By Greta Berlin

I was 18 when the film “On the Beach” was released, starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. It takes place after a fictional World War III in Australia, the only remaining haven for humankind and is part romance (of course it is, it was 1959 after all) and part a cold war scenario of what could happen if nuclear weapons were used in the final days of the world.

I’ve never forgotten that movie nor the song, “Waltzing Matilda.” It doesn’t end well, as the submarine captain finally leaves Australia to follow a signal of possible life coming from California, leaving…