The Author’s Message

Special Update September 24, 2018 Please visit my new blog! Click on “Novels by DKMatthews” or go to the “my books” page in the heading. This blog will tune you in to some of my other writing interests. For the rest of this year “Novels by DKMatthews” posts will be related to my latest novel, L.A. Ghost Story…

The Pastor’s Christmas Shoes | A Short Story

Author Note: The crux of this short story came up in a conversation with a fellow Foreign Service Officer in Bangkok during the ‘70s. It is hoped that its theme captures the Christmas spirit. Bangkok, Thailand | December 1978 After three months of detailed work on an Abu Dhabi bridge design in the United Arab…

American Embassy Nairobi | Terror at Happy Valley! (Part Two)

Author note: For those readers who have not read “part one” of this short story I strongly suggest you “click here” and read it before proceeding. Happy Valley | 1980: A Mid-Summer Nightmare Chynna and her mom were in a real fix. A dangerous panga gang had broken into their home located in an isolated…

American Embassy Nairobi | Terror at Happy Valley!

My assignment to the American Embassy Nairobi during 1979 to 1981 occurred during a tumultuous period. The security of regions throughout the world was on the edge. Nairobi had its own security concerns as tribal factions and bandits confronted an increasingly westernized city with violence. My job at the RCO office (Radio Communications Office) was…

Cairo International Airport | Thanksgiving in August

August 1978 Preface When I departed the American Embassy Cairo after my third visit I felt good about my situation. It had been nine months since the Pakistani Air flight had touched down at Karachi where I would be assigned for two years. The RCO (Regional Communications Office) there had been a big challenge but…

American Embassy U.A.E. | The Music Man

June 1978—The United Arab Emirates I was serving the U.A.E. missions on the way to Cairo and Athens. I had begun at Muscat, Oman. It might have been Abu Dhabi or Dubai (memories fail) where I ran into CRO Wojakowski. Wojo, short and non-descript, was in his mid-thirties. A short man, he owned a bald…

The Summer of ’78 | Technology and Magic

Preface: In Profiles of the Future (1962) Arthur C Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey and others) postulated his three laws. Also an inventor, a philosopher, and a futurist the author’s glimpses into the future changed a lot of opinions. Clarke’s famous three laws best describe his ideas: Law#1: When a distinguished scientist states that something is possible,…

Darts With Donna Summer | The Disco Queen

June 1978—American Embassy Amman, Jordan I enjoyed my visits to Amman, Jordan. Hands down it was the closest thing to Israel in the Middle East. I had to believe that was due mainly to the guidance of King Hussein, one of my idols. As I’ve mentioned in several previous messages (tag: King Hussein of Jordan),…

Travel Tuesdays in the Middle East | The Only Way to Fly

Travel experts argue that Tuesdays are the best days for travel. They point out factors such as competition, demand, the economy, and seasonality. It’s always nice not to stand in long lines at departures. A flight can be more comfortable with a vacant seat next to you. But there are other reasons for traveling on…

The American Embassy Athens | A Home Cooked Meal Includes Spoiled Milk

April 1978 RCO Bob Roberson had offered for me to layover the weekend in Athens before returning to my home base at Amconsul Karachi. I accepted with the only caveat being that I attend a half-day security upgrade at Am Embassy Athens. >photo Hellenikon Air force Base, Athens, Greece circa 1976 by forgottenairfields.com I was…

The Belgium Interest, Baghdad | WATTS Up?

May 1978 TDY (temporary duty), Baghdad: The U.S. government was starting up an “interest” at the Belgium embassy. I was part of a team of OC (Office of Communication) technicians tasked with installing an HF (High-Frequency) radio system called WATTS (West Africa Telecommunication and Teletype Systems) there that had the capability to handle classified telegrams. …

Baghdad | The Casablanca Nightclub

April 1978 TDY (temporary duty), Baghdad: The U.S. government was starting up an “interest” at the Belgium embassy. I was part of a team of OC (Office of Communication) technicians tasked with installing a High-Frequency radio system there that had the capability to handle classified telegrams. After drilling into very hard walls using very dull…

Baghdad | By the Rivers of Babylon

April 1978 The ’57 Chevy driven by a black-mustached Iraqi rumbled (the shocks were all gone) down the highway from the airport into Baghdad. I bet the tires (probably retreads) had little tread wear left. Boney M album cover courtesy en-wikipedia.org We passed a billboard that advertised the Iraqi leader Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. The old man…