One reason the black market was such a major activity in the 1960s was scarcity of consumer goods on the Korean economy, and the abundance in the PX system.. Thus, the rationing, though small items like cosmetics and cameras were available without restriction. The major appliances like TVs and refrigerators required a letter of authorization from a commanding officer (done in triplicate for control purposes). The control system for major appliances was to cope with heavy demand and high profitability on resale of these goods. Why was it so profitable? Korean industry was in its infancy, and the Park Chung-hee government. had large iduties on imports. A $200 refrigerator might bring a thousand on the black market. Lower-ranking American soldiers( PFCs and Sp4s) were paid maybe $150 or $200 a month,,but if they lived on post, their commanding officer knew they had no need for a refrigerator. This was mainly a problem on large bases such as Yongsan, since tactical units in the field usually had no (legal) off-post quarters at the time. MPCs (scrip) had no bills larger than ten dollars, and every couple of years, there would be a one-day window to exchange the existing series for the new series, easily recognizable by its designs. After that date, the old series was worthless. Keeping the exchange a secret was important because the scrip was printed on Okinawa and flown up on Air America. An extremely large quantity had to be distributed to payroll officers in the field, so word may have leaked out to those “connected,” but the new series arrived on a weekend–and “scrip exchange day” was the following Monday. All compounds were sealed on exchange day. In 1969, I was billeted in a (South Post) three-man hooch (sign above the door was “Westward Ho House) and had a clear view of the PX on main post. Early one Saturday morning, before the PX opened, there was a large fire at the PX that destroyed the cashier’s office–burning the records of transactions. No one was blamed for the fire, but it seems to have started in the cashier’s office. The big surprise on the following Monday was that all compounds in Korea–including Yongsan– were sealed for “Scrip exchange day,” Life is full of strange coincidences.