This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
BY HELEN PARR FLEMING
'I shoot a photo of them stretched out the wrong way. Feet-to-head would help to keep down epidemics." School—and was plunged into one of the most chaotic days of my life. As events permitted, I took minute-by-minute notes with my dull little pencils, completely filling my shorthand pad from front to back and back to front again. This article has to be a condensation. No editor would ever print all that I wrote down. "Charleston has received a direct hit! Also be doled out. We need a food and water chairman. You, Paul H. Eddy, will be in charge of Pittsburgh!" Everyone is starting to move about. Some that with Evie Clovis, Maxine Hall, Mildred are just shifting then: sitting positions, but Bartrug and Kathryn Ingram as helpers. Now, everyone will have to be checked for radiasome are walking. It is 8:15 a. m. and we have been here 45 tion. We cannot take any risks, especially if minutes. It seems like hours. I am playing you leave one area and enter another." bridge with Denton Dinsmoor, Loraine CorIt is 8:45 a. m. and there goes the louddray and Claire H. Pickens and trying to keep speaker again. my journal up at the same time. We are sit"Your attention, please! There is radiation Three minutes after the first spooky an- ting on the floor Indian fashion. If the lights activity fallout throughout our city and the innouncement, the loudspeaker blared f o r t h stay on so we can play bridge this won't be tensity is increasing rapidly. No one should atso bad. tempt to leave the shelter! The fire departagain: They are carrying someone in. He is supposed ment has been ordered1 to take shelter imme"Your attention, please! This is an official warning! An attack warning has been issued! to be a casualty. Ugh! There is blood all over diately! Do not attempt to leave the shelter!" his leg. Do they have to make it so real? They Don says we must form a first aid commitStand by for additional information!" There is dead silence in the shelter. We are have laid him on the floor and are trying to give tee. Burl Hewitt has been put in charge of it. sitting on the floor like refugees. No one has bun first aid. Apparently, we don't have much We have no first aid supplies. Darn that loudbrought a chair, camp stool or a blanket. Ev- by way of first aid supplies. The "casualty" is speaker! screaming and I have a strange feeling in my "Your attention, please! This is Mayor Pete eryone listens and stares straight ahead. stomach. Someone says his name is John Wal- Gerber. An attack is being made on our city! The loudspeaker is blaring again: "Attack will be in next 15 minutes! Your lo- ton. Don Snyder is checking him for radiation Do not attempt to take part in any form of outside activity! Remain hi your shelters! Racal government is mobilizing! Take cover im- with a Geiger counter. I feel so useless. "Your attention, please! Your attention, diation will result in death! mediately! This is an exercise! This is an please! Bulletin from the state capital!" • Don says we will need some form of exercise!" Denton just went down three tricks. He planned entertainment and Larkin Spence of This doesn't feel like an exercise to me. Most of the others are looking too stunned to claims it is due to war nerves and claustro- Union Carbide has been put in charge of it It is 8:55 a. m. and- the air in here is bebe pretending: They should turn the volume phobia. I shouldn't have worn this wool sweater. It is getting sticky hot in here. There is yawn- coming unbearable. Don has just ordered a down on that loudspeaker. "Your attention, please! Missile attack will ing all around me. Down the hall there is an- stop to the smoking. About tune! The new first aid committee is working on be in the next 30 minutes. Do not attempt to other card game starting on the floor. Don Snythe casualty again. They are improvising leave your shelter! Do not attempt to leave der is checking the radiation indicator. A state trooper just came in. They are splints with cardboard cartons. No one seems your shelter! Your attention, please. All persons proceed to the nearest shelter if you have checking him for radiation. The casualty has to know much about f irst aid and with our lack not already done so! Repeat! Take shelter im- been moved further down the hall. Thank of supplies, it is an impossible job. I wish heavens! mediately! they would wash up that blood on the floor, It is 8:30 a. m. and the drinking water con- but I suppose we can't spare the water. The lights have gone out. No one has a flashlight. I am sitting here in the dark trying to tainer has been opened. Most of us are chewClaire Pickens has been told to report to write, but I can't see my pad or my pencil. ing gum to ward off thirst. It is stifling hot the radiation section. That stops our bridge I know I have a pencil in one hand and the pad in here. Denton just bid three-no-trump. game. Now they are moving the casualty over Carlton Buttrey, who works for American toward us. He takes Claire's hand. Between in the other and I can feel the pencil contacting the paper. Can't see my watch to note the Cyanamid at Willow Island, is making an an- bis grogginess and my writing between bids, nouncement. It is 8:35 a. m. time down. this must be the world's slowest bridge game, "We are bombed outside. No help. We may . My watch says it is 9 a. m. It must have When the power first failed, I suddenly felt like r should get the names of everyone who be here hi this shelter a week or so. We need stopped. Surely we've been in here longer is in here with me. I crawled over to one side to organize. We need a temporary shelter man- than that..No, it really is only 9 o'clock. There and started down the line getting names. I ager. Don Snyder is appointed. We welcome goes the loudspeaker. think I got everyone's name. It is so black I any suggestions from you people about what "Your attention, please. Stay tuned for a can't be sure. I must remember to check when you think we should do or be doing." special bulletin from the state capital!" The Don Snyder is talking now. the lights come back on—if they come back on. message is from the State Civil Defense Di"I don't know any more than any of the rector. He tells us to stay in our shelter. Huh! This is weird! "Your attention, please!" There's the loud- rest of you about what needs to be done. But, Our casualty just fainted and interrupted the speaker again. "There has been a power fail- at this point, I would like a show of hands of bridge game. ure!" Who are they kidding? "St Marys has those of you who will leave at noon and those It is 9:15 a. m. and the loudspeaker just said not been hit! Watch radiation indicators!" who intend to stay all day." we have spent our first, official 30 minutes of How? I can't even see my watch. "Keep beThe majority signed up to stay all day be- the exercise. What happened to the other 75 low 100 roentgens! It is now ten roentgens fore this started. The poll indicates 27 will minutes? Don't we get credit for that? Maybe per hour!" leave early and 39 will stick it out Don is talk- their watch has stopped! The lights have come back on. Thank heav- ing again. We are supposed to inventory our supplies. ens! Everyone is sitting around blinking. So "We have three cans of crackers and one That's fine but we don't have any. This shelam L My eyes hurt drum of pure drinking water. The food must ter is supposed to hold 66 persons with enough
"Your attention, please! Your attention, please!" A very loud voice was screaming over the broadcasting system. "This is your emergency broadcasting station. There are three unidentified planes spotted in this area. This is an emergency! This station will go off the air, but stay tuned to this frequency."
It was 7:35 a. m. My 12-hour, survival test in a fallout shelter had begun. Earlier, I had received a letter from the Pleasant County Civil Defense Council asking me to give 12-14 hours of my • time in the name of the United States. Three per cent of the county's population was being asked. How many would accept? Would I? I had qualms. I knew I would be scoffed at by. the fatalists. I also knew that unless I happened to be in the blast zone itself, surviving an atomic attack would depend upon my ability to live in a fallout shelter until lethal radiation burned itself out. How long? Fourteen days: two weeks! I decided to gamble 12 hours. So did 69 oth-. ers, who participated in my test group. Some of them had to hedge their bets. They couldn't stay for the entire exercise, but they would try for six hours. All of us were completely untrained in Civil Defense. Only the untrained were qualified, to participate in the test, because such a tremendous majority of the persons in the United States is untrained. Part of the test was to see how quickly we could adjust and work out our problems —if we could adjust and work out our problems. \That made our test a pilot study. The first in West Virginia and several surrounding states. Several days after I accepted, I received further instructions. "Arrive at the St. Mary's Graded School — which was to be our fallout shelter — between 7:20 and 7:45 a. m. with or without breakfast. Wear old clothes. No radios. Bring a musical instrument if I played one, books, magazines or playing cards." The instructions ended there. With a sense of adventure and visions of sweet rolls and coffee at the shelter flitting through my mind, I dressed in slim-jims and a woolen sweater and packed my purse. Chlorophyll chewing gum — a tooth brush would be sissy — playing cards, new shorthand pad, eight of the duHest pencils in town, three copies of the New Yorker, polaroid camera, headache pills, lipstick, comb, and nose tissues.
