Monday, August 04, 2003

KIMBALL, Nebraska (AP) -- In an era of rainbow-colored terror warnings, the underground home of Don and Charlene Zwonitzer makes duct tape and plastic sheeting seem like the first little pig's house of straw.

The Zwonitzers figure they could hold out a year without having to leave their home in an Atlas E missile silo.

"Maybe longer than that," said Don Zwonitzer, 55, a retired electrical engineer. "The two of us could live longer than that. But we would probably open up our doors to everyone we can."

While it may seem an improbable castle, the Zwonitzers are not alone. As many as a dozen of the nation's former missile silos have been turned into homes, says Ed Peden, who lives in an Atlas E silo outside Dover, Kansas, and helps sell the sites.

Y'know, I always wanted to live in an old missile silo, mostly 'cause it was like punk rock & science fiction all kinda slammed together, but part of it was the idea of putting a big 'ol trampoline net about halfway down the shaft, climbing to the top, killing the lights and just jumping out into blackness, knowing you were cool but having no idea when you'd hit...

'Course, it never occured to me to make a high school outta one of the durned things. Good for, um, whoever.

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