b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEChildren were an integral part of every one, amazed at the beautiful pur-the community. The marines made ple luster inside. Another temptationskating rinks for them in the winter. was the water tower. At least one pairStudents filled up a gun-metal-gray of enterprising young girls sneakedbus and went to school at Arco sev- away from home one night, thinking itenteen miles away, sometimes would be a good idea to climb to theaccompanied by a marine when cer- top. They tripped an alarm, and thetain boys got out of hand. In typical marines came after the intruders withmilitary fashion, the bus stopped one flashlights and guns, shouting Halt!day each year in front of the marine High in the air and giddy from excite-barracks, where no child could ment, the girls couldnt manage theescape the dreaded tick shot, a descent, so the marines had to fetchbooster to prevent Rocky Mountain them down. 13spotted fever. 12Characteristic of its civilian/militaryTrouble was easy for children to find, blend, the settlement found ways towhat with forbidden piles of railroad deal with remoteness and isolation. Oneties lying about and Navy floats and of the civilian families kept a smallbuoys awaiting repair on the dry herd of dairy cows a mile or so north-desert ground. One year, one of the west of the village. The father and hislieutenants tried to grow freshwater sons went each day to collect the milk,clams in a pond made from a gravel brought it home to the basement ofpit, but was thwarted when some of the Margaret Larsen, the NPGs first Woman Ordnance their house, separated and pasteurizedchildren discovered them and opened Worker, and her son John pose in the shadow of the it, and delivered it to the other residentswater tower in 1949. in a milk truck. In summers, the menorganized baseball teams and playedteams from Arco, Mackay, and othertowns. When not otherwise working,women entertained each other atsewing circles. During one winter, anunusually heavy snow storm closed theroads to the base, isolating it for nearlya month. The residents offered refugeto travelers stranded on the road andsheltered them in their homes for theduration. The Navy dropped food bun-dles from airplanes into snowbanks. Allwere relieved when the roads openedbefore a woman who was pregnant hadto leave for the hospital. 14The extraordinary winter of 1948. The Navy droppedfood and other supplies when snow blocked roads toArco and Blackfoot.1 2'