Looking more like a war correspondent than a civilian, I reported to St Marys Graded
Federal supplies to last for 14 days. Den Soy- entertainment committee is functioning. The energy. There wifl be a liar's contest with a through when it started to rain. The water der is talking again. He says the supplies are phone rings. They want Don. Supply commit- committee of judges; a limerick contest; Dins- came in the bung holes faster than it could in the school lunchroom. One person will go tee is assembling to inventory again. I ask moor and I will give bridge instruction; and pour out the open ends. Burst the barrels! in and inventory them. He has worked out a who the supply chairman is and get yelled there will be a drawing contest. No other liars. Kramer wins for sure. plan for using the rest room. Ladies first and into silence for my pains. The loudspeaker comes on at 12:28 and It is 12 noon and the half-day people have one at a time. We have to be checked for At 11:40 a. m. the cigarettes,are ordered their hats and coats on waiting to be released. warns us that there are contaminated persons radiation when we come back. out. Tall cans are being used for disposal. They will be labelled "work detail" for the outside who may try to get in. We are to The loudspeaker just informed us that a Don hangs up and says the half-day people records. One man, who signed up for all day, check them carefully. Symptoms of radiation "jack" can be installed nearby for contact can go after they report to him. Entertain- has changed his mind. On the records he will are nausea, diarrhea, inflammation of the with the outside w.orld. That would permit us ment is postponed. We will have to reorgan- be marked "dead." throat and high fever. Symptoms are not to check on members of our families who are ize, again. We need a permanent shelter manThe liars' contest starts at 12:20. Larkin contagious. not in here with us. I feel like we have been ager and an administrative assistant. He Spence caHs on Jerry Farren to tell a lie. There is a knock on the door and the "work ticked off for not playing the game in earnest. names little old me as his assistant. Probably Jerry says he can't. Someone yells "That's a detail" people leave. Some of our group leave It is positively stifling in here. Don Snyder because I'm the only one with paper and pen- lie." Kramer Sellers volunteers to tell one. to get chairs and blankets from the auditorium. cils, blunt little, rascals though they be. When he was a kid, he found some hogsheads They are checked for radiation when they is speaking again: Larkin Spence announces the afternoon en- with the bottom and tops knocked out. He was come back. "Supplies are not our real problem. Our real Spence passes 'out paper and pencils. problem is that none of us is trained in any- tertainment: activities that won't take much pretending they were a tunnel and crawling Where did those come from? We are supposed thing and we aren't equipped to cope with this to draw a picture of a cow with our eyes closed. type of life. In an area of about 8,000 perBetty Stout will be timekeeper. sons, it would take 120 shelters to accommoSix men pass through carrying a "dead** date everyone. We need trained, organized man. He tried to gain entrance at the back personnel in all shelters in our areas. We have door and the guard clobbered him. It is Ken only five doctors in our immediate vicinity. Davis. The men who carried him will be There is only one chance in 20 that you would checked for contamination. have one in your shelter. You may be one Departure of the "work detail" broke up our of the casualties and your chance is not good bridge game. Only two of us left. We search that you'd get any first aid hi from seven to for the Rook cards, but they left with the twelve days. Can you handle this untrained?" "work detail," too. We will have to find someIt is 9:25 a. m. and the loudspeaker'is blarthing else to do. ing again. A ten-minute smoking break is announced. "Your problem is ventilation!" Are they tellDon Snyder points out that volunteering for us? "This is an observer speaking. There is work assignments makes you jeopardize your no evidence of panic or chaos. We are pleased life. When you leave the shelter, you are subwith your progress this far. We ask more than jecting yourself to contamination. If you get your fullest cooperation, because