Friday, November 02, 2007

SSBN 645

Back in the early 70s, my dad was an officer on a submarine, the James K. Polk. He was an engineering guy; his job was to keep the reactor running. You know, add oil and plutonium, fiddle with knobs, what have you. (I don't know, really. I am not science-y in the least.)

Well, I just found out there's a website about the boat, with pictures, history and a way for people to get back in touch. Very cool! I found some of the history stories very interesting.

What's cool about this particular sub, besides the fact that my dad used to be a nuclear reactor peopleguy on it, is that they used lots of pieces of it to create a submarine exhibit at the Smithsonian American History Museum (tried to find a link but couldn't, so it's possible the exhibit is gone). I saw the exhibit a few years ago with my dad. It was pretty neat for me, who had only really imagined what it must have been like for him to live and work on a sub. Dad was blown away. They had the whole reactor room set up just the way it was and told me about it at length. When he worked on the sub, during the Cold War, everything in that room was secret. I hope the exhibit is still there; it was really fascinating.

Think I might get my dad a little something from the Polk store for Christmas.

Update: Here's a website that is called "the online companion to the Smithsonian's submarine exhibit."


COD said...

The American History Museum is closed for renovations - thru next summer I think. Maybe they shut down the website too. Seems like the sort of thing a govt institution would do.

Rational Jenn said...

Oh, that explains it! I swear it existed a few years ago! Kinda dumb not to put that information on the website though. (Oh wait, did I just write some libel against the government official museum peopleguys?)