Where will you go when the bomb falls?

We’re going to play a hypothetical game here. This article is, I’d say 96.75% historically accurate. (not satire)

OK, say you had a time machine, and say that time machine took you to 1972. Why you wanted to go to 1972 is neither here nor there, but we’ll reserve judgement at your utter lack of creativity with such an awesome device as a time machine.

So you warp, you dust yourself off, and look around town. It’s still Brownwood, that’s for sure. You wonder what’s going on in town so you walk in to one of the local gas stations and pick up a newspaper. As you scratch your head and wonder “Is this real? Did I really squander my chance to go see dinosaurs or go to the future just to go to 1972?” you notice a special supplement to the Brownwood Bulletin entitled “Community Shelter Plan”.

If you what? C'mon, this is serious business, don't be so terse and vague!
If you what? C’mon, this is serious business, don’t be so terse and vague!

 

Intrigued, you open it and find that, in 1972, nuclear holocaust was still a legitimate threat. “I should have went to Denmark and got drunk with the vikings” you think, but, just as you are imagining how bad an 11th century hangover would be, you hear the tornado siren go off. “Strange, there’s not a cloud in sight,” you think, and then it hits you. “OH CRAP! Those yellow sirens around town were for when the Russians attacked!” You quickly open your paper and find that the tone you are hearing is the “Attack Tone” and this is not a drill.

This is not a test!
This is not a test!

So, where WOULD you go? While Brownwood didn’t have any blast shelters, Civil Defense was able to allocate a total of 17 fallout shelters. At this moment, you panic and run to seek shelter, but then you remember you have a bloody time machine so you don’t have to do this.

This map didn't export very well. I blame Mao.
This map didn’t export very well. I blame the commies at Adobe.

Now, let’s step back into reality. In 2016, how many of these former shelters are still in existence? Probably none, but most of buildings that housed them are still around. (Plus, would you really want to chance eating civil defense ration crackers from the 1960s if you found them?)

We’ll take a look at what, during the cold war, could very well have been the last buildings citizens of Brownwood ever saw. The buildings may have different names these days, but, for sake of your editor, we will simply be transcribing as-is. Feel free to go visit these sites and take better pictures than we did.. err.. than Google Street View did. Bonus points if you find an actual Fallout Shelter sign and photograph it. Triple Bonus points if you can get in touch with us and have access to the basements of some of these places so we can continue our research.

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postofficefurnmart300centerfirstnationalsidrichcourthouselandmarklifevedajenningsscienceshittypicbecausehpustudentscantbetrustedtowalkacrossastreetripcenteravewalkerlibraryfbuoldjrhigholdcogginelemanotherbaptistchurchsouthusedtobehereohgodno

Shelter Area A:

1. U.S. Post Office, 600 Center
2 Furniture Mart, 516 Center
3 Citizens National Bank, 300 Center
4 First National Bank, 114 Center (Hi, DHD!)
5 Sid Richardson Dormitory, 200 Fisk
6 Brown County Courthouse, 210 S. Broadway
7 Landmark Life Building, 201 N. Fisk

Shelter Areas B and C:

8 Veda Hodge Dorm, HPU
9 Jennings Dorm, HPU
10 Science Building, HPU
11 Walker Memorial Library,  HPU
12 First Baptist Church, 208 Austin

Shelter Area D:

13 Brownwood Jr. High School, 1003 Ave B
14 Coggin Elementary School, 1101 Ave D

Shelter Area E:

15 Coggin Ave Baptist Church, 1801 Coggin Ave

Shelter Area F (fitting, because you’re effed if you have to stay here):

16 South Elementary School, 1700 Ave K

Shelter Area G:

17 Brownwood Community Hospital, Burnet Drive

 

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