The Night That the Lights Went Out in Cleveland… Some may remember the night that the lights went out in Cleveland—that and the entire Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada too. If not, I’ll remind you. It was late afternoon on Thursday, August 14 th , 2003. Well, for us in China it was August 15 th , 2003, a Friday morning—thirteen hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. It was before breakfast and our flight to the island where the U.S. Consulate was. The whole trip was a bit of a bumpy ride from beginning to end. Scrutinized here and there with a smattering of kindness and curiosity from others. It began with rifles held as we landed in communist China—proper. Coming down off the metal steps of the prop plane. I whispered, “Don’t pull out your cameras.” Disregarding my whisper—Don pulled out his camera— he was reprimanded in Chinese. I was surprised they didn’t confiscate his camera as I heard rifles shift. My mind set off alarm bells. Yet I remained mildly relaxed
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