Yongsan Legacy turns to podcasts, 2017-08-08 , By John Dunbar_ Korea Times
More than 100 interviews conducted to record fading history
By Jon Dunbar
Yongsan Legacy (YSL) started in 2013, but only recently has it been getting attention now that U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Yongsan is midway through a large-scale relocation project.
Having gathered over 500 Facebook followers, the project’s curators have contacted U.S. military personnel and their family members, as well as Korean military and civilians who have experienced what is behind those walls in central Seoul over the past 67 years.
They’ve conducted over 100 personal interviews and invited a few to speak at five lecture events, which are held on the second floor of the USO building.
“Some people aren’t comfortable talking in front of a crowd but don’t mind being in front of a microphone,” said John Nowell, one of YSL’s volunteers, during a YSL talk on Monday night.
To make more voices heard, and to better offer events that can reach their core supporters living in the U.S., Nowell decided to do interviews in podcast format.
YSL has opened a crowdfunding campaign to get the ball rolling. If enough money is raised, Nowell hopes to use it to visit the U.S. and interview some people who cannot visit Korea.
He especially hopes to interview Harriet Hodges, who saved over 3,000 Korean lives, by convincing major air carriers to spare extra seats to fly Korean children born with heart defects to the U.S. for surgery. Hodges turns 100 next month.
Nowell first came to Korea in 1965 with the 7th Infantry Division, later serving as a U.S. Army public affairs officer and becoming a familiar face on TV here as well as hosting many high-profile events. Now retired, he is chief communications officer for YSL.
By the end of this year, the command units and most personnel on USAG Yongsan will be relocated south to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek. Over 90 percent of the remaining buildings are expected to be demolished, and a massive urban park will be built in the newly returned space.
The next YSL talk at Camp Kim will be Sept. 5 by Kim PY, a retired chef from Dragon Hill Lodge.
Visit yongsanlegacy.org for info, or search “Yongsan Legacy” on Indiegogo.com for the podcast drive.