Oct 4, 2007

George Hackbarth and the Bomb


I happened upon this website yesterday about George Hackbarth and Rudy Vergoth, machinists at Los Alamos during WWII. The site is quite well done and includes a few pictures along with their recollections.

Don't miss the George Interview and Rudy Interview sections of the website. I enjoyed noting what has changed over the years and grimaced at what had not.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pinky, Thanks for suggesting this fascinating read. It's amazing that a guy who machined uranium and plutonium in an apparently unventilated (and certainly un-gloveboxed) environment lived to be 88 year old.

Pinky and The Brain said...

I thought the Rudy interview was great too. Unfortunately it was not online today and I'm still waiting to hear what happened to it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you look at the cohort that includes U and Pu workers at LANL from the 40's and 50's (with less than medically significant doses), they are incredibly long-lived. I've heard at at least one epidemiologist state that low doses of Pu may be inducive to long life!

Anonymous said...

I've heard the same thing. Low levels of radiation are good for the body. Just try not to over do it. Pu, used properly, can be an elixir of youth! Too bad it's not available down at the health food store. Only us special LANL workers get to sample the goods.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Thanks but I'll stick to Radithor.

Anonymous said...

Anyone here familiar with the "I Pee Pu" club?

Anonymous said...

Go to the Black Hole.

Ed has cans of organic plutonium there. He'll sell you some.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pinky,

Thanks for noticing my little tribute site to George and Rudy, and for the compliments. George is my father in law and is still going strong. He's had few medical issues..who knows what the effects of his exposure were.

David

Pinky and The Brain said...

David,
Please tell George I said thank you for his service the next time you speak with him. Your website is great reading, and I hope George's health holds up for many years to come!

PS Don't mind the comments. Things get a little nasty on this blog sometimes, but it wasn't directed at your father in law.

Cheers,
Pinky

Anonymous said...

Rudy Vergoth is my granfather. I happened upon this when searching for the link to the website to share with a colleague who is in the machining business. Always makes for an interesting conversation when I tell folks about Grandpa. He said many times that he thought that "Los Alamos sh!t" would get him. But it didn't. He lived an incredibly full life. 17 grandkids and 16 great grandkids when he died. --Debby

Pinky and The Brain said...

Debby,
I loved the story of how he met George. “Are you the son of a bitch that had me drafted?” He probably wondered if his life was going to end that day!

I'm glad to hear things turned out so well for him.
Pinky