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"The Tech Rep" by James Michener; Continued:

"It was not easy to talk with Holt. To my longest question, he would reply only with a grunt. Also, it was difficult to identify the places he talked about, since he never referred to cities or nations, only to the airports at which he installed U.C. systems: IT WAS WHEN I WAS AT YESILKOY PUTTING IN THE BIG RALLEY II. This meant that he had been working at the airport for Constantinople, installing a communications system of the second degree of complexity. I never knew where the name Big Ralley came from, but there were four of them, and only the largest airports like Kennedy and Orly had Big Ralley IV. With this you got radar, side bands, closed-circuit television and half a dozen relay stations about the country, all of which Harvey Holt could keep operating when he was left behind as the tech rep.

BEST JOB I EVER HAD WAS DON MUANG, he once told me. Bangkok had come early in his career and he had spent two happy years in Siam. By then the pain of his divorce was wearing off and he was beginning to adjust to his well organized Bachelor's life. DON MUANG WAS GOOD. It was also Kai Tak, not Hong Kong; Kemajoran, not Djakarata; and Dum-Dum, not Calcutta. You also had to be attentive when occasionally he used real names, for on the few occasions he referred to cities and nations, he kept to the names he had learned in school. Thus it was Constantinople, Persia, Siam, and to the hell with innovations like Istanbul, Iran and Thailand."

To be continued:



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