From 1967 to 1969, I was officer-in-charge of the Armed Forces Network in Taiwan. We had stations in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan. We had one of the first FM stations in the AFRTS system. The first year we had our studios in downtown Taipei and staffers loved to eat at the myriad of restaurants and food stands in the area. Once a month we organized a feast under the auspices of the "Chow Chow Club" and sampled menus from the many provinces of China. In 1968 we moved to new studios in Yangmingshan or “Grass Mountain.” Living in Taipei was a fantastic experience. I really enjoyed the wonderful people, the language, and the culture. We had a great air staff including Fred Friend, who coincidentally ended up in Tucson; Larry Fogel, who came from KXYZ in Houston, and Mark Bragg, who I later read had something to do with the Wedtech incident. And who could forget, Joe Brooks, our program director who was fluent in Chinese and was a walking encylopedia of all things Chinese? I visited …
I sent Cal Thomas a link to this site and we exchanged several emails over the weekend. He mentioned several names I haven't heard in about 40 years -- staffers who served with us including Les Blatt who went on to be a network news producer and Paul Kerivan whose car Cal used to borrow for his monthly PX and commissary run . Also CG Wells who Cal says died some time ago. If I remember correctly, CG was the news director of the Armed Forces Press, Radio and TV Service in New York, and a real professional.
When I told Cal that I am currently hosting the local segments of "All Things Considered" on Tucson's NPR station, he suggested tongue-in-cheek that I have him on the show.
"We could choke the audience with nostalgia," he wrote.
Happened to be looking at a website about the Taipei Air Station and ran into a post about a young woman who was looking for information about her grandmother.
To my surprise, grandma was Mary Wang, our receptionist at the station. I contacted the seeker and sent along this picture. She was ecstatic. I also put her in touch with Rosalie Fogel, Larry's widow who was also from Taiwan.
Granddaughter wrote: "I will pass this information on to my mother. My grandmother passed away when my Mom was 12, so she also has very few memories of her. Again, thank you so much. The information that you have provided is invaluable to my family and I, and you've given me much more than I've been able to collect from anyone, or any other source."
By the way, Mary Wang was one of the first TV personalities in Taiwan. She had a fashion and sewing program and was featured in a cover story in the local TV guide.
You never know how our dabbling on the internet touches lives.