The photograph is split in half so on the bottom half of the image you’re seeing below the left engine on a B29 Superfortress, the crew that dropped the second Atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Enola Gay is a lot more well known but this is the boxcar crew. They’re on the bottom half of the image and on the top half we see the familiar mushroom cloud. So I particularly love this image not as much as it relates to me but the intimacy of world events to every day common experience. […]
So why do I have this image? [Fred Olivi] was my grandfather’s very good friend; his brother was my grandfather’s dentist. So as a young child who loved the military and airplanes (I fit my gender norms nicely), my grandfather said “You’ve got to meet Fred Olivi.” For some reason Fred Olivi had a stack of 8 x 11’s of his crew and the weapon they left behind. And he signed it to me, to my name, on top of the mushroom cloud that killed 60,000-80,000 people that ‘the future is in my hands.’ […]
I like to think of this as a powerful reminder of humility that everybody needs in their lives. I don’t think that the future is in my hands, but the idea that someone really only 1 or 2 degrees away from me can be a participant and can have an impact on world affairs, and all of us should all treat our every day lives with the same degree of gravity, and with a sense of humor, that he signed on the mushroom cloud. I think of it as his last good joke.
Exhibited by Nick F.