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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Signal Compound in the Mid 1960s

Ted Baxter sent me a CD loaded with photos taken in the 1960s.

Ted was assigned to Army MAAG Taiwan and worked in the USTDC Comm Center.

We'll begin with a visit  to the Signal Compound located in the HSA East Compound in Taipei.

Ted took this photo of the group of soldiers he was traveling with, all on their way to Taiwan, stranded at Clark AFB waiting out an approaching typhoon. 

Had these guys been been stranded at Clark on their way out of Taiwan, I doubt they would be posing for a photo.  Most would have been  waiting out the typhoon relaxing in the NCO or Airman's Club.  Those Clark clubs were really nice.

The Signal Compound Ball Field - looking north

Same field, facing south.

There's a group of Dragon dancers practicing across the field.  Did we have any Dragon Dancing Teams in the military?  Maybe High School kids? 

This Signal Compound building housed a number of activities  - 

The Barber Shop
The Day Room
The "Chief's Office"
Mr. Loo's East Compound Tailor's

Gazing into this photo for just a moment, you notice the Barber's Pole on the building, memories of your barber shop are flowing into your mind.

Come along with me now, let your memories and imagination take over, let's just step out onto this street, we'll walk down to the Barber Shop, sit down and RELAX into the  chair as the barber begins to quietly cut your hair, moving about your head with his shears and comb, back and forth, it's a peaceful feeling as the comb moves through your hair, the clicking crunch of hair dropping onto the plastic sheet, the manicure lady is moving about your hands in her gentle way;  before your know, your head is being massaged as you lay back over the wash basin sink feeling the shampoo and warm water moved around and throughout your head,  then the  dry towel  throwing your hair about and a warm blow dry.  The Barber is not finished,  he brings you back to a straight sitting position as he performs a shoulder and neck massage and then makes his last finishing touches on your hair with his shears; the lady finishes your manicure, the shoe shine man helps you get your shoes on.  It's a challenge getting up, you hang onto the chair handle as you step down from the Barber's chair.  You're so relaxed it's hard to stand-up, you need to take a deep breath, the real world awaits you.

I expect many fell asleep in the chair, if only for a few moments.

I never again found the relaxing service I experienced in the Military Barber Shops of Taiwan. 

Leaving the Barber Shop, you just walk across the street and into the Signal Compound Barracks which housed Army and Navy lower grade enlisted personnel

Here's the laundry company delivery van. We didn't deal with the fellow who drove this van.  It was the Houseboys job to take care of our laundry.

Another fixture of the Signal Compound, the noise of aircraft on final approach to Sung Shan.  When the wind, temperature and humidity was just right, the engine noise was so loud that your instincts told you to look up and be prepared to high tail it.  

 The Auto Hobby Shop, always something going on here.
Frenchie (Al Lebleu), a Navy BM was assigned to run the shop.

The shop was really run by Mr. Chen, who was ALWAYS around.

The shop had many motorcycles in for maintenance.

Here's Lynn Mickey showing off on his way into the Auto Hobby Shop.

The long building to the rear was some sort of STRATCOM HQ Building.  

There is also some type of antenna tower in the far background.

 Lee Olson and his Triumph

 Lynn Mickey standing by the Triumph he and David Stettler owned together.  

Frenchie's 1955 Studebaker can be seen in the background

Frenchie (Al LeBleu) and his dog.

A dog would make out at the Hobby Shop.  All he had to do was greet everyone with a wag of his tail, look up to receive a pat on his head and a hand-out of snacks the guy might have in his hand.

Take a close look at him, I bet this fellow was the fattest pup on the compound, and he had a long tail.

 Ted's Triumph before it was refurbished and received new yellow paint.

 Ted's Triumph.

The bicycles probably belong to Mr. Chen.


 Ted's 1953 Triumph after it had been refurbished and repainted. 

Olie's Triumph

Ted's BSA --  Frenchie's 1955 Studebaker

Lynn Mickey, the motor pool parking lot in background.

Bob (Robert) Loper, posing for camera.
Heading out - maybe to the HSA Theater?

Behind the Jeep - is that the FASD Mess Hall?

The East West Theater and Library on the far end of the parking lot.

The Navy Commissary Store in Taipei. This photo was probably taken from the steps of the Navy Exchange.
The parking lot seems full.  Payday?

Ted, like many of us, eventually moved into the FASD Hostel.

Ted's Triumph parked along the fence siding Chung Shan North road.
Ted told me he repainted his bike yellow and put back the original handlebars prior to selling it.

Ted's clothing wardrobe in the Hostel room. 
Ted still has the Baby Ben wind-up clock you can see sitting on the shelf at the head of his bed, It must be about 43 years old now.

No question where some of his funds went.  During mid 60s, reel to reel stereo systems were just coming in and it appears Ted spend a bundle on his.

Looking into the bathroom and the next door neighbor's room.

MORE coming.  Next time we'll move out into the country on Ted's motorcycle.  
Many beautiful and unusual scenes.

If you were a "Cop" stationed anywhere in Taiwan, please send-in your photos.  I want to run a series of Blog Posts on the "Cops of Taiwan"
I have a group of photos from Tainan, but few from anyplace else.
You guys seldom get mentioned, but were always there for all of us...

Let me hear from you, I appreciate all mail.

Tsi Gen from Taipei

1 comment:

George said...

Thanks to Ted for those rare photos. I lived in those barracks Feb 65 - Jan 67. Had my haircut at that barber shop for about 10-15NT Dollars (the equivalent of .25-.30 cents back then. Spent a lot of time in the Day Room playing pool with buddies, and also did the once monthly overnight watches in the Compound. The US had a yearly dragon dance team which I participated in February or March 1965. I think most of the participants were HSA or USTDC guys. Although the team in the photo look like a Taiwan team - either a school or military. Thanks for the photos again.