Hunnit Buck Project Pt. 3: Rough Draft
“What’s your name, son?”
“Shieh-Chieh” is what came out of the man’s mouth, but what the other man heard was an
incomprehensible Asian name, thick with the accent of a freshly immigrated 28 year old Chinese man
“Shir-chay? Naw, we’re gonna call you Scotty. Welcome to Dale Mabry Airfield!”
Scotty nodded in agreement, then the American in charge was on to the next one. He hadn’t been in the states that long but it was instantly clear that the language barrier was going to be a huge issue, and if getting a new name meant taking a step towards breaking down the walls of communication then so be it. He shuffled forward, still 15, maybe 20 spots from the front of the line comprised of Chinese immigrants preparing to start American military training at the new Airfield.
Ironically, following the chaotic rush to war preparations sparked by Pearl Harbor, Scotty, who technically was Japanese, would be fighting against his home country. Technically. Japan had claimed ownership of Taiwan since it won it from China in the first Sino-Japanese War
Scotty grew up learning the Japanese language and its customs in school, and he didn’t like what he learned because when he finished high school, he left for the shores of China to pursue medical training. He actually became a doctor and started a family, only to once again pack up and evacuate during the summer of 1941, after life in the second Sino-Japanese War finally offered the opportunity to escape.
And now, after twice leaving his home to avoid conflict, he was being trained to go right back and fight his own people. He had everything planned out, though. Complete his training, make some money to support his family, go to war if called upon, then hopefully survive and start his own practice in the U.S. That was his original plan, minus all the war, upon immigrating. He was nervous, though. Scotty had never flown a plane before. At least, having to have made the myriad of adjustments to the starkly different cultures of his home land and America, he had no shortage of experience learning new things in the past year or so.
At first, almost all of his friends had been fellow immigrants, but as his training continued and his English improved, he established friendships with several other Americans on base, including a couple of his superior officers.
Okay, there’s 15 minutes until the submission deadline on blackboard and I don’t anticipate ginishing this story with a bang in that much time. After all, I only just came up with the idea. I was going to write about a stray dog’s perspective observing the happenings at Mabry Airfield, and then I realized I could call up my grandfather and get a firsthand account of what it’s like to be in America after living in Asia. That idea is so much better than the dog one, and for the fourth part of this project I’ll be able to research/write a much better story now that I have some real time to work with.
Comments: I look forward to reading your next and FINAL submission.