your temtoo "hot", you have to stay out. Can't enporary shelter manager is not trained. Some danger the whole group. people are observers and will be allowed to The "cow" contest is secret. Winner will open the door. No one can leave except those be announced later. Two boys want someone who have signed up for a half day. Only 'death' to teach them to play double solitaire. Don can open the door for the rest of you! This gets back on the reorganization chore. He sugis an exercise! This is an exercise!" gests we go through the registration cards to If they don't get some fresh air in here see what abilities are represented and make some of us may be using that "only way to the most of them. Someone nominates him open the door." Don says there will be no smokfor permanent shelter chairman since he is ing for the rest of the day. We are to hold doing such a good job. He doesn't refuse. He's our activities to a minimum. The ventilation elected. committee is working on the problem. Time General staff, from left, author, Larkin Spence, Don Snyder, Harry Morgan We need a deputy for operations. Don starts for the ladies to start using the rest room. (Please Turn to Page 8m) Jr., Jerry Farren. My watch says 9:35 a. m. Don is making another attempt to organize. He may have to do it again when the half-day group leaves. Jake Moore is to handle sanitation and ventilation. Paul Eddy has food. Burl Hewitt, first aid; Larkin Spence, entertainment; James Rymer, radiological; Bernard Griffin will assign men to guard the door. ._ Everyone must be checked at the door for con, lamination. If he's "hot," he gets pushed back out. Don will hold a meeting of his appointees in the far corner. Everyone else is supposed to slide to the floor and stop talking to conserve our oxygen. This is fantastic." Hester Siers has been assigned to the 'phone. She reports our ventilation problem to the outside communications center and asks SIXTH & FLORIDA STREETS ON CHARLESTON'S WEST SIDE for a fan or suggestions. There is no fan available. Don says "we may have to open the lunchroom doors, but no one is supposed OPEN WEEKDAYS 9 A.M. TO 9 P.M.—SAT. TO 5 P.M. to enter that area. There is no other way. They are opening the lunchroom doors. Thank heavens! Don says the ventilation committee is deciding now if and when smoking will be permitted. It is 10:17 a. m. Paul Eddy, the food chairman, just announced that we will each get 12 crackers each meal. That means 1,000 calories a day. No more! We get five cups of water a day. Each person has been given a paper cup and told to put his name on it. Our w a t e r ration will be measured /to prevent cheating. The loudspeaker announced at 10:30 a. m. that radiation levels are still dangerously high but decreasing. They are passing out registration forms now. If this shelter had been properly equipped, we would have had them much sooner and I wouldn't have had to crawl around on the floor in the dark when the lights went out. The loudspeaker repeats that the radiation levels are still dangerous but decreasing. Someone is pounding on the door outside. A contaminated man comes in and is being Special Sale! One Week Only! checked. It is 11: a. m. and the food chairman says 2-PC. MODERN LIVING ROOM SUITE NOW lunch is being served at the end of the hall. Some of the card players ignore the offer. The crackers taste like pressed sawdust or a AVAILABLE IN HEAVY NYLON FRIEZE FOR 149.95 bird biscuit. But a bird biscuit guarantees it will make the bird sing and with these crackers you couldn't even whistle. We get one cup Tough nylon frieze fabrics in your choice of brown, beige, of water with the meal. Jake Moore announced a 10-minute cigarette break. olive, green, turquoise or red. Wide arm styling . . . deep, It is 11:32 a. m. now and the loudspeaker has just announced that we will be given comfortable foam seats. You'll have to see this amazing a message from Gov. Hulett Smith. He is saying what we all presumed. Nuclear attack, value to appreciate the quality. big cities destroyed, retaliation, heavy fallout, safety in shelters, need to rebuild after we • EASY TERMS • PLENTY OF FREE PARKING • QUALITY GUARANTEED have won. After the governor's speech, Don says the
WOODRUMS WAREHOUSE STORE
STATE MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 26, 1965
Phone committee, from left, Mildred Bartrug, Kathryn Ingram, Mary Heeter.
