in the spring when the flowers were blooming, there was a sense of— like these flowers, some of them are so tiny that you have to get down on your hands and knees to see them, but they were all the more precious because you had to get down on your hands and knees and see them. And that was like an image for me of the place, that everything was harder, living here for me; the things that I took for granted about my spirituality and my groundedness, I mean it took way more focus, way more effort, like I really had to pay attention to stay on target with who I wanted to be, and sort of getting down on my knees and “ where is the flower,” sort of epitomized that for me. But, for the effort that I put into it, the reward was also so much more meaningful UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 than if it had come easy. So you know what I’m trying to say? It was kind of the flavor of those flowers that continued to bloom in the most unexpected places, you know, were more precious to me than bouquets of roses because of what it took for me to see them. And just being out there, certainly several times during actual underground tests, having a real experience of being one with the earth and like a conduit for the pain. I can remember being out there one particular time where we just were weeping with the grief of it as there was a test. That kind of image of a conduit has really been lived with me. That I was a conduit that we, not just I, but that to get people out there, and this is largely how I started to see my role as an organizer and how we saw our ministry as an organization, was to make this possible; bring people out here, because once out there, there was a way in which the pain of the earth could be released through us and healing released back into the earth. I really hold it that way, that when we go out there, we are instruments of peace. Literally, we are instruments of healing of the earth and the earth of us, that there’s no distinction. We put our feet on that ground and it’s as if our souls open and we’re connected into the earth; and there’s just this flow of healing and life force. And I truly came to believe that that’s what was keeping us from just blowing ourselves up. I remember seeing the movie Broken Arrow, you know, about all the near misses. It’s like I don’t even know how to hold that, except that because of so many acts of love and compassion, the world stays turning. I think that’s a really apt description of the Instruments of Peace, or looking at us, people, as conduits; that’s a really apt description. So it’s a complete physical experience, a whole- body experience, to go out there for me. And it never fails to not be that way for me, no matter how many times I’ve been there, and I’ve been there a lot: Twenty- five years, twenty- five events— more than twenty- five events— but just even the twenty- five Lenten Desert Experiences. There were a number of years when we went out UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 every day, and each time I went it was that experience [ 00: 25: 00] for me. It never wasn’t. So I go because it changes me every time I go. My husband and I actually got engaged out there. I wanted to ask you about that. I read about that. Did you meet out there? Well, we sort of did. And his name is? Terry. He’s Terry Symens and I was Anne Bucher. He was in the friars, which is how I met him. There was a class of novices who came out here for the first Lenten Desert Experience on Ash Wednesday. The whole class was here on the first day of the Lenten Desert Experience, and that was his class. So we were getting to be friends. He had been in the Air Force Academy and in the Marine Corps. Then when he was in the Marine Corps, a captain in the Marine Corps, he found out about Saint Francis and converted to Catholicism so he could become a friar. So he had sort of a reputation to live down, to say the least. And [ he] did a civil disobedience out at [ Lawrence] Livermore [ National Laboratory] labs in I guess it was— I’m not remembering. Eighty- one or eighty—? Must’ve been ’ 81 because I think it was before this one. If it matters, I could find out. Anyway, there were three friars. They were all told nothing would happen because at the time nothing was happening, and they all got thirty days in jail. So at that point, he became interesting to me. I was like, oh, hm, I want to know about this guy who would go from the Marine Corps to this. That is interesting. But, you know, I was very self- righteous in those days. Way more than now. How so? I just had a big attitude about somebody from the military joining the friars. How could they let him in? And I really came to be disabused of my self- righteousness through getting to know him UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 because really, the same thing that took him to the military, the same values, the same desires, took him to the friars. I could see that as I got to know him. A desire to serve. A desire to protect. A desire to defend. A desire to give one’s life really at the deepest level. Those are very interesting parallels. Yes. And so we fell in love with each other and he left the friars. I love this story because, as a kid growing up, I always had this romantic fantasy about the big moment of — and of course being pretty much a feminist by the time I was doing all this, I was really tortured by this long, deep thing that I was going to be proposed to, as opposed to— it’s not like it comes