Part  II


July 2, 2018


This is the second part of a four-part offering consisting of my pseudo-philosophical meanderings concerning the current state of affairs in what still survives as the United States of America.  Part I was published  yesterday, July 1, in this and other groups.  If you’re unable to locate it and want to see it, message me with your private email and I’ll be happy to send it along.




R. A. Schultz



We American kids were small a minority in the Standard Vacuum Petroleum compound in Sungei Gerong, across the Musi River from Palembang, in what was about to become the Republic of Indonesia.  We were heavily outnumbered and nobody liked us.  Come to think of it, I’ve been a Deplorable most of my life!



There were a whole bunch of Dutch kids, maybe about 60, a much larger bunch of Indonesian kids, their numbers seemingly infinitesimal, but only about two dozen American kids, some of whom were of high school age but mostly in grade school.  I was one of the youngest.  We learned to stick together.  There was one English kid, and she hung out with us Americans but usually managed to avoid most of the trouble that we got into.  The Indonesian kids just wanted to be left alone but there was a lot of animosity between the Dutch and the Americans, stemming, I suspect, from the fact that the Americans were late-comers to the Far East, coupled with the fact that  the Americans freed the Dutch-owned Indonesian colony from the Japanese, and likely planted the seeds of freedom in the minds of the emerging Indonesian political leadership.  Also there was that little thing about the American contractors getting paid much better than the Dutch.  In any event, things did not go well and there were numerous skirmishes.



My best friend out there was a kid from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He was slightly older than me, maybe about a year.  Mike Connolly came from Tulsa, Oklahoma and had a strong Okie drawl.  I guess I picked up some of it because for as long as I spent in New York, I always spoke like I didn’t belong there.



American nationalism naturally sprang up among us but not aggressive nationalism, rather, the intense awareness that we were all from different parts of  someplace really special and really far away.  We all learned love of country from the other side of the planet.  None of those skirmishes we had with the Dutch kids ended well for us.  Mostly, we were satisfied with a draw.  I still bear the scar on the back of my head where one of the buggers hit me with what felt like a boulder.



Coming “home” for me was like traveling to just another country but I acclimated fairly well, and that nationalism that had arisen within me, that awareness that I truly live in someplace really special, stayed with me and blossomed.



I guess history was my favorite subject throughout grade school, middle school, and definitely in high school.  I became fascinated at the concept of how our government was supposed to work.  John Womack was my social studies teacher in my senior year in high school.  He introduced his classes to the in-depth workings of the national government and its interactions with the states.  He presented us with “scrubbed” Supreme Court cases which we had to read and re-decide, giving detailed, well-thought-out reasons for our decisions.  A Southerner himself, he cautioned us not to blindly accept Lincoln as the savior our textbooks portrayed him to be.  Under, and because of, his tutelage, I decided that my college major would be political science.



Wanda Hope Carter
BlueMax, you can put a link to your other blogs by hitting the edit button and then the link button and pasting them in there one at a time. They will show up at the bottom of the blog that way as attachments. Thanks for this great blog!
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