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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #21)

Tue Aug 15, 2017, 02:01 PM

24. I think we have a story of two American militarys to run parallel with the Two Americas.

Last edited Tue Aug 15, 2017, 05:04 PM - Edit history (1)

I grew up in the Canal Zone on a military base, in a small community that was heavily populated by civilians. To be more specific, we lived in a segregated part of the Canal Zone, where they housed Americans who married non-American spouses. Obviously, in those times, we are talking about Latino or White males married to mostly Panamanians.

Despite this, I grew up in the sixties thinking that racism was something that occurred in the U.S. between white and black Americans. I didn't see our community as segregated primarily because I was the same color of the majority of inhabitants in the country of Panama. I didn't even know that our little town was viewed as a segregated community until later, when someone told me that one of our classmate's mother wrote a book about the Canal Zone and described our community as a place where you couldn't tell the difference between the mothers and the maids.

I haven't read that passage, myself, but it's certainly on my to do list to hunt down one of those books. It was such tripe. The mothers were beautiful by anyone's standards.

Anyway, I lived in a shoebox of a house. It was a concrete block duplex, maybe 1750 sq. ft. My dad added a room to take care of the space for five kids, a grandmother and two dogs. The point is, that even when he became a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserve we didn't change housing as a commemoration to his accomplishment. There was no complaints. I loved my community. I loved my house that backed up to the baseball and softball fields. I loved playing in the tall sawgrass that grew along the airport strip. It was a heavenly childhood.

In sum, my expectations for officers in the military is very different than what I found once I moved to the States. And I think that my humble view of life at an early stage set me on a far different path than many of my friends who moved to the States and followed a very different trajectory.

At the Reunions, when I hear many of the Canal Zone ex-residents talk about any number of subjects, I realize how different we really are. We are all an extinct species, but our lives have followed the separate parallels that exist in the U.S.

Go figure.

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dixiegrrrrl Aug 2017 OP
underpants Aug 2017 #1
hatrack Aug 2017 #5
underpants Aug 2017 #9
UTUSN Aug 2017 #2
Motley13 Aug 2017 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Aug 2017 #4
MineralMan Aug 2017 #6
underpants Aug 2017 #10
haele Aug 2017 #17
maxrandb Aug 2017 #31
LeftInTX Aug 2017 #7
SweetieD Aug 2017 #12
TexasProgresive Aug 2017 #8
dalton99a Aug 2017 #11
dixiegrrrrl Aug 2017 #22
The_Casual_Observer Aug 2017 #26
Baitball Blogger Aug 2017 #13
Not Ruth Aug 2017 #15
Baitball Blogger Aug 2017 #16
HopeAgain Aug 2017 #29
JonLP24 Aug 2017 #21
LineLineLineNew Reply I think we have a story of two American militarys to run parallel with the Two Americas.
Baitball Blogger Aug 2017 #24
Blue_Tires Aug 2017 #27
JonLP24 Aug 2017 #28
Blue_Tires Aug 2017 #30
Not Ruth Aug 2017 #14
marylandblue Aug 2017 #18
dixiegrrrrl Aug 2017 #23
Iggo Aug 2017 #19
obamanut2012 Aug 2017 #20
GaYellowDawg Aug 2017 #25
dixiegrrrrl Aug 2017 #32
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