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The Rapture Will Not Be Televised

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Like Jenny Diski, I was half hoping that the Rapture would arrive as advertised. Unlike her, I spent Judgment Day in Oakland, California, just a few miles from Harold Camping’s radio ministry. When the day came and went I drove out there, though there’s nothing really to see. The building’s on Hegenberger Road, flanked by a repair shop on one side and the Hegen Burger restaurant on the other. There’s a gas station across the street. The entrance to Oakland’s airport is just around the corner. The palm tree you see in this photo is a very lonely palm tree. There were a few people in the parking lot – they’re standing just behind that truck – but they weren’t the folks I’d seen on TV the night before. Those people (atheists, the newswoman had said) had been carrying signs: ‘This is not a sign,’ some of the signs had read. These people waved and called out, and I turned the car around. But we were late to the party and I didn’t take their picture.

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