Alfred Hudnall was kind of an odd ball character, but he had a big influence on my early life as he took my cousin Will (his son) and I to the movies every Saturday when I was visiting my dad in the summer (my parents divorced when I was two). Because of Al I developed my love of cinema and storytelling. I think I owe a lot to him for that.
But what I wanted to talk about here was a memory I had of him. I just watched the film the Crazies, which was a remake of an old horror film. Toward the end there is an atomic explosion and the two characters look at it in awe. Well, my uncle Al was in the service during WWII. Here’s a picture of him with my dad when he was a kid.
Al told me that he was one of those troops who were tested on during nuke tests. He had to get in a ditch when a nuclear bomb went off miles away, and he was told to put his forearm over his eyes and close them when the bomb goes off. He said when the explosion happened, the light was so intense, he could see the bones in his arm.
So I don’t think the characters in The Crazies would have been able to see after staring into a nuclear explosion. In fact, I know they wouldn’t having read about the effects many years ago of people who had. It would burn out their retinas.
In case you were wondering Al lived will into his 80s. He died in a car crash at around age 88. He never had cancer.
He was my great-uncle, being my grandfather Perry’s younger brother. Perry was in WWI as a sailor. From him I heard a little about the great war when I was a kid.