Chapter 2 – Third Culture Kids

Not long ago, I ran across a term that may explain my view on things you will read here (if you are still with me). TCK stands for third culture kids. It has been discovered that children who are brought up in missionary, military or circumstances where they grow and develop outside their home country has a slant on their way of perceiving the world.

Suddenly, I started to understand why I had always felt more comfortable around foreigners and felt foreign around my own countrymen. Not for one minute do I regret being a TCK. It is a gift. Sometimes, you see more clearly from a distance.

Memories of our time cloistered in the confines of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina are an example of TCK. Pretty much now forgotten, the USA in the 1950’s was gripped in the terror of polio. The disease was a constant threat and worry to every family in America. The 1950’s were also a time of much needed racial de-segregation.

Summer was prime time for polio. We had three full months of summer vacation from school. Every morning, we jumped out of bed, put on shorts, and were dressed and ready for the day. Shoes and shirt were not necessary and sun screen had not been invented. One day, my little brother Dan came running in screaming, “I saw Polio, I saw Polio!” Polio turned out to be a black man operating a lawn mower.

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