This I Believe

James (Jim) - Leawood, Kansas
Entered on November 24, 2006

I believe that some realities start with a dream.

I am an immigrant. To be technically correct I am a Permanent Resident Alien. This greatly amuses my four years old, China-adopted, daughter who wants to know from where in Space I come. My answer to Lily is “from England, which is very close to the planet Mars.” Soon I expect to proudly tell her that I am a United States citizen, just like the two loves of my life. I do hope that my little girl is not too disappointed with my loss of extra-terrestrial status.

From a very early age, six as I recall, I dreamt of being an American. Fifties movies fuelled my yearning to cruise down Maine Street, Middle America, in a Packard Caribbean. As I became a functional young man, the attraction matured to include Doris Day, New York City, the Might Dollar, and a president who prevailed in a “High Noon” style showdown with a nuclear bomb toting Khrushchev.

Later in life, en-route to achieving a modicum of success as a bean-counter, I got to travel the roads of most continents and enjoy meeting thousands of people from diverse cultures. All of this added to my growth as a person and my determination to discover America – albeit a few years after Columbus did likewise.

I made my first USA landfall in nineteen eighty. My visit was three weeks long and was based around Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tucson. All of the expectations I had built over the years were realized in a twenty-four/seven explosion of senses and events. In no particular order I experienced: Disney; high dining, dollar ninety nine breakfasts, meetings with politicians and business people who offered the world for sale, a drive along Wilshire Boulevard in a white Rolls Royce, dude ranching, being stalked by a chapter of Hells Angels, airports with nil security, gas for less than not-a-lot, vast and wild scenery, noise, extremes of wealth and poverty on one street, people with great warmth and generosity, American football, a zillion musicians never before heard of – and on it went!

My dream could now become reality, and I was sold on making it happen. And it has happened. This poor English lad has, in his humble opinion, found family, friends, home, and rewarding work, in the greatest country on Earth (warts and all).

I continue to invest in my American dream – believing that the good things that result will, by far, outweigh the dark stuff of life.