out of a vacuum, for one thing. I mean you’re talking about marriage and all that. We were certainly heading in that direction. But I still wanted [ it]; I mean it was just deep in me to want that. If he had said, “ let’s go out to dinner,” I would’ve been onto him. So it was really perfect that it happened this way. And it was a morning I was cranky. We got out there and it was cold and windy and I was just— because we would go out and vigil when the buses were coming, stand for, I don’t know, an hour or an hour- and- a- half, and then at the end of that we would go take quiet time in the desert and then we would come back and we’d have prayer. And just as an aside from that, I’m remembering, you were asking me what was transforming about the experience, when I say it blew my mind. That part of it, too; simply walking alone in the desert. For me, somebody who didn’t ever take time to be alone and still doesn’t really like it, it’s easy for me there. There’s just a way that my soul, my contemplative side, can emerge. So this one particular morning, I was in no mood to go for a walk and I wanted to stay in the van and he kept saying, Oh, come on, let’s go, let’s go for a walk, and finally I [ said] OK, fine, and so off we headed. And at a certain point he found some rocks and we sat down and he proposed to me, gave me this little ring. It was totally perfect. I was so stunned. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 And unexpected, I’m sure. Yes, right, exactly. Then I thought, OK, this was not the way I had always dreamed of it. And then I immediately thought, it couldn’t have been more perfect because so much of our relationship was born out of our time in that place. That’s awesome. We actually invited Jim [ James D.] Merlino to our wedding. OK, he said that he had been invited to a wedding of two people that had met out there. He didn’t come, but he sent us a gift. That’s great. Yes. We were pretty moved by that. We just totally fell in love with Jim. I mean that [ 00: 30: 00] happened really easily and fast, in probably the first few days of knowing him. It seems like he, if I’m understanding it correctly, that he sort of had a hand in shaping how the actions, how things went down out there; how the relationship that was developed between, say, the Nevada Desert Experience and consequently other groups that came out and the security that was out there. Yes, and I would say that was a place where us being a leaven was pretty deep because we just— did you hear my talk the other day, the little presentation I gave? No, I did not. I’m only asking because I would be repeating some of what I said. Please repeat it for the tape. [ That] would be great. The flavor of what I was saying is we had a lot of ideas about how we wanted the campaign to be. We were really excited about Jim and Shelley Douglass and what they were doing at Ground Zero in Washington State, and the flavor of that was what we wanted to create here. Mike, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 Duncan, and I were all Catholic Workers and had been shaped by that tradition, and we placed ourselves solidly in the tradition of Gandhi, Francis of Assisi, Jesus, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez. That was what we were wanting to be about, and sort of in opposition to what we weren’t enjoying about some of the other large- scale civil disobedience actions that were going on in places like Livermore. I had certainly had a lot of right- wrong thinking about that and I wanted to be in a place where I could be part of shaping and creating something that was different. So having said that, though, we still saw ourselves as— we saw that there were sides, you know, we were on one side, there was the other side, we wanted to be respectful and engage in dialogue. We had no idea where that was going to lead us, but we certainly saw that there were sides. And the closest contact we had in terms of a dialogue was with the police officers. We did do some coffee- and- doughnuts at places in Vegas where workers were getting on buses. We only did that, I think, once or twice. Were you able to engage with them at that time? I’m remembering one time specifically, some people would engage with us but I mean it would’ve been something we would’ve had to have kept up over a period of time. And I’m not really sure, you know, like why we stopped. I don’t think it was a conscious “ let��s not do this.” It was more— it just kind of fell by the wayside and then we just never picked it back up. During the first Lenten Desert Experience, because of where we were located at Camp Desert Rock, people were having to slow down their cars as they approached the gate, and so there was more ability for us to have exchanges. And we did have some. Somebody dropped off doughnuts one morning, coffee and doughnuts, and there was somebody who would throw rocks out the window with notes on it. What kind of notes? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 I think of support. I’m forgetting now exactly. Mike might be able to— I was just wondering if they were hostile notes. No, I’m not remembering it that way. That’s really interesting. I mean what I’m remembering is that, wow, we’re having a dialogue. We were very excited about it because we had been used to— I mean not that any of us had a whole lot of experience, but the stuff that I had done at Lockheed and Livermore was just way more confrontational. You wouldn’t even dream of trying to have a conversation