Damn, that sounds good!
Working overseas, asking a person where they are from is a good way to break the ice. I listen patiently as they tell me their home state, and when they ask me, I point to my boots and proudly state, Texas!
In places I travel, sometimes my State Department ID is not enough. That’s when I pull out the ol’ Texas driver’s license. I kid you not. I have found that little card from Texas has more sway than a diplomatic badge with my picture on it, and the words U.S. Department of State.
A few months ago, I had to go to one of the Turkish military compounds to help with a situation. I gave the guard the usual State Dept. ID and he looked at it and said, “I need more.” So, I gave him my “Sam Houston” card, and he exclaimed, “Ah, Texas!” I replied, “Yes, sir. Best country in the World.”
Believe it or not, that scenario has played out several times since being in Turkey.
Once I had to make an emergency flight to Adana and when I got to the airport, I realized to my horror, I did not have my passport or Turkish ID card. I called back to the Embassy and was told to try using my State Dept. ID. So, I did and it wasn’t enough. I pulled out the driver’s license and she said, “Yes, yes. This will work.” So I was able to make a round trip flight and check into my hotel in a foreign country with only my Texas driver’s license. Amazing, even to me.
When I first arrived here, all three of us in the office hailed from Texas. So the walls are adorned with the Texas flag, and four clocks: Turkey time, Greenwich Mean Time and two showing the time in Texas. What else is needed?
Back in December, our Texas born Seabee returned to the States and his replacement is from California, or Florida or someplace bizarre. So, he felt a bit slighted the office was a shrine to the Great State of Texas, and proceeded to let his opinions be known.
He took a Texas clock and placed a sticker on it insinuating the clock was showing Florida time instead. A few weeks later, I replaced the clock with a Texas clock that could not be altered. So far, it has remained. Rightfully so.
The Marines at the Embassy have their own house, which understandably has a bar. So, I purchased a Texas flag to hang where all could see and enjoy it. As a gratuity for my actions, the Detachment Commander, “an American by birth and Texan by the grace of God”, purchased a special Texas glass for me to use when I am in their bar. All Marines are told, that particular glass is for Mister Nolte and no one else is to use it. It pays to be a Texan in so many ways.
While I was gone from the office one day, our little cleaning girl, Nadia, came in and cleaned. Over by my cigar humidor, I have a bumper sticker my boss gave me which says, “… you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas”. This is a quote from the Texas Hero, Col. David Crockett.
Someone told her what it said and she found it to be a beautifully profound statement. I don’t really think she understood it, but it did have the words Hell and Texas in it, so she found it profound. I know in some places in the State, the difference between Hell and Texas are not well defined.
Now, every time I see her in the hallway, she has this enormous smile she gives me. The next time I am in the office when she shows up, I’ll give her the bumper sticker to enlighten her life. She will probably name her firstborn after me.
Instead, I will tell her to name the little one, Samuel Houston or Stephen Fuller Austin! Give the credit where it is due.
Keep kicking butt. Dwaine (Texan)