Excerpts

Chapter 1

As the Enola Gay sped its way along one of Tinian Island’s four 8,500-foot runways, bombardier Arden Hennessey replayed in his mind the events of the last year that had led to this moment. The reason he was engaging in this mental distraction was to keep his mind off the fact that the B-29 Superfortress Bomber in which he would hopefully soon be flying was nearly seven tons overweight, resulting from the 10 and a half-foot Little Boy bomb it was carrying and the 7,000 gallons of gasoline required to fly to Japan and back. Continue reading…

Chapter 5

It was when he was alone, however, that his creative desires would come calling, linked as they were to his peculiar fixation upon effectively replicating reality. Whereas other elementary school pupils would draw whatever sprang from their imagination or memory, Arden would seize upon something within visual range, attempting to recreate its look as accurately as possible. The nearer he got to attaining perfection, the more satisfaction he derived. Why this was, he neither knew nor cared. All that mattered was that he enjoyed it. Continue reading…

Chapter 9

If there was a first for Arden that made even him take notice of his unique ability it was the painting he did in the spring of 1947 of the Golden Gate Bridge. He had always been fascinated by this engineering marvel, even as a youngster. Its sheer size was imposing, and the thought that it had been constructed – with multiple losses of life – across an unruly stretch of water seemed all but miraculous. This manmade taunting of the uncaring forces of nature – wind, water, cold, gravity – testified to such manifest strength and stability that to gaze upon it was to acknowledge that it would in all likelihood survive man himself. To stare at either of the towers from which the highway portion of the structure was suspended, its base embedded deep into the ground below the wind-whipped waters of the Golden Gate, was to salute the ballsy gumption of Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss for having so arrogantly chosen to build “on water.” Continue reading…