I loved every minute of Korea, but at that time I was starting to feel that I was missing out on stateside life as a teenager……Those of us who were in Yongsan in the late 1970s remember that everything we got was fairly old and outdated by the time we saw it. The only contemporary thing that we got from the states were the latest dance songs from AFKN’s Don Tracy show, which unfortunately aired during the middle of the school day at 10am!
The birthplace of Chocopie, the site of a vibrant art scene and a US military base. While we were walking through Samgakji on a tour, it never occurred to us that Samgakji was all these things.
Once at Samgakji we would be underneath the elevated traffic circle. There were seemingly hundreds of street vendors selling everything from soups and grilled meats, to plastic shoes and clothing, to bicycle parts…..It was dark and chaotic under the traffic circle, and quite exciting for a teenager…
What’s important to remember, after all is said and done, are the many thousands of people who touched the face of South Korea including: the citizens of the communities who donated clothing; the students and faculty at the universities who collected, sorted, boxed and provided financial help; the transportation companies who donated their trucks and railroad cars; and especially the soldiers, both American and Korean, who distributed the clothing throughout the country for a decade. Kamsahamnida
From serving at Yongsan and volunteering with People to People International (PTPI) and numerous other non-profit organizations, to promoting Korean businesses and cultural events, Mr. Nowell has made a significant and lasting impact on his adopted country.
Seoul City offers honorary citizenship to ‘Bridgebuilders.’, better known as: the Balloon Ajossi, due to his penchant for twisting small balloons into animal and heart shapes for young kids in memory of his deceased daughter