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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Taipei in 1956 - Things Were Different in the Mid 1950s - UPDATED

In a previous story, we saw a few of Charles Hoppe's photos of the Double 10 Parade in 1956, as it passed on Chongqing South Road before reaching the reviewing stand outside the Ministry of National Defense Building (now the Presidential Palace.)

Today, more photographs from the 1956 - 1957 time period.

Charles (Charlie) was an Air Intelligence Officer assigned to the Taiwan Defense Command (USTDC) his office was located in the HSA Compound.

     "Four of us from USTDC shared a Japanese Style house in an area of many similar houses."

     "Our address was House 7, Lane 18, Chung Shan North Road." 

Charlie was not sure of the Section number.  He said it was a few blocks south of the HSA East Compound.  I looked on Google Earth and the best I can come up with, is a side street close to the Florida Bakery called Lane 18 Chuang Cheng Street. Some street names were changed a few years ago.

Charlie returned to Taipei on a visit a few years ago, located the old Lane, but his old home was gone, replaced with a high rise building.

Charlie's 1947, 2 Door Chevrolet, parked outside the house.  Charlie shipped the car from CONUS.  When he departed Taipei, he sold the Chevy to another military man. 

The cement container on the right side of this photo: -  can someone let us know what was deposited in these type of bins. Would it be spent charcoal?

The older man and woman are the folks who took care of us.  

The cook, (we called him Mao Tse Tung) and his wife Jody, washed the clothes and kept house for us.
The young man is their son, holding the dog Petey, which belonged to Mao and his wife. 

When we hosted a party at the house, we would have the son come in to help serve drinks, and help out. 

A full clothes line hanging to dry.
Mao and his dog Petey in the back yard of Charlie's home.

Looks like a party tonight.

The Ice Boy has arrived outside with the ice order. Mao in a clean apron, preparing for tonight's activities. I assume the ice is carried inside by the delivery boy.

During these years, there were thousands of bicycles filling streets throughout the island.

The Ice Boy rides an old Japanese style bicycle, he hauls a piece attached to the rear passenger seat, wire tie downs and rope available for any contingency.

These Japanese style homes had sliding doors in every room.  Fresh air was not a problem.

The biggest problem was heat, I see a large fan and just behind, is that a desk?

The Japanese presence can been seen in this photo.  

Looks like a comfortable couch to nap on, and that chair, a great place to settle in and read.

An Office Dinner at the Green Duck Restaurant on the shore of the Tamsui River.

These are some of the Intelligence folks who worked at or worked with USTDC, circa 1966. 

The small glasses probably contain Plum wine. 

We can see three dishes, I'll let someone else guess what they may be.

Also, a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes sits ready for after dinner smoking.

The table has been cleaned, lots of spills show on the table cloth, it's time for the main course - Roast Peking Duck.

Roasting duck is an art.  Only the old chefs know the secrets.

A chef or chef helper usually comes out from the kitchen, takes each duck to his carving board and puts on a show for everyone at the table as he carves the duck.  I had dinner at a large Beijing restaurant which has a reputation for serving good food.  We ordered a number of dishes.  The duck was the last entrée and it was the best.  

Each person has a small platter beside his plate which contains a number of condiments and warm, paper thin wraps.  As the duck is served, you take a wrap, lay it in the palm of your hand, place two or three pieces of sliced duck on the wrap, then pick from your condiments placing them on the top of the sliced duck, wrap-up you little sandwich, bite off a piece, savor the wonderful flavors as they burst forth in your mouth.  Very very good!

You have to eat fast or you will miss out, the duck will disappear quickly.

In this photo, I don't see individual condiment plates, I see soy sauce, and some type of sauce in small plates on each side of the table.

If you're planning to visit Beijing, write and I'll send you a couple of good restaurants.  In addition to wonderful Beijing Roast Duck, another one serves the BEST Kung Pao chicken you'll ever eat!

You know how these office parties sometimes turn out.

Good friends, talking story, good food, a few drinks of Plum Wine and assorted adult beverages, why,  before you know it, you're having the time of your life.

Be careful, you might wind up down at the "ABC Club" circa 1956.

Does anyone remember this Taipei club, where was it located?

Not so far from the Green Duck Restaurant, you found these house boats.

Life was not easy for many folks in Taiwan in the 1950s.

Here, close to the house boat docks was a community water and washing area.

In this photo, Mom is bathing a young girl and washing clothes.  Another woman is also washing clothing and one woman appears to have just finished her wash.

