The Boom Years

Twenty-eight years after a nuclear bomb rocked Colorado, its shock waves still reverberate on the Western Slope.

Craig Hayward remembers seeing that wave, too. "The ripple just moved along the ground like a wave in the water," he says. "It shook the bejeezus out of the whole countryside."

Hayward watched the blast from a distance with his father, Lee, and grandfather Claude, the man beneath whose potato patch the bomb blew up. Claude may already have been regretting letting the government explode an A-bomb on his property for a bottle of whiskey and the promise of a few hundred dollars. But, says Lee Hayward, the old man was still impressed with what he saw.

"I remember my dad saying, 'Goddamn, that was a good one,'" Lee says. "And his face was just white as a sheet."

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