Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Shoeshine Man at Taichung Station

Taichung Station, September 2009. Not much has changed since our days in Taichung.

While visiting Taiwan last September Gene Hirte and I decided to visit Hsinchu to see what remained of the MAAG facilities we have so often discussed on this blog and in our Taipei Air Station web site.

We arrived at the Taichung Station early in the morning. Gene went to the ticket window to purchase round trip tickets to Hsinchu while I strolled around the station to see if I recognized anything from the past.

The station had a few changes, but overall, it was still the same building from our days in Taichung.

One thing stood out as I gazed about, something I never expected to see, a shoe shine man was siting in his chair reading the newspaper. I walked over and begin to examine the bulletin board of articles he had posted announcing his longevity at Taichung Station (60 years.) As I was reading, Gene arrived with our Hsinchu tickets, our train was arriving shortly. I left without taking photos.

When we returned to Taichung that afternoon, I had completely forgot about Mr. Huang's stand.

A few days ago Gene went back to the station and took a few photographs.

Mr. Huang's longivity at his position is something to be honored.

I wonder how he survives in this day of tennis shoes and slippers.

I imagine someone who reads this blog will remember having sat in Mr.Huang's chair to have your shoes cleaned and polished while awaiting arrival of your train.

Please read the English words on the plaque below.

The next time you're catching a train from Taichung, consider arriving a bit early, let Mr Huang take care of your shoes. It would be an honor to sit in his chair and he probably needs the business.

Mr. Huang in his shoe shine area of Taichung Station, November 2009

Click on the plaque photo above and it will open in a larger readable format.


Johnny said...

According to the journal, Huang has shined 200,000 pairs of shoes during his career of six decades since twelve. The money he earned helped him support his parents and six children, buy a house, and afford his brother’s college tuition. In old days, he had much business, about 40-50 pairs of shoes a day, but now he only shines 4-5 pairs.

Unknown said...

This story and related photo of this person reminds me of the "humility" of Taiwan people and how it trancends to Taiwan Today. I think I will get something relative to what some people do to earn a living today. A little show & tell.

Jim Dwyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Dwyer said...

Thanks Kent For This Post ~ We have seen Him a Number of times over the Years. Since we now live in Taichung six months yearly we see him more often as we did yesterday!