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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What Are Your Feelings on a Reunion in Taipei

A Get Together in Taipei in the Fall 2008?

I'm going to leave this Post on Top of the Blog for a week or so. Hope you'll send in your feelings regarding a trip this fall....

I've had a couple of notes regarding a possible "coming together" in Taipei.

Let me know your feelings.

Prices for air and hotel accommodations can be determined at a later date if we have enough folks who want to travel back to our old home away from home, wonderful Taiwan. A lot has changed, but I guarantee, you will be glad you took the trip. Consider your options and send in your thoughts.

I paid about $150.00 US for a room with a king bed which included a great buffet breakfast when I last visited Taipei in November 2007. We can find less expensive rooms, Air travel via Eva Airlines and China Air Lines are probably the least expensive. If we decide to GO, we can figure out an Itinerary at a later date.

Let your feelings and/or ideas be known by clicking on the "Comment" below.

ADDENDUM: 13 Feb 2008..

I ran the numbers with China and Eva Airlines..

Round trip Los Angeles to Taipei in mid September:

China Air - 853.00 Eva Air - $988.00

Not inexpensive, but it's a long flight and fuel prices are high. Maybe we could get a group rate.

The trip would be an experience. AND a side trip to Hong Kong would complete a wonderful and exciting vacation. I visited Hong Kong with my family in May 2006 and those 5 days were the most wonderful vacation days of my life. I had more fun, did more things and enjoyed the beauty of the city and harbor that can't be duplicated any place I know of. If I had been alone, it wouldn't have been so much fun, but with folks that share your values and history, you become friends and together things fall into place with much ease and the days are filled with happiness and joy.

These are my feelings and my heart.

Lots of us have procrastinated, put it off, drug our feet, made excuses about returning.

Is this the year to return? Can you see yourself standing on an outside balcony of the Grand Hotel on a sunny afternoon, looking down toward the old Navy Exchange, having excitement in your heart and butterflies in your stomach as you contemplate experiencing another few days in Taipei with friends. You can see all of the places you once knew. How could it not be a fun trip....

The summer Olympics will be finished in Beijing (8-24 August) and the tourists will be gone for the most part.

Let's discuss this and see what we can come up with.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Taiwan Television - The Early Days

Television in the Early Days

On the right is a copy of the "China Post" Tourism Page, dated June 11th 1968. Click on either photo to view a larger copy.

On the left, a copy of the daily TTV (Taiwan Television) schedule for Tuesday, June 11th 1968.

Interesting note on the "China Post." It was being type set in 1968, notice the uneven letters and numbers. I do recall that the China Post came out with a very slick newspaper or insert which was on magazine quality white paper and had very nice color. I do not remember if they only ran special editions in the new format, or they were into commercial printing and ran a special edition of the paper occasionally, such as Double 10 or Chinese New Year..... It was quite an improvement from the normal paper which I believe cost 2 NT.

If you retired to the barracks or your home after work and wanted to watch television, your choices we limited to the TTV channel. There was not much to watch, a cartoon at 6:30, then eat dinner, come back at 8:30 for the television show Mission Impossible, followed by a short feature on the Circus and then the Taiwanese Drama, which was "live" and interesting to watch.

On Sundays you could watch a movie, they featured a Chinese Opera show and other goodies on Sundays, which I believe was the best day to watch television.

On Friday nights they ran "Combat" with Vic Morrow. Any drinking establishment or club you walked into had their television set tuned to Combat. Thinking back to the day, I would guess Combat was probably the number 1 show in Taiwan. I'm thinking of the old solders who came over from the mainland with Chiang Kai shek, this program must have been heart warming for them. I wonder what their feelings were on returning to the mainland? One would guess that they were ready to return home, I guess we all would want to go home. Anyone have any observations on the military personal feelings about Taiwan and returning home to the mainland? There has to be something written about this, not the government, but personal writings by individual soldiers.

What are your thoughts on Taiwan Television? My history is limited to the mid 1960s and I'm sure television improved after I left the island.

Here is a short history on TTV:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year - The Year of the Rat


My wish to each of you is good fortune, wealth and happiness in the New Year. May God richly bless you and your family.

