At the time I knew little about Pearl Buck and her work with mixed race children and the orphanages who cared for them. Later I learned more about her and the Pearl Buck Foundation. And so I think back about those few minutes that I spent with her and am constantly amazed at the impact that she had on me, in just those few moments and for the rest of my life.
One Christmas evening I met Shin in a tea house in Myeong-dong, Seoul. He told me he was accepted as a trumpeter of a jazz band that would perform music and dance entertainment for the U.S. Military personnel in various camps at Yongsan Garrison, Camp Casey, Camp Red Cloud, K-6, Osan Air Base, etc.
They never replaced it, and Yongsan Garrison’s community theater program died a slow death……But I’ll never forget what that old theater gave me. It’s the deepest certainty I’ve ever had in my life: theaters are magical, and I was made for the stage.