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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

He Never Got The Chance To Grow Old

From the moment he took his first breath at birth, until the day some 22 years after when his life on earth ceased, he was a "Kenny." Some people have names that don't quite seem to fit.  

His name was perfect.  Everyone I know called him Kenny, even his teachers.  He had no enemies and always had a smile. 

As with other guys in our small Midwestern town, boys our age met each other by playing Little League baseball.  That was the case with Kenny and me.  We were both second sackers for our teams.  

We complemented each other in that he had a great glove and I had a decent bat.  That was the way it was for the next several years.  

It was 1962 and Elvis was still a big deal.  In our high school, most of us wore our hair very short.  Kenny Thornton chose a modified "DA" for his senior picture. 

Like many young men, Kenny joined the military right out of high school.  Nobody looks happy in their basic training photo, and his was no exception.  Through the eyes of an older person, he looks extremely young.

Kenny attained the rank of sergeant in the Marines after a couple of years.  By now, he was a grizzled veteran.  

This is information from the Virtual Wall found on the internet.  Think of where you were when you were 22.

There was a great deal of controversy over the Vietnam War Memorial.  One was the use of black granite, the plain design,  and the architect, Maya Lin.

A hometown memorial honoring the men who gave their lives stands in Shelby.

The addition to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Selfie On Grass Mountain

After our very first blog post in August, 2010, an Army Lieutenant Colonel introduced himself in a comment.  Thus began my correspondence with Scott Ellinger.  

Over the next three years, he provided me with many leads to information regarding the Grass Mountain area.  He also expanded on pictures and copy in some of the blog posts.  

After more than two decades with the Army, Scott retired and is now still living in Taiwan.

Picture by and of Scott Ellinger

Here is Scott stopping for a self-portrait in front of the road leading to the apartment we had rented over 40 years ago. 

Not only did he find our apartment, but Scott also found the Grass Mountain STRATCOM complex where many of us worked for 15 months or more.

Here is the Google Earth picture of the same background in the previous picture.  Scott talked his way past the guards and easily found where we had lived. 
On the left is our old apartment as it appears today.  On the right is a 1968 picture of our third floor apartment.  Thanks to Scott for the side by side photos. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Think That I Shall Never See Another Building With So Many Trees

Before beginning this blog in 2010, I sent Kent Mathieu some photos, some of which he published in his blog,

My photos of these two buildings eventually made it into this blog. They can be found in other Taipei military blogs and websites.

Over the years. Kent was kind enough to take several shots of these two buildings. Their longevity is in doubt.

Photo by Jack Hornbeck in the late 1960s.  Courtesy of Kent Mathieu.
This crisp picture of the Kings Hotel and the 77 Club building was taken on a sunny and clear day in Taipei.  

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

In 2014, Kent took this picture of the same two buildings shown above.  The King's Hotel is now a bridal shop and the 77 Club building is a vacant.  

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Taken that same day, this photo shows the trees growing atop the 77 Club building.  Next to the building is a lane which led to the Monte Carlo Club. 

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Here you can really see the forest which has been sprouting for a long time.  This would indicate the future of the building as fairly short.  

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Taken from a different angle, not only do we see the two buildings shown above, but also the building which once housed the Pink Bar. 

Across the street stands the Shanghai Savings Bank which once was the Majestic Hotel.   

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Here is the entire SW corner and the view to the south.  That is not the old Central Hotel behind it.  It was demolished over a decade ago.