This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Monday, October 24, 2011

360 Degree Presents, Taipei, Taiwan, 1969

Not until we arrived back home, did we realize just how many gifts we had bought for friends and relatives. As the years passed, many of these gifts found their way back to us.

Some we still have, but many items such as lamps and carved figures have long since been discarded.

There were two jewelry boxes bought for our fathers. This one cracked as the teak wood dried out.

Most wooden gifts were bought in the area south of the East Compound where many merchants had galleries of things for sale.

When it came to jewelry, there were so many places to choose from that we eventually decided that buying at the PX would probably insure quality as well as a reasonable price.

We didn't want to mess this up as earrings were bought for our mothers and grandmothers.

One grandmother actually took her set to a jeweler to have it appraised.

After we arrived home, she told us the appraised value and that we shouldn't have spent that much money on her!  

What if we had bought them on Haggler's Row? I don't believe she would have called us cheap.

Eventually, all the pairs of earrings ended up back with us.

These two wall hangings were for another grandmother.

She received many comments and compliments on the variety of jade and other stones.

The black lacquer frames have faded with time.

So, today, you can see one of the jewelry boxes. All the pairs of earrings sent are in it. 

The wall hangings are in our bedroom and the scale of the objects can be easily seen.

Funny how so many gifts, given, made their way back to us.

Update:  After this posting, my wife found this old boy at the end of a closet shelf in a box titled "cups and saucers." 

Update 2012:  Well, we just seem to keep finding these remembrances. My wife bought this apron at the Officers Wives' Shop in the West Compound in 1969.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Always Read The Fine Print

We never fully read our lease. I'm sure our landlord did. We just paid the rent on time, took good care of the place, and vacated on time.

The next renters happened to be a young Air Force couple. He didn't think that working at Shu Linkou Air Station was going to be a problem living so far away.

Apparently a bus collected airmen from the Yangmingshan area and made its way to Linkou.

One last thing---did you guys who were living in Tien Mou or downtown Taipei without the Army's knowledge or blessing still pay your monthly fees to the Grass Mountain barrracks' houseboy?

The Chinese copy we had was in among other files. It was used in a business law class for over 2 decades as a teaching tool.  Reading the details of a contract was the point.

Until this came back to the housing office in the West Compound, we stayed at the King's Hotel.

This was as far as we got when reading the lease.

And so on . . .

Ad Nauseum . . .

I would have signed 50 copies that day. Until our furniture arrived we slept on the floor and listened to the radio.

A cab ride up the mountain to our apartment using the meter was about $1.50 my memory says.

Until found in our scrapbook, the Chinese copy of the lease we thought was gone. Then it popped up among some files.

Any expired contracts are usually not kept around. Fortunately, this one was.

It would have helped if this had been attached.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Apartment, Then And Now, Taipei, Taiwan

Thanks to LTC Scott Ellinger, pictures of our old apartment show what a real change took place in our complex over a 40+ year time period.

The area was fairly new back then, but each place was apparently converted into an individually owned apartment.

Photo courtesy of  09/15/2010

This declassified 1969 satellite photo shows the DaHeng Road area circled in blue.

Our old apartment on the third floor as it appeared when we moved in during the late summer of 1968.

Photo courtesy of LTC Scott Ellinger

Today, our old place is the apartment on floor three.

The apartment on the first floor would flood at its side door entrance. The owner obviously added a front entrance.

Photo courtesy of LTC Scott Ellinger

At the bottom right is a 1974 satellite picture of our road and apartment location. A current Google Earth photo shows the same area as it appears today.

Left photo courtesy of LTC Scott Ellinger

We all seem to like then and now pictures of buildings and places in Taiwan which are still standing. This is 1968 versus 2011.