North Texas State University, Denton Tex 1965as, Fall: Just north of town was a super-secret Nike missile launching facility, and nobody was supposed to know about it. Here’s a picture of it —
The road at the top of the picture is “Locust Street,” or as locals called it “Missile Base Road.” Because how could you not know? I knew, and I was just an undergraduate.
You see, an engineer was brought in because it turns out that the missile pad was actually just a tiny bit too low for proper launching so as to wipe out some foreign city far away. And this guy needed to figure out how to raise is very slightly.
He stayed at the Holiday Inn, where I worked the night shift, and that’s how I know. After all, it was a secret but he told me because I was a trusted motel employee, right?
Then, a couple of days later, he came in to check out, with a huge bag of nickels. They were left-over nickels he explained. He was real happy. Turns out that the thickness of a nickel was exactly the amount they needed to raise the floor.
So he’d gone down to the bank downtown on the square, and got bags and bags and bags of nickels. And they went out and laid them all flat, and then put the missile structure on top of that.
Presto! Problem solved.
I understand from a secret spy that I know on Facebook — It’s Jim Nicks — that the missile base has been dismantled, but the buildings and silos are still there, and I suppose there is still a floor in one of the silos, a floor covered with nickels.
So next time you wonder what the Pentagon does with all the money, here is a partial answer.
Your government nickels at work.