Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Richard L. Stockman
STOCKMAN: I forget what they called the method, but it consisted of a rotating drum with this terrible liquid. Unfortunately we didn't have a clothing allowance because you needed one on account of this purple dye. It was just a very rudimentary printing press operation. We actually needed messengers to distribute this stuff internally within the embassy and outside the building to other US offices.
When you move on down the road to later assignments, well, of course, a smaller US embassy would all be self-contained. People would come to the communication center to pick up. But the introduction of the Xerox at least in most of the places where I was, did not really take hold until the early 1970s. No one could afford those things.
Q: But at least, from what I gather, although you were kept under rather strict working hours, you were able to get yourself a bride.
STOCKMAN: Well, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. With a liberal arts background in the seminary I had always had an interest in languages. I felt very strongly that one can not enjoy the benefits of a Foreign Service career without making a bona fide attempt to learn languages. I deliberately chose not to date girls within the embassy so that I could learn the language, and I think I succeeded within six months. Obviously I found a fianc�e of my choice and understood enough to say, “I do.” The Brazilian people were very enjoyable and hospitable. The life after work there in Rio was never a problem. That was a city that was eternally ticking. One could work any shift, and we had three shifts around the clock, and you could always go out and find a restaurant open and entertainment. Life was typical of a tropical assignment. The Brazilians were much Latin in that respect. A great tour.
Q: Then, I take it you were all set for the Foreign Service?
STOCKMAN: I was sold.
Q: I have you coming back to the Department from 1969-70. What were you doing?
STOCKMAN: In those days one of the natural consequences or penalty, so to speak, that we had to pay if we married a foreign spouse.
Q: You came back to get her nationalized?