This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Did You Ever Rub The Buddha's Belly? Taipei, Taiwan, 1966-72

Outside the East Compound in downtown Taipei, a turn to the south would reveal a row of shops whose merchants sold various local products such as jewelry, carvings, pottery and metal merchandise. 

This picture was taken across the street from the beginning of the shopping district which ran almost the entire length of Chung Shan North Road to the Min Quan Road intersection.

 Photo by G. Frederic, circa 1965-66; courtesy of  

Before the onslaught of Americans, this area was a quaint and simple section of the area as it appeared around 1966.

The reason this photo was taken was to show the guy on R and R with his escort in the far distance.  Any other shops and people in the frame are strictly accidental. 

 Photo by Carpenter; courtesy of   

Walking south on Chung Shan are two Airmen crossing what would later become a widened Min Tsu Road East.  The foot traffic has picked up because of the year (1970-71). 

Photo by Donald Patrick, 1967; courtesy of

Blow this photo up and there, across Chung Shan North Road, Section 3, you will be able to see the Buddha standing in front of George Tailor and Handicraft.  

The Buddha statue made his daily appearance in the afternoon on bright and sunny days.  

Photo by Larry Tinker; courtesy of

Ron Rasmussