When I was fresh out of high school I had two opportunities to visit the Soviet Union. This was an incredible, eye-opening experience. I grew up in the anxious time of the Cold War between East and West. It was a period colored by a black fear of looming cataclysm. I knew that the world's leaders were playing a terribly dangerous game, and I was sick with anxiety with imagining the end of this beautiful world of ours. I realize now how my youthful nightmares were colored by after-images of the devastation of WWII in Europe, and the shock of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that resonated for decades afterward. How vividly my childhood was affected by fear of something even more catastrophic, and seemingly imminent.