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A revised look

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By Kirsten Laskey

“Inside Box 1663” first appeared on bookshelves in 1977 and became a bestseller. Thirty years later, the story gets a revised look in its new edition.The author, Eleanor Jette, gave a first-hand account of what life was like in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project era.She describes the schools, the hospitals, and the parties at Fuller Lodge along with the quirks of living in a secret town such as owning driver’s licenses without names or addresses. “She dealt with the day-to-day living,” said Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heddy Dunn.“I think it’s just a classic,” she added.Jette was born in 1907 in Denver. She and her husband moved to Los Alamos in 1943. While her husband worked at the laboratory, Jette dealt with living in a secret community.Dunn explained the book went out of print and the Historical Society, which published the book, couldn’t find Jette’s descendents to get the book reprinted. However, Jette’s grandson, Eric Rice Jette, asked that the book to be re-released.“Inside Box 1663” can be purchased at the Los Alamos Historical Society Museum Gift Shop, Otowi Station Bookstore and Science Museum and Village Arts.Additionally, it can be purchased online at www.losalamoshistory.org.The difference between the first and second edition, Dunn said, is the second edition includes more and different and higher quality photos.Although the book hadn’t been available for years, its popularity never dimmed. Dunn said she saw it offered on e-Bay for $35. When she saw the price, “I knew there was a demand,” Dunn said.She added she believes the second edition will continue to attract readers because “people always like a good thing to read.”