My grandfather had a government job that he wasn't allowed to talk about. Most fathers in Los Alamos in the 1950's had government jobs that they weren't allowed to talk about. That is part of what makes Los Alamos kind of surreal. Los Alamos is Levittown on the mesa, or maybe the Stepford Wives on the high desert. There are world changing secrets kept behind closed doors, but you never get that sense driving down the street.
My grandfather's generation did not seem to question it that much. He believed profoundly in what he was doing. If I had ever asked him if it was stressful to keep those kind of secrets, he only chuckled, I am sure. Keeping those kinds of secrets would have really eaten away at me.
To relax, he over-engineered toys for his children. Solving a problem on a drafting table was his dearest expression of love. It must have also been deeply relaxing at the end of a day at work.
This go-cart was built for my mom and aunt. He designed the steering system and welded it together in his car-port. Originally, it had a battery powered engine on the back. My mother, as a young girl, yelled that it should go faster. Moments later, she drove it into a fire hydrant.
I played with the go-cart as a child. Every kid on the street played with it when I was a child. We would coast down the long hill of Manhattan Loop. There was no stopping the little car. My grandfather forgot to engineer brakes. Instead, you coasted to a stop or stuck out your feet and slid them on the ground. It is a miracle that no one ever backed out of their driveway and hit one of us.