It was the Summer of 1966 and someone was barking through a megaphone: “Keep moving, not too fast, don’t look at the cameras!” We were told to move deeper into the sandy pit, slowly, towards a group of people wearing black plastic capes at the bottom of the slope. We wore pink buttons that read: “GAS–I’M A HAPPENER” and blew whistles as we marched downwards past stacks of multi-colored oil drums that were pushed from a ledge. We were told to roll the drums back up the slope through a sea of fire-fighting foam. I guess I was too young to pick up the sexual allusions at the time, but the bubbly foam was warm and felt oddly stimulating as it oozed around my ankles. Mud stuck to the oil drums and made them difficult to roll up the embankment, but we kept pushing because there were men with cameras and we were going to be on TV.
more from Alastair Gordon at the WSJ here.