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, October 24, 2014

Goodbye, Bonnie Beauty Salon; Taipei, Taiwan

This picture below has been posted before, but now it means even more since the northeast corner of Chung Shan North Road and Min Chuan East Road is shown.  

We took this picture in 1969 because there was a motorcycle accident in front of the bank.  Also shown is the Northwest Orient office on the corner and Bonnie Beauty Salon at the far left.  

The buildings in this area stood for over 40 years after the Vietnam War.  

Crowds gathered quickly back then and accidents like this one were far too frequent.

This picture was taken before the accident photo above.  Bonnie's place is on the left. 

It was a full service salon with manicure, pedicure, wigs and all the usual salon services provided by the friendly staff of males and females. 

They treated their American customers particularly well.

Pacific Stars and Stripes Sept. 1, 1969
As you can see, Mrs. Bonnie S. Ko was a one-stop business for all hair or hairless issues.  

Photo courtesy of Marvin Faulkner

Taken in 1968-69, this shot shows the entire area leading to the beauty salon and the Northwest Orient office on the corner.

Throughout the years, as has been said, this corner may have changed businesses, but the buildings stayed the same.

In fact, Starbucks has moved into the former Northwest Orient building.  The big change was inevitable since the buildings were so old and Taipei was becoming so modern. 

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu  

Everything behind Starbucks has come down with taller and stronger buildings on the way.

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu  

Fortunately for this blog, my friend Kent Mathieu is a frequent visitor to Taipei. 

He knows how much time we spent back in the late 60s and early 70s roaming around this intersection.  Thanks to Kent for keeping us consistently updated.

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

This building behind Starbucks was being erected last year.  It is now enclosed, and we have a few more photos to show the update in this area in October of 2014.
Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

All buildings facing Chung Shan behind the barrier have been leveled.  The building in the previous picture can be seen in the distance.  

A covered walkway on the right should give some protection to pedestrians who are going to be walking directly beside the construction.   

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Taken from the west side of Chung Shan, the area affected by the construction can be clearly shown. 

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

It looks as though the continued presence of Starbucks may be the last point of reference on this corner.  

Notice the Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank directly across the street.  It, of course, was once the Majestic Mansion Hotel. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Gold Mountain, Taipei, Taiwan

When looking at the previous post, those of us who are interested found that Gold Mountain is still in the same location as it was in the 1960s.  

Gary Roske tried to get closer to it, but was turned away by Army guards.  

A call went out from this blog to ask for help in finding the location of the tower in Gary's two pictures.  

To the rescue came Victor W. Cheng, who has been a follower of this blog since its inception in August of 2010. 

From the 1973 overhead photo of Grass Mountain, Victor was able to find the exact location of Gold Mountain.  

Just as I had been way off on the location of Grass Mountain, it took Victor's skill to home in on the place.  It is south and east of the Grass Mountain complex. 

All these years, my assumption was that it was north and east of Grass Mountain.  

Now, it makes much more sense as to why the operators at the Gold Mountain JOSS (Joint Overseas Switching System) lived and ate at the Grass Mountain barracks.  

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathiieu

Here again is the 1973 overhead photo of Grass Mountain with Mandarin characters written on it. 

An overhead shot of the Grass Mountain station shows the coordinates and the much improved road system around it.  

Photo courtesy of Victor W. Cheng

Also from 1973, you can see the Grass Mountain station in the upper left corner of this picture and the Gold Mountain relay at the lower right. 

The same view of Gold Mountain, circled in red, in relation to Grass Mountain

Above is a red line leading from outside Grass Mountain, down and circling Gold Mountain.

Photo courtesy of Victor W. Cheng

A zoomed in photo of Gold Mountain shows the facility more clearly.

Photo courtesy of Victor W. Cheng

To provide a modern day closeup of Gold Mountain, Victor has sent this picture.  Now you can see the tower that Gary Roske had shown in the two pictures of the previous post.

The official coordinates of Gold Mountain

The unofficial coordinates of the entire Gold Mountain area