“What did you do in the war, Daddy?”
This best described my kids less than subtle message. To this day my daughter believed the CIA had employed me. When my son said, “Dad, you ought to start up a website about your past adventures,” it gave me pause. Did I really want to unearth my dubious past alongside misfits, rabble-rousers, and extreme individualists, some, like myself, who had entered the U.S. Foreign Service through the backdoor?
My son sugarcoated it by arguing that a lot of people on the Internet would love to read real accounts about their friends and relatives’ past lives in the Foreign Service and elsewhere in cities that most people had never heard of.
The idea to rekindle the past for Foreign Service vets and their offspring, as well as military personnel, and globetrotting engineers had merit, although it required caveats:
My Foreign Service messages will be conveyed to the best of my recollections. Necessity may require me to “fill in the blanks” to present an interesting and cohesive message. No apologizes for any memory failures or for mischaracterizations. It’s not my intention to embarrass anyone, tarnish memories, or be political.
If the readers feel like they have been sitting across from me in a bar (or coffee shop) in some third world country between Kabul and Nairobi while reading my messages, then I will have done my job.