tv Call-in with Karen Piper A Girls Guide to Missiles CSPAN March 4, 2019 6:24am-6:46am EST
the data century. my mom is a computer scientist and programmer by the end. >> thank you everyone for coming. the authors will be proceeding to the bookstore to sign their books. please clear the room quickly so the next panel can set up quickly. thank you. >> organizers of the tucson festival of books tell us there is a page 1.5 people to pull up
the city's festival and over 100,000 attendees. you just washed a discussion on aviation history one of the authors is now with us. a little bit more about your book. how is it that your family ended up at the china lake missile range and could you describe for our viewers what that area with like when you grow up there? >> we arrived there because my dad currently adopted towing. it was in 1970 when boeing fired 30% of its workforce. we ended up driving to the desert and was the last person leaving seattle turn out the light. so we drove off into the wilderness not knowing what were
getting into and it gets drier and drier than first thought out in the middle of nowhere. at first we were kind of >> my dad because we thought he misrepresented it to us. after a while you realize became my best friend in the way. >> y ventured .co to the ranch? was his job? >> it's not a job that he particularly wanted to do, because he used to work on boeing 740 sevens bay shuttle but after the apollo program was canceled and people were laid off, and is the only job he
could get. this months unemployed, got a job there and we headed off. kleiner is he working on? >> but also other things for a long, long time. >> what is the sidewinder missile? it is the most heavily used weapon in our military today. it is called a smart weapon and so it is a missile that can detect heat. so it detects the heat of the airplane's tailpipe in front of it and can angry towards it and hit it. >> what was your dad's experience over the years working on not? >> my dad was a perfectionist, so i always felt he was frustrated when he couldn't get it right in there is a point in
time -- but honestly, i didn't know much about his experience because he couldn't talk about it until there was a point in time later in his life where he admitted to me that they were faking the missile tests at work, which was really shocking to me and he went on to describe people were being asked to change the data so it looked like the missiles worked when they didn't and he was kind of conflict. because he was afraid it went straight it would hit the wrong people. and it turns into a kind of war over this corruption scandal although nobody knew for years. >> what is it like today?
>> it is different than when i grew up. it was about 10,000 people now it's about 30,000 people. the main difference is it's much more pardon, which means the security is really tight. when i was there it felt like the family environment where you could just sort of driving with your kid to hop over onto the missile range and now their shows concrete barricades. it was really after 9/11 that it got much more secure. it's sort of sad to me because it's very difficult for me to go home and see where i grew up now. >> i want to encourager viewers to call and join us. that and pacific (202)748-8201.
karen paper to take your questions and comments about this personal story she writes growing up in china. your mom also decide how did she go about doing this. >> the navy had a hard time getting people to move out there. is the whole process of motivating women tuesday because there has been spent billions and so they started a program that had been at the base. just to give them something to do so they don't go stir crazy. over time and turn into a quota for women working on the base. my mom got in with this program because she was bored at home with us should just work her way
up to even being more powerful than my dad on the base surprisingly which i didn't realize because she's so humble that she had that for me her entire life. i kind of snuck around and found her performance reviews and i read them and abbas said she she could run this whole place for all of us. >> it's ironic she started as a mouthy and that was basically little calculators. a lot of this has to do with the evolution of technologies. what happened is these calculators turned into computers. the guys still thought that a slight clerical work, so the women will do this. so my mom learned the computers in the cold and computer says. my mom always made less money than my dad. my mom would complain that men
don't know how to run the computers. i have to do everything for them. so she became computer scientist, computer programmer, design circuitry the tomahawk missile. and she ran the tests that my dad had to go through. >> what did she say about her experience? what did she have to go through? >> she had some difficult times because of just office politics. you know, competition over resources that are. but again, she didn't really talk about it much growing up. i got it out of her much later. i don't mean she got, even though her boss adored her, i don't think she got the credit that she deserved because people are envious or something. >> was turned to her viewers.
kathy is up first in sun city, arizona. go ahead with your question or comment. >> i ever comment in the 1960s my ex-husband and i would live in the san fernando valley and he was a mechanical engineer penny came home from work one day and said don't plan on seeing me for a few tears. i had just gotten a contract to design and build and test the engine. he was right. i hardly saw him. they worked a lot in the day that they lifted up the moon, he came home from work just literally walking on air because they're engine had worked perfectly. you never have a job as good as the rest of his working life. >> can you relate to your dad's work and what it meant, what it took for him, the secrecy of it?
