I should have expected it. If you keep digging, eventually you’ll find a different slant to whatever you are working on. I did not expect to find the governance of the Panama Canal Zone a research project for the world’s proponents of Progressive Socialism.
Question: “Where might one travel in the early twentieth century to find a society in which profit was not the goal? …Where the government owned the railroads, the hotels, the stores, the restaurants, and even provided free housing to every resident? Where the government owned all the land?”
Julie Greene begins a chapter in her book, “The Canal Builders” with those questions. She continues. “In 1911 the prominent American socialist Arthur Bullard published a book arguing that such a place already existed––in the Panama Canal Zone. He declared, “The more one stays here, the more one realizes that the Isthmian Canal Commission has gone further towards Socialism that any other branch of our government—further probably than any government has gone.”
That mind-bending piece of information dictates a definite slant on what and how I write a historical fiction piece on the Panama Canal project! It does not mean a new start, but it is a thematic slant that I can’t ignore.
In case you were wondering, I’m still learning and still having fun!