Lunch break of crackers and a cup of water tasted like pressed wood
bird biscuit. THE UNPREPARED (confd)
Maniac tries to break into shelter
(Continued From Page 7m), '
to read off the duties, but there is a commotion at the door. The guard is grappling with someone. A hand and leg appears. The hand is bloody. A man is screaming: "Let me in! Let me in! I'm dying! You god-damned bunch of Communists! You let me in! Let me in there! I'm dying! God-damned Communists!" One of the men runs to help the guard. They get the hand and leg out and close the door and lean against it. There is dead silence. We all are stunned. This maniac has all of us shook up. I'm sure the same questions that are running through my mind are bothering everyone. What if he couldn't get to a shelter sooner? Did we treat him right? I couldn't see his face, but those on the other side could. They say he was covered with radiation burns and blood was streaming from his mouth. He was grimy dirty and carrying a hatchet. The weapon was the first thing the guard saw after he had caught sight of the horribly burned face. I feel better about the guard's actions now. It. was an evil, un-Christian. decision, but there wasn't anything else he could do. We couldn't let a maniac in among us. There is still silence in the shelter. Where did the man go? Had he fainted from his own hysteria, or was he dashing on to the next shelter to demand his way in? I feel like I am going to cry. Don starts a discussion on the problem. We decide if it happens again, we will let him in and check him for radiation. If he's too "hot", we'll isolate him. There are enough of us to wrest the hatchet away and throw it back outside. We get back to electing a deputy of operations. Larkin Spence gets the job. He will be in charge of communications, radiological defense, safety, health, sanitation, feeding and sleeping. Harry Morgan Jr. is elected for information and training. He also is responsible for religion and recreation. All the other jobs are rapidly filled. No one refuses. You just don't refuse in this situation. I ask Mary Heeter and Mildred Bartrug to help me in my role of administrative assistant. We are responsible for all the clerical work, records, phone logs—all the paper work. Events have been so hectic, I haven't looked at my watch for quite awhile. It is now 1:10 p.m. We are to be organized in units of ten'persons. Unit leaders will have a general staff meeting in the corner on the floor. At 1:30 the loudspeaker announces the enemy attempt has been stopped. Don announces that committee heads will orient each member of their groups on their duties. At 2 p. m..the loudspeaker says radiation level is fallen to the decay stage, but we cannot leave the shelter. Don says a list of all committees will be posted. I ask my assistants to sort and alphabetize the registration forms. Kathryn Ingram now is in charge of the phone. At 2:14 p. rn. the loudspeaker ticks us off again about not asking for the "jack" so we
" could get in touch with our loved ones out-
been appointed to work with Kathryn Ingram side. • t«. on communications. Someone just mentioned It is 2:32 p. m. and Don says Gene Stra- coffee and we are all thinking bow good a tenburger will demonstrate communications cup would taste right now. equipment. I have worn down' four pencils. It is time to eat and Betty Stout leads the Gene tells how CB operators are used in grace. I can hardly keep from crying again. emergency situations; Even unliscensed opera- Darn it! I know this is "pretend," but I can't tors are used during disasters. Burl S m i t h help it. demonstrates radio equipment. Most of his Don Snyder announces that each deputy explanation is too far over my head for me will bring back a representative group of questo understand. Neither does anyone else tions from his unit. Unit meetings will prein this shelter. cede the general staff meeting just before At 2:45 p. m. another cigarette break is an- we are let out at 7:30. nounced. Maxine Hall, in charge of sleeping, The water can has sprung a leak inside the will explain and demonstrate the plans that first plastic bag. It is 4:45 p.m. Walter Ferguhave been worked out by her group. The door son, the door guard, has been struck over the guard is changed. Maxine asks a group to head by a sudden intruder. Walter was sitting stretch out on the blankets, for a 15-minute by the door reading a newspaper. B u r l rest period. I shoot a photo of them stretched Hewitt is trying to patch him up. Walter should out incorrectly. Sleeping face-tOrfeet w o u l d have been more alert. It could have been the hatchet man coming back. help to keep down epidemics. It is 4:50 p.m. and I am taking time out At 3:30 p. m. the loudspeaker announces we wiU be given a message from^the Presi- to eat. I didn't take any more of the crackers dent of the United States. He comes on with.. because I had some left from lunch. I thought a brief summary of what has happened, but I'd get hungry during the afternoon, but I admits he does not yet know toe complete was too busy. I deliberately fast from time details of the death and destruction. We will to time anyway, so this restricted diet isn't be kept informed. He outlines what we will any problem. But for the men, who live to have to do to restore our homes, communi- eat, I guess it is rough. I'm through with my dinner and it is 5 p m ties and states. It is a very courageous message. I think I am going to cry again. What's I suddenly realize that I haven't heard a comwrong with me? I was never this emotional plaint or any rough language of any kind during this exercise. This is definitely not before! ' for poor sports or spoiled persons. After the President's message, the deputy for sanitation explains and shows the porta- - Don^ Snyder has just announced that unit meetings will begin now. After them, Burl ble "john"-called the CD Sanitation Kit. It Smith will announce bur evening recreation is a large drum with two large plastic bags program. Burl said that after the routine of inside, a pair of plastic gloves and a grey shelter life is established and running smoothcomposition seat. You use a solution called ly, there will be spare time for planned recreaWeladyne-F53 to decay the human secretion in tion. the sanitation kit. The door guard was changed from Harold Time and again today, I have been swept C. Marsh Jr. to Tom Miller at 5:15 p.m. by a feeling of utter helplessness; a com- Spence leads us in singing many of the old plete lack of training to meet and solve the favorites with rounds and demonstrations. Oh! simplest problems a nuclear war • would Oh! There comes that lump in my throat bring. The sanitation kit lecture has left me again. I think that each of us who have shared depressed. Dozens of "ifs" are crowding into this experience will have a special feeling my mind. Horrible! for the others when we leave. Some are on It is 3:45 p.m. and Don was just called to chairs, but most are on the floor, leaning the phone. He asks if the city water is still against the wall, hugging their legs and sing6 contaminated. It is. The loudspeaker warned ing. Beautiful! that a band of looters is in our area, heading After, the singing everyone applauded Smith our way. They advise us to double the door and Spence. It is 5:30 p.m. and time to start guard. the unit meetings. I am in number four led At 3:55 p.m. it was announced that Mildred by Floyd Cross. He says we have to imagine Bartrug won the cow drawing contest. Betty now that we are in our 14th day here instead Stout won the limerick contest. The evening of the 12th hour. There will be an open discusmeal will be served at 4:30 p.m. " sion with suggestions welcome. Here are some Don Snyder asks if anyone has any weapons of our questions: we can use to fight off looters if they attack "Will there be special people trained for us. Of course we don't. They aren't permitted each of these shelter positions? Why aren't in fallout shelters. Two of the men do have Pleasant Countians more concerned? Don't pen knives: We decide to fight them off with they realize that everyone won't be in a direct chairs and blankets if they attack. They hit zone? If a bomb lands 100 miles away the may try to come in through the windows. fallout can kill you if you're not in a shelter Anyone who spots them is to sound the alarm. How-do we cope with it? Someone just saidWe are given a rest room arid- cigarette "This is. the best thing that has happened break at 4:15 p.m. Thank goodness the rest in our area. Until today, we all were, comroom hasn't been declared contaminated. placent and unconcerned." It is 4:25 p.m. The staff is meeting in the I agree. corner on the floor again. Bill Bayless has At 5:45 p.m. Burl Hewitt says we win start
to police;up.the area. I have been called to the general * staff meeting in the corner. At 5:58 p.m. the loudspeaker announces that Gov, Smith will speak to us again. He comes on immediately with a short, hopeful address. The problems of restoration is a tremendous one, but it can be solved. There is always a short period of quiet concentration by the group after one of these messages. At the general staff meeting someone said: "If we are going to build shelters and equip them in our areas, for our own population, then I'm for it. But if CD stops with today's exercise, then I'm not for it. If it's the beginning, okay! We should make our wants and needs known to the public. There are federal funds and county funds available for shelters. Why haven't we had them before? Now, if this is all we are going to have — just what we have had to work with here today —then I want no part of it!" Don Snyder says we can move into the adjoining rooms now. We will be oriented on the things we need to know after we leave the shelter; How do we get food .and what can we touch? If our homes are still standing, we can wash off the roof, and we can check the water, but what kind of food can we eat? Do we know enough now to answer these questions? Someone, asks where would we go if our home has; been leveledr'Do we come back to the shelter? Is it equipped for me and my family to return to for protection, sleeping and living temporarily? Where would our temporary home be if the entire area was leveled? Where would we live during reconstruction? No one can answer these questions except the CD experts. At 6:37 p.m. the loudspeaker warns that some persons are leaving the shelters. Radiation, is still a hazard outside. At 6:38 p.m. it tells us that we are now in our 12th day in the shelter. It seems that long, too! Don Snyder says we will have to be trained to handle well or cistern water, but public water systems would be tested by local authorities. He says it is safe to drain a hot water tank and drink that water. Also, you can drink the fluid from canned fruits and vegetables. At 6:45 p.m. the loudspeaker blares out like a bomb: "Your attention, please! Your attention, please!" The voice is screaming beyond control. "The enemy has surrendered! We have won! We have won!" There's that lump .in my throat again. I was never such a cry-baby before. Our day is about to end. Doug Taylor and Arthur Boggs, who planned the entire exercise, have come in and are giving us a critique. We are going to the auditorium to see a film on shelter life, furnished by Sen. Jennings Randolph/It is called "Public Shelter Living: The Story of. Shelter 104." It deals with emotional problems you face in shelter living. It has been a shattering, humbling day. I hope I will never have to live through the real thing.