>> the experience was very different because we were working in the war industry and my parents were always ambivalent about that. it's different than sending somebody to the moon, just like this glorious symbol of accomplishment. it is always a little bit difficult. >> did they talk about the ambivalence? what did they say? >> during my childhood, what happened is people developed rationalizations for building weapons of war are they try not to think about it. so both of those things happened. in my hometown they didn't talk about war. we talked about exercises or missions are things like that
and about how well the weapons are working. but there is a disconnect between the war renouncing what was happening at china lake. i know people in the military were frustrated with that, with a scientist not really, you know, they don't have the experience so it was interesting. >> donald in kalamazoo, michigan. hi, donald. >> yes, hello. i didn't have time to think about what i was going to say. i hear the lady talking about what they did for the war industry. i grew up at the end of the depression. i was seven years old when my dad put me to work in the field. we were farmers or to grow corn and the crops to support the war effort. now, were talking about a
hazard, but i worked for several men that are dead, were killed on the job. i knew some of them quite well. one of them whose son was paralyzed, one whose son was killed in a young man that i work with both legs cut off in construction. i don't know why we're making heroes out of all of these people. i just don't understand that. >> construction and military assertiveness that. >> i think his point is why are we making heroes out of peep of who contribute to the war effort. >> my goal is not to make heroes out of anybody in this book. if anything, my book just explores the confusion and moral crisis that i went through
trying to figure out where i was living in you know, it was a very conservative environment. the very wood that environment and i had to really breakaway from that in order to make sense of where i grew up. so it's just a hard honest look at the good and bad of life in these environments. >> when did you breakaway and when did you realize my life is much different than other peoples? >> i think it was a gradual process, but it have to end when i started reading books because i went to a school called accelerated christian education and is still out there, where we weren't allowed to read folks. we'll allowed to refocus. we only could read missionary books for literature.
i honestly found the missionary books really boring so i ended up cheating and this wouldn't read them. i would steal books from the library sister kept at home. gradually going away to college in seeing that other people have different perspectives than what i grew up with. it really just freed my mind slowly. i went through a series where you go from an amway salesman to be an anarchist. somehow through all of that. and writing this book i put myself into this hole. i constructed my own identity. >> can i make my way back. when i went back to visit the
base? work there in your 20s? >> yacht. that's the interesting thing. even as i'm having a crisis of identity and not knowing who i am or what i believe, i'm still working on the base all the way through. there is a theme where i'm carrying around -- it was the cold war and so i'm carrying around the communist manifesto around the base and telling people i'm a communist now. and my boss -- you know, ironically at that time i was working on a mock russian ship, which was we were in a building that was supposed to look like a russian ship from the air in planes would fly over to attract them with our russian radar. here i am walking around with my communist manifesto and my boss was like yeah, whatever.
aren't you mad at them? he goes out from he does know, the cold war is ending. >> thanks for waiting. hi, vera. how are you question >> good, how are you? >> caller: pretty good. i was interested -- i heard you mention during the panel -- [inaudible] >> i think she combines the chaos of the time in the 1960s , 70s l.a., and a feeling of things being out of control but their own personal anxieties. in her own depression.
i think that was inspiring to me because i've been dealing with anxieties living in this environment and trying to find myself. there were a lot of similar things happening in my world. for instance, the whole thing on the main themes in living right outside the base. they would dig underneath the fence in common steel scrap until to build their hideaway in the desert before they got caught. we really terrified of them and my mom thought they would come and get us. so, they're certain parallels like that. >> maria in tucson. >> hi, thanks for taking my call. i'm looking forward to reading your book. it's really interesting.
thank you for rating it. i'm really looking forward to reading it. the question i have, when i was wondering, when you were growing up in the very start, religious education system, how it did and if they did, how did the adult around you who are in the business of breaking weapons reconcile christianity with trading weapons of war? >> i sometimes think the city was a very religious city because we made weapons of war. christianity has towards simplifying the world. certain kinds of it. simplifying the world into good
and evil in black and white answers. so when you can say like we're doing this righteous war and these are the bad guys that we are killing. it's all very simple and then tie that in with patriotism. god and country in war went together hand-in-hand. >> our next call comes from simon in virginia. >> hello. >> hi, go ahead. [inaudible] >> simon in virginia. we'll go on to susan. susan in new mexico. >> hi, thanks for taking my call. first: jealous. i wish i were there. what i wanted to ask was what happened to the bobcat?
i read the book and i really did not understand if the bobcat withstood the flood. >> thank you for your question. i laugh because i get that question so many times. it is amazing to me how many people connect with those bobcats they were left in the tree during the flood. the truth is i never knew what happened to them. i'm sorry i don't have any answers. >> i worked at a place where they made explosives to put into missile warheads. they have big thunderstorms on the base. they build the base in the wrong place for this giant flood sometimes. there is a giant flood and that this facility
[inaudible] widowers solomont for i fell in love with the bobcats that summer. and then the giant flood came and filled the building with mud. i mean, they're cats. they know how to survive floods. the more frightening thing was said afterwards the whole area was turned into a superfund site because all of the explosives they were making out there spread all over everything. they said there is a danger of inhaling explosives out there and they left worrying about the kittens inhaling explosives. >> well, you can read that story and more in the book "a girl's guide to