Tales My Father Told Me

Sometimes I Wish He Had Written Them Down

Robyn Sinead Sheppard
4 min readAug 1, 2023

I’ve written before about the trials and tribulations of growing up as a PK (Preacher’s Kid) and how it’s affected my choices in life. Most of the time it was okay, other times it kinda sucked, and on rare occasions, it was quite instructive.

Today I’m going to write about three of those occasions.

When I was 13, my father’s duties as an Air Force chaplain took him to a remote radar and missile site in Trabzon, Turkey, some 90 miles from the Russian border. This was shortly after President John F. Kennedy stared down Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev over the latter’s placement of missiles and radar in Cuba, some 90 miles from the US border.

I’ll pause now to give you some time to ponder the hypocrisy involved.

One of the cultural exchange programs involved trips to local businesses to see what life was like in Turkey.

One such trip was to a local mineral water bottling “plant,” which turned out to be a rusty pipe coming out of a rock face. This was surrounded on three sides by a low wall, about 4 feet high. Inside this “bottling plant” were 3 employees, a 2-wheeled cart, and a donkey. The floor was bare dirt.



Robyn Sinead Sheppard

A happily retired technical writer, I write in order to understand what I'm thinking.