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

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Shu Linkou NCO Open Mess Annex

The Linkou Club, the place to grab a snack, a drink or just relax.  It's doors were open virtually around the clock.  No matter where you worked, if you visited the Navy Exchange, an office in HSA or just had the day off, it was the Linkou Club where you found peace of mind and a taste of home. For after hours folks, it was the Linkou Club who catered to late night crowd.

Not very much has been written on the Linkou Club.  It was just down the street from the Foreign Affairs  Service Department (FASD) Hostels, it was just outside the HSA East Gate which made it an easy walk from the Navy Exchange and Commissary parking lot, and it was within walking distance for the many folks who had apartments in the area of HSA.

I have to admit, I had always thought that the club was physically located in an old Japanese Era house.  I have no idea how I came to that conclusion.  I remember walking under a short covered walkway along a sidewalk from the Chung Shan North Road entrance.  That's all I can recall today, but it's been 43 years since I visited the old Linkou Club.

Today, with the arrival of new photographs of the area, I believe we can explain just where the old club was located and how things changed over the years.

Another great story from our days in Taiwan.

Don't forget - Double click on all the photos -  to see a larger size photo for closer viewing of the picture!

Photo courtesy Leon German circa 1962-1963 via  Shulinkou Web Site

I believe this photo and the two under are the oldest photos that have surfaced of the Shu Linkou NCO Open Mess entrance walkway on Chung Shan North Road. 

In this photo, I believe you can see the HSA East Compound Gate Posts just under the tree in front of the Ford Fairlane parked along the sidewalk just in front of the ice cream pedlar's cart.  The gate posts look to be brick.  Do you see them?  We'll talk about the gate and fence later.

Above 2 photos courtesy Jim Bohn circa 1961-1962 via Shu Linkou Web Site

In these 2 photos you can see the Linkou Club building.  It's the white building that is seen just above the pole, that sits in front of the food cart, a girl is standing along the  food cart wearing a skirt in the color photo above.  

Photos courtesy of Clarence E. Spohn - CCK -  Dec 1968 - Mar 1971
“Panorama photo” courtesy of B. Rayle – Hsinchu 1957-59

The entrance to the Linkou Club on Chung Shan North Road in April-May 1969

This “stitched” panorama photo above will remind many folks how the area looked before Mintsu East Road was cut through to connect with Chung Shan North Road.

Photo, circa 1969 courtesy of Clarence E. Spohn - CCK Dec 1968 - Mar 1971

I remember parking my Mustang across the street, along the area where the dark color Ford sedan is parked in the above photo.  In those days you could park anywhere.  In that particular area, from the Linkou Club entrance sidewalk northward to the HSA East Compound entrance gate, many “Chop” Auto Salesmen would sit around waiting to catch a new arrival driving up in his just off-the-ship automobile The first few days after military folks autos arrived on-island were critical to the Chop Salesmen in trying to bag those large American automobiles for their local clients.  Many a car deal was transacted along that sidewalk.

Photo, circa 1969 courtesy of Clarence E. Spohn - CCK Dec 1968 - Mar 1971
Clarence Spohn remarked on the above photo: “When I took this picture I think I was photographing the butterfly-shaped kites on the bike, but it shows the Linkou Hotel at the left.  At top center can be seen the top of the Imperial Hotel, and at right is the Mandarin Club, Lee's Portrait Gallery, the Asia Record Co., and Taipei Books. 

This photo clearly shows the Linkou Hotel and Linkou Club before Mintsu East Road was cut through to connect with Chung Shan North Road.

Corner of Mintsu West Road and Chung Shan North Road circa 1968

This photo was taken from approximately the same area as the black and white photo above.

Mintsu Road ended here, notice the trees and the fence along the center of the street.

Photo courtesy Shu Linkou Web Site

Notice the “K” Shoe and Tailor sign here and in the photo above. The street the two men are crossing ran to the left in the rear of the Linkou Club and the Linkou Hotel.  See the photo below.

Photo courtesy Shu Linkou Web Site
The GI seems to be in a hurry, maybe to catch the Linkou Shuttle Bus back up the hill.
This photograph was taken on the street that ran along the rear of the Shu Linkou Hotel and Club.
Up at the corner, just past the power pole with the transformer on the left of this photo, this street connects with Chung Shan North Road.  It is the same corner the 2 guys in the photo above are walking across. 
Some time in 1969 the city decided to open Mintsu East Road. To open the road, all of the buildings which sat along Chung Shan North Road in the roadway of the new Mintsu East Road had to be removed.
Everything was taken out along that area, probably up to the south side of the HSA East Compound fence line.

After the road opened, the area was completely different.

A friend wrote and said when he arrived in January 1970, the road had been cut through and everything was completed along Mintsu East Road, no indication of recent road work. 

Photos circa early 1970s courtesy USTDC Blog
 Photos of the Linkou Club and a shot looking east toward the Linkou Club taken from Mintsu West Road, the newly opened Roma Hotel can also be seen in the left side of this photo.
The stone wall in the 2nd photo above, along the wall where the bicycles are parked is where the 7-11 store stands today.

The 7-11 store on the corner today. 
Between the 7-11 and the salmon colored building in the center of this photo is the street which ran behind the Linkou Club and Linkou Hotel.  I recently walked down that street and found no hint of the club or hotel.  

Mintsu East Road today.  The Linkou Hotel and Club are long gone, the Roma Hotel is now a restaurant.  The Bookstore just to the right of this photo is open.

 Photo courtesy Shu Linkou Web Site

One last look at the Linkou Hotel and Linkou NCO Open Mess as it stood tall on Mintsu East Road.
Anyone for a cold one?

What memories do you have of the Linkou Club?


Don said...

My sponsor put me up at the Linkou Hotel, next door to the club, when I arrived in Taipei in 1973. After I got checked in, he and I went next door to the Linkou Club for a cold brew on that hot and humid day. I remember seeing ice crystals in the beer.

I didn't spend a lot of time at the Linkou during my tour, usually going to the stag bar at the Club 63 instead. I don't really know why, since the Linkou was just a quick walk from the hostel.

George said...

Comments on two photos:

First photo: Guy on left is Wally Cleaver (The Beaver's Big Brother).

Sixth photo: Photo, circa 1969 courtesy of Clarence E. Spohn - CCK Dec 1968 - Mar 1971 (The largest building in center background behind palm tree is the President (Tung Yi) Hotel which is no longer there. In the background to the left of President Hotel may be The Imperial Hotel.

Taipei Air Station said...

George, I watched the television show, "Leave it to Beaver" when growing up.

I am absolutely sure, the fellow in the photo is NOT the Wally Cleaver who stared in the television series.

That show was one of my favorites back in the day.

Anonymous said...

I was stationed at Linkou Air Station from 1960-63. I was a member of the Linkou Club during that entire time. Right next to the main Linkou Club was another small building called the Linkou Club Annex. It had a 2nd story, and it had a small bar, served sandwiched, had a few slot machines. It also offered a place for GIs to sleep if they missed the last bus back up the hill. It had a separate entrance that was not very visible from the street.

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Danny Lee. This is a post looking for information about my mother and her ex-husband. My Mother was Karen Christensen. She married a man Named Steve Gordon and my mother changed her name to Karen Gordon. I believe she was stationed at Linkou. I remember her saying something about Shu Linkou. She was often called KC or Casey. If you new my mother, knew someone who did, or knew her ex-husband I would very much like to hear from you. My Mother now has Alzheimer's Disease and can not share with us information we need to know to fill out her VA information. If anyone knows how to contact Steve Gordon, please let me know. You can email me at:
Thank you,
Danny Lee