"The H-Bomb and the Jesus Rock came out of a whole big bag of things from my grade school years—the fear of sudden nuclear annihilation, the equation of the Red Scare with the Red Devil, coldblooded nuns, a fat kid in the neighbourhood with a vast collection of baseball cards and a perfect capitalist mentality..." John Manderino
It’s Saturday, October 27, 1962, the darkest day of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Two children, Ralph and his little sister Lou, are seaching for empty bottles in a vacant lot when they discover a rock which–to them, at least–looks quite a lot like Jesus. Ralph immediately declares it a Possible Holy Object. And, since his fondest wish is to be a boy-in-a-story, he earnestly places himself and Lou–now his sidekick–in a tale featuring the “sacred rock” as the key to nothing less than saving the world from nuclear annihilation.
But Toby–older, shrewder and quite a bit larger–has very different plans for the rock, intending to use it as a lucrative sideshow exhibit, complete with fliers: Is it Jesus? Or just a rock? You decide! Hovering over the children and their small-scale war is the general anxiety and dread attending the most perilous moment in our history.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, The H-Bomb and the Jesus Rock provides a unique, often humorous view of that near-Armageddon.