PHOTOS: Off-Ramp explores pristine backyard bomb shelter in the Valley

Rabe at blast door of the bomb shelter.

Mae Ryan

Rabe at blast door of the bomb shelter.

Mae Ryan

Off-Ramp host John Rabe descends into the bomb shelter.

Homeowner Chris Otcasek, Off-Ramp host John Rabe, and Americana historian Charles Phoenix in Otcasek's backyard bomb shelter.

Mae Ryan

Homeowner Chris Otcasek, Off-Ramp host John Rabe, and Americana historian Charles Phoenix in Otcasek's backyard bomb shelter.


Yes we're gonna have a wingding
A summer smoker underground
It's just a dugout that my dad built
In case the reds decide to push the button down
We've got provisions and lots of beer
The key word is survival on the new frontier

The New Frontier, Donald Fagen

Sometimes, producing radio, you look for subtlety and nuance, you carefully weigh the various stories you might do. Not this time.

When my friend, the actor Chris Murray, asked me if I wanted to go into the bomb shelter at his relative’s new home, I said absolutely.

The house is a vintage DuBois ranch home, and it comes with a vintage shelter, lovingly built by the first owner at the height of the Cold War. What makes this one possibly unique in LA is that it’s largely untouched.

As you can see in this photo, many of the original survival items, like paper towels, are still in it. Dig the can of MPF on the right. That stands for Multi-Purpose Food. Mmmm.

I collected a lot of sound (like the hand-crank air pump) and Mae Ryan took a lot of photos, and we’ll be posting it all next week on the Off-Ramp page. Stay tuned!

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