b'C H A P T E R 4T H E P A R TY P L A NGuest lists were carefully crafted to Yellowstone country just up the road. Arco already was under construction, atinclude the young wives in town who In Idaho Falls, AEC scientists would least to the county line. Activity waswere as winsome as possible. The not be destitute denizens of a cultural particularly heavy on the day that thevisitors were shown the site of the new desert, but would be eagerly embraced visitors were brought to see for them-civic auditorium, where 2,500 people by a friendly and hospitable town with selves. The road seemed, for all practi-could be seated. The high school art everything going for it. 13 cal purposes, a fait accompli. Holdensteacher, a talented artist and the nucleus orchestration was so thorough thatof a group of mature artists, organized Idaho Fallsmost important illusion some of the vehicles appeared to bean art exhibit, to which the guests were concerned the existence of a road to the regular daily traffic already using theadroitly exposed. Yes, we absolutely Proving Ground. To weave that magic, road for routine business. 14can and will build new houses fast, the chamber arranged for Bonnevillewas the consistent message. The men County road grading vehicles to go to Blackfoots Chamber of Commercefrom the AEC heard good things about the western edge of town where they held a public meeting (which was cov-the schools, saw the citys parks, and moved sufficient dirt around to give a ered thoroughly by a reporter from thehad a look at the spectacular convincing impression that the road to Idaho Falls paper) more to persuade thepopulace that little further needed to bedone than to rouse them to action.There was no dither, said the reporterof the meeting. Blackfoot felt confidentthat its sewer and water planning,which pre-dated the AEC announce-ment, and a school system with acapacity for three hundred more chil-dren meant that it already was preparedfor growth. But the road to the site wasits ace in the hole. It would take IdahoFalls and the state too much time tobuild a new road to the site. Pocatellotoo would require a more direct road,and it would have to bridge the wideSnake River, another project that wouldtake too much time and money before itcould meet AEC needs. Therefore, theBlackfoot chamber concluded,Blackfoot, willy nilly, looked like theport of entry. 15Street map of Idaho Falls circa1949.3 3'