Browsing through the diary I kept when I was working in Pakistan, I sometimes find a story that brings back fond memories. I was associated with Fort/AIC Consultants and our headquarters was located in Karachi. We had about 25 - 30 Pakistanis in our employ. We had two regular houseboys plus a young man about 20 years of age who was slightly retarded. These three did the menial tasks in our offices.
I came home for Christmas in 1992 and when I returned to Pakistan in early 1993, I took with me about 20 Clemson caps and jackets for some of the employees who worked directly with me. I also took several Clemson scarves for our female employees. I asked the young man to come to my office and presented him with a cap and jacket. His face lit up with a big smile that went from ear to ear. The look of gratitude on his face was amazing. One of the other Pakistani employees told me later the young man came from a very poor family and the cap and jacket was probably the biggest gift he had ever received. The pay for a house boy was not very much but even that small sum meant a lot to him. He told me he was going to wear the cap and jacket only on special occasions.
A couple of months later I had a bug and had to go to the Aga Khan Hospital for four or five days. During my stay I had a visit one day from this young man. He arrived clad in the Clemson cap and jacket, even though it was a hot day and the jacket was not necessary. In his hand he had a small bag of candy which he presented to me. The cost of that candy was a sizable amount of his pay. My doctor, who was in my room, and a beautiful young Pakistani, educated in England, served as my interpreter. Through her he told me this was a special occasion and he thought the sight of the Clemson cap and jacket would cheer me up. I can assure you his thoughtfulness was appreciated by this old Tiger.
And I learned something else that day, that young man was not retarded, he was head and shoulders above most of us. He knew the true meaning of caring and sharing.
First, I will have to mention that the Aga Khan Hospital was the finest in all Pakistan at that time. I was in a private room that was like a suite. I was dehydrated and sick as a dog when this young lady came in, dressed in the usual Muslim fashion. She began taking off her Muslim outfit and I thought "Boy, I'm really going to get some good medicine". But underneath her Muslim attire was her Americanized outfit. Before leaving my room she would put her Muslim outfit back on. She stayed in my room quite a bit and we had nice conversations. The first couple of days I felt so bad she just sat in the room and only said a few things. Her ability to speak English was one reason she was assigned to me and that was a welcome relief. She was in my room at every meal time to see if the food agreed with me and would report to the food staff my likes and dislikes.
When I entered the hospital I had to make a $250. deposit. When I was discharged my bill was just about $225. Sorry, no pics.
Well, I'm now in the first stages of getting things together. When I bought my last computer and all of my files were transferred, my stories were locked and I couldn't open them. Even Microsoft techs could not tell me what to do. About a month or so ago, one of my nephews and his wife were here. His wife is the business office of the company she works for. I mentioned to her my problem and she volunteered to take a look. In no time, she had the problem solved so I've been busy transferring all of these stories to a common document and that is a slow process. That part is almost done. Next, I will have to look at each one and separate them into specific files. I had planned for two books (stories re WW2 and the Korean War and one about my childhood, youth and personal stories) but I have a lot of stories that don't really fit in either one of those categories so I may have to go with a third book. I haven't posted any of these stories because most are longer. Some are just something that struck my fancy and made for a good story. The Bible offers a lot of opportunities to expand on some of those events, Jonah is one of my favorites.
Then after I get the stories into each separate file, I will then need to get them in some sort of chronological order. And then when that is finished, I will need to search through several boxes of photos to find some that would be appropriate for the stories. Currently, I am in touch with children of four of my WW2 company mates (all deceased) and they are eager to receive anything relating to their Dad.
So you see the amount of time and effort required to get this all together for publication is a vast undertaking. If I don't get this finished before my unscheduled departure I've asked my grandchildren to finish the job. That would serve them right because it was my oldest grandson who got me started on this venture. He is in line to inherit my Dad's Army sword (an 1890's vintage). Maybe I can add to my will that he does not get the sword until he finishes this job.
If you get any books published, I would definitely buy them. I like reading your stories and hearing how things were back then. When I was a child (early 60's now), I used to love to hear my grandmother tell me what it was like when she was growing up (she was born in 1901).
Joe, love your stories too. I have a collection of Soup Books. Soup for the Pet Lover, Soup for the Soldiers Soul, etc. Maybe you should put all those stories that are miscellaneous and call it "Joe's Soup de Jour" Just a thought. Waiting for the finished product. They will be Best Sellers.