Without going into great detail concerning the Lunar New Year celebrations, I thought a few of the common traditional occurances would be of interest to many of us who are not familiar with these customs.

Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) or Lunar New Year.

This year, Chinese New Year begins on Thursday, February 7, 2008.

Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxī. Chu literally means "Change" and xi means "Eve".

The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month.The first day of Chinese New Year is a time when families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends, a practice known as "new-year visits" New clothing is usually worn to signify a new year. The color red is liberally used in all decorations. Red packets are given to juniors and children by the married and elders.

Red packets

Traditionally, Red envelopes or red packets 'hóng bāo' are passed out during the Chinese New Year's celebrations, from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors. It is common for adults to give red packets to children. Red packets are also known as Ya Sui Qian, which was evolved from literally, the money used to suppress or put down the evil spirit ) during this period.

Red envelopes always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. The amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals Bai Jin. Since the number 4 is considered bad luck, because the word for four is a homophone for death, money in the red envelopes never adds up to $4. However, the number 8 is considered lucky (for its homophone for "wealth"), and $8 is commonly found in the red envelopes. Sometimes chocolate coins are found in the red packets. Odd and even numbers are determined by the first digit, rather than the last. Thirty and fifty, for example, are odd numbers, and are thus appropriate as funeral cash gifts. However, it is common and quite acceptable to have cash gifts in a red packet using a single bank note — with ten or fifty NT bills used frequently.The act of requesting for red packets is normally called asking for the red packet or money pouch. A married person would not turn down such request as it would mean that he or she would be "out of luck" in the new year.

For additional information of Chinese (Lunar) New Year in Taiwan, here is a link to a Taiwan Government site:

Monday, February 4, 2008

Your Clothing Tailor in Taiwan UPDATED

One of the good things about Taiwan was the opportunity to have clothing Tailor made to fit.

The "Question of the Week" concerns your Tailor Shop and what you had made while in Taiwan and what you paid for those beautiful clothes were wore to the Club.

I'll start it out.

My first suit was purchased the first week I was in Taiwan, December 1965. I don't remember why I was outside the gate and into the storefront shop so soon after arriving at Taipei Air Station. I remember that the suit was gray in color, supposedly it was Italian Silk and Wool fabric and it cost me $25. US. I wore that suit until the seat of the trousers was worn out. I moonlighted at the MAAGOOM Annex as a Night Manager three or four times a week. Wonderful job for a single guy. I had to wear a suit to work, so I wore out my share of nice business suits during the 2 years I worked at the club. The food at the club was probably the best on the island, I say that becuase I ate at every club in town and our club had the best American food, hands down. We talk about Prim Rib today. During my time working at the club, we served a buffet each Sunday evening and the main meat was Ship's Round. That was some wonderful beef. I would eat and eat. Of course I did not have to pay for my meal, but the food was something else. The kitchen staff must have been 40 people, maybe more. We made everything from scratch, everything...

Before I left Taipei in 1968, I had Mr. Loo's East Compound Tailor Shop make up 6 suits and a couple of Sport Coats for me. I was leaving the military and assumed I would work in some type of business where a suit was required. As I remember, I paid $40 per suit and $25 per sport coat.

I also had shirts made at another Tailor Shop. I don't have any of those shirts today, but, I went to a Tailor Shop across Chung Shan North Road from the Chinese Military Hostel next to the Navy Exchange. (Quality Tailor and Shoe Company) The shop is no longer there, the area where it was located is now a park. As I remember, the tailored shirts were excellent quality, heavy duty materiel, and costs around $5. I wish I had some of those shirts today. You just can't purchase shirts like those any more. (Found 2 of those shirts in an old box in my garage just after Christmas 2012.) 

Do you recall your purchases. I remember the excitement when pulling on a new shirt, stepping into a new suit, smelling the wonderful aromas of the new clothing, pulling on a pair of shoes, checking myself out in the mirror and heading out the door, smiling and feeling great. And not to leave off the Ladies, what about your wife or girl friend's visits to their Seamstress and those hard wooden chairs you sat on forever waiting for her to finish.....

What memories come to your mind? Tell us your Tailor Shop stories. Click on "Comments" below,