A young boy is filling his hot water kettle from the water line faucet.

Life was not easy here on the river.

Dawn breaks in Taipei. This was the way it was in the early days.

When you arrived at Sung Shan, you checked in here.

The building also served as Flight Operations.

Beautiful day at Sung Shan in Taipei

USTDC Navy Beechcraft. These pilots seem happy.

There was also a C-47 assigned. (1960 photo here)

These aircraft was used for Official Business flights and were also available for logging flight time for those pilots on flight status who had to fly a certain number of hours each month to maintain their flying status and flight pay.

Charlie happened to be on a street corner when a funeral procession came by.

I am not sure of the correct order of this and the following photos.

Not sure what the wreath signage says.

This may be some type of religious piece being carried in the funeral procession.

The band playing appropriate funeral procession music.

The departed.

Something we didn't see in these furneral photos, fireworks.

Usually there are many fireworks going off as the procession moves down the streets. 

While one man is being laid to rest, another is hard at work to provide for his family.

The farthest paddy does not contain rice.  It's probably some type of vegetable.

As far as you can see - Rice.


You can't see through the haze, but that might be Taipei in the distance.

The rice harvest is brought into the farmers home and laid out along the road.

Vehicles come along, run over the rice, breading the kernels out of the husks and breaking the stalks.

Later, the broken rice stalks are swept up and placed in a bamboo sifter.  The worker throws the contents into the air, the shaft blows away or is caught in the basket and the rice falls through onto the ground where it is later swept up.

The sifted rice is then laid out on the ground in front of the farm house to dry.

Do you remember cracking a tooth on a piece of rock while eating rice.

Here's the reason, the small pebbles sometimes get through the process and end up in a bag of rice.

Even today, I have, on occasion, found a small hard pebble in my rice.

I suspect the processing of rice today uses more sophisticated equipment to clean the rice before packaging.

As Charlie left Taipei in September 1957, this may have been his last photograph.

This is the clearest old,  aeriel photo I have ever seen of Taipei.

I wanted to point out a couple of street names. 

Looking down from the top of the photo...

I'm guessing the first light brown, cross street, running left to right is Minquan East Road.

And, the first cross street coming up from the bottom of the photograph is Nanking East Road.

Please leave your ideas and correction as a Comment below.

Thank you so much to Charlie Hoppe for taking time to find his old 35mm slides and mailing them to us.

This blog post was a lesson in history, we see some old places that no longer exist, but during the day, they were alive and this was life as it was in Taipei.

Tsi Gen....

UPDATE - 3 May 2012

Isn't it ironic, the Lane where Charlie lived cannot be found today, but, a Business Card from one the Clubs on Chung Shan North Road is found.

If you watch a video I posted on my walk along Chung Shan North Road southward toward Minquan Road, the camera sweeps past 160 Chung Shan North Road as I walk down the sidewalk past the address. It's about 3:40 into the film when I past the address.

A "Wedding" shop occupies the address today.

Tsi Gen....


Anonymous said...

The cement container on the right side of the first photo, I saw many of those when I was little back in Tainan. If I remember correctly, they are garbage bin.

Little Dog said...

yes, you are absolutely right. it is garbage bin. can not remember only until seeing it in picture again.

MJ Klein said...

what a fantastic photo essay! thank you for posting this.

Brian Schack said...

The picture of the terraced rice fields with the comment "You can't see through the haze, but that might be Taipei in the distance" I think shows where the Keelung river (foreground) joins up with the Tamsui river (background). They flow left-to-right in the picture, joining up off the right side.

As far as I can tell, the picture was taken near the Chinese Culture University. I did a bit of looking around in Google Maps, and found a road that I think is situated just below where the picture was taken.

If you look a bit farther up the slope, you can actually see what look like old terraces.

Po-hung Lin said...

About the last aerial photo, I use Google Earth function in Google map and get this result.

Thans for the fantastic pictures!

Anonymous said...

Great pics thanks!

I believe the first street from the top is actually Nanjing East Road, and the bottommost one Xinyi Road. The perspective is such that the area north of Nanjing seems much smaller than it actually is. Minquan doesn't seem to exist yet, nor does Zhongxiao East Road. The railroad line (now underground) is just south of the bend in the canal; you can't really see it but can trace the line of factories along it. The military base? at lower right eventually became a squatter's village and is now "Daan Forest Park."

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