john jennings

Living in the Shadow

In July 16, 1945, the radio frequency that the United States military was using to broadcast the countdown to the Trinity Test suffered interference from a local radio station. As a result of a strange fluke, the commanding officers of the operation heard strains from Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” broadcasted through the control bunker as the final seconds expired and the bomb dropped, six miles away—the first detonation of a nuclear weapon in the United States. Stepping outside, the officers were hit by a wave of heat and pressure from the world’s first atomic weapon. In the first few seconds of the new era that was ushered in that morning at 5:29 a.m., the orchestra played on, but the desert was silent.

Your Father Went Here Too?

With admissions decisions looming, I sat in my college counselor’s office seeking words of comfort. I had applied early decision to Colorado College, and there was not much else I could think about for those few days than how crushed I would be if I were denied.

“Don’t worry, you’re in,” Mrs. Meineke told me.

I wondered if she was only saying that because she knew my dad went to CC thirty years ago.

But she was right. I got in.

Lions on Leashes

On the evening of Oct. 18, 2011, a retired Zanesville, Ohio resident, Sam Kopchak, went to check on his new horse. Reaching the small paddock behind the house, Kopchak noticed that something was wrong. His neighbor’s horses were more skittish than usual, running in circles around a dark mass. Squinting, Kopchak recognized the figure as a small black bear, rare, but not unheard of in Muskingum County.