30 Jun “Is This a Great Country or What!” By Suzanne Alexander
I’d never heard such a comment from any man of my acquaintance until my soon-to-be beloved, Robert, said it shortly after we started dating in 1987. I was slightly taken aback. I’d never thought of America in this context.
He then followed with: “You won’t see this in Minsk or Samarkand.”
He’d just spotted something in the newspaper about the invention of disposable contact lenses here in America. He was so proud of American accomplishment.
As the years of our dating relationship and then marriage rolled by, I heard that comment over and over again as American technology gave us so much that we take for granted today: the Internet, DVD players, Intel’s Pentium Processor, Amazon, Google, USB flash drives, YouTube, iPhones, iPads, Impella heart pumps, laptops, The Ring Trilogy; the list goes on and on.
After a while, I found myself saying it too. After all, America was the spawning place of hundreds of great ideas and inventions in those 25 years we were together. And Robert celebrated them with: “Is this a great country or what!” usually followed with: “You won’t see this in (name of Communist or 3rd world country) unless they steal it.”
Robert fiercely believed that America was not only good, but provided good things for others. He thought, and with good reason, that without America, the world would be in a very big and ugly Pickle. Kind of like it is right now, considering the lack of leadership we have.
If he were still alive, he’d comment on something he saw on the Internet or a product he found at Trader Joe’s or story he read about the courage of ordinary American citizens.
“Is this a great country or what!”
And I’d smile.