• The photos below taken in 1960 show what Korean Life was 57 year ago.
    The Korean ladies are washing clothes in a stream in an area that is now called kyongridan , just north of the US 8th Army Main Post in Yongsan, south of Seoul City and Namsan mountain.
    In the background is the east side of the US Army Rifle Firing Range. The town on the hill behind the Firing Range is Haebangchon

    Photos and text By Bill Smothers

  • Note from Bill Smothers: ….I am not sure why I took this photo of the bus stop or what I was doing here on the EUSA Main Post? It could be I took an Army bus to Main Post from our home in UN Village so I could go to the nearby SASCOM Theater-2 to see a movie!
  • Note from Micah Granderson:
    I was there from the late eighties, through the nineties, mostly as a teenager. Also have had a few chances to visit since. Those large pipe barricades were still there at the time and I recall walking them as a balance beam while waiting for the bus to arrive. At that time the Moyer Rec had a large auditorium at one end ( apparently it was the former enlisted theater and all the projector booth was still visible ). The middle was travel and tour offices. Right side was Arts and Crafts. The crafts included photo lab, pottery, and wood shop. My brother and I got into photo development and have a lot of fond memories of messing with dials and film canisters along with the every present oder of photo chemicals. The top floor had offices and a large pool hall ( with a very stern man that made sure only enlisted military were allowed in, hence I didn’t spend much time up there ). There was also a glassed in space, you can kind of see it in the picture above the main entrance, where stamp and money collectors met on the weekends. I recall that section of the building wasn’t very well insulated so it was sweltering or cold most of the year, so it didn’t get a lot of use. Later they swapped out some of the travel offices for snack stands and yet another arcade, the former theater was home to the Performance Arts Center ( an amazing community theater group ) for its last few performances. Visiting more recently, the theater is now a tax prep office with the stage area demolished, and the arts and crafts were evicted for another pool hall. Overall the building doesn’t have the creative buzz that it somehow had back then. I would always cut through it just to see what was going on and who was there.
    • Photo of a the Moyer Service Center and bus depot in 1965, Seoul, Korea on the 8th US Army Compound in Yongsan, South of downtown Seoul. By Bill Smother
      • Note from Micah Granderson:
        I was there from the late eighties, through the nineties, mostly as a teenager. Also have had a few chances to visit since. Those large pipe barricades were still there at the time and I recall walking them as a balance beam while waiting for the bus to arrive. At that time the Moyer Rec had a large auditorium at one end ( apparently it was the former enlisted theater and all the projector booth was still visible ). The middle was travel and tour offices. Right side was Arts and Crafts. The crafts included photo lab, pottery, and wood shop. My brother and I got into photo development and have a lot of fond memories of messing with dials and film canisters along with the every present oder of photo chemicals. The top floor had offices and a large pool hall ( with a very stern man that made sure only enlisted military were allowed in, hence I didn’t spend much time up there ). There was also a glassed in space, you can kind of see it in the picture above the main entrance, where stamp and money collectors met on the weekends. I recall that section of the building wasn’t very well insulated so it was sweltering or cold most of the year, so it didn’t get a lot of use. Later they swapped out some of the travel offices for snack stands and yet another arcade, the former theater was home to the Performance Arts Center ( an amazing community theater group ) for its last few performances. Visiting more recently, the theater is now a tax prep office with the stage area demolished, and the arts and crafts were evicted for another pool hall. Overall the building doesn’t have the creative buzz that it somehow had back then. I would always cut through it just to see what was going on and who was there.

      • Note from Bill Smothers: ….I am not sure why I took this photo of the bus stop or what I was doing here on the EUSA Main Post? It could be I took an Army bus to Main Post from our home in UN Village so I could go to the nearby SASCOM Theater-2 to see a movie!
    • Note from Bill Smothers
      1960 Kangnung, South Korea ~ Airport , It is one of my favorite photos of my sister and me!
      Traveling home from the beach at Kangnung, on the east coast of Korea, summer of 1960. Note written on 35 mm slide by Leroy or Elly Smothers says: “Coming back from Kangnung. How do you like that runway?”

    • 1960 Description of a Normal Korean Military Tour _ Note by Bill Smothers

      This tour description for US military personnel stationed in Korea is part of a 1960 map of Seoul and the US 8th Army Compound located in Yongsan, just south of Seoul.
      The map apparently was sold for $0.25 to soldiers stationed in Korea in the early 1960’s – see the price sticker on the folder used to contain this map. The true physical dimensions of this portion of the map are 14.5 X 21.5 inches – the entire map is 29 X 21.5 inches.

      Refering to months 5 and 12 Back in the early 1960’s in Korea, many American GI’s used the nickname “Moose” to refer to an employee of the world’s oldest profession. How and why that nickname started being used and when it stopped is unknown to me; but I have since then lived in many parts of the world and have only heard “Moose” used in that context by my countrymen who lived in Korea.
      I have recently been told that the American GI slang term “Moose” came from Mooseamae which means sweetheart in Korean.

    • Here is the other side of the DoDDS bldg.
    • Bill, would you happen to have a photo of the DoDDS Superintendent’s Office which was located on the corner of 8th Army Boulevard and the road going up to the US Embassy (USOM) Club? It was a two story building and the 2nd floor was used as a dorm for the high school students from Busan and Daegu. Other buildings were also used as dorms for the students which included officer billets across the street in front of the high school and a third dorm was located in the two-story building South of the US Embassy (USOM) Club. Some students made comments about being housed in three different locations when they returned to Yongsan in following years while attending SAHS. I remember the DoDDS Superintendent’s Office as I stopped in there once or twice. But, I haven’t seen any photo of the front of the bldg. I have posted photos of the side and back of the building in question with this post. These two photos were in the Chosun 1976 and 1977 year books.
    • My father Leroy Smothers, mother Elly, and sister Karen at an airport in Korea, Kimpo, a few miles west of Seoul, when we first arrived in December of 1958.
      Sign in right background has Korean text.
      Photo and note by Bill Smotehrs
    • Honolulu, Hawaii, December 1958, Note by Bill Smothers.
      My sister Karen Smothers on board the cruise ship SS President Cleveland as we arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, in mid-December, 1958. My family traveled on this cruise ship to Hawaii from Los Angeles, California, during our first trip to South Korea, where my father had taken a job working as a civil engineer for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). After spending a few days in Honolulu, we flew Pan American Airlines from Hawaii to Seoul, Korea. arriving at Kimpo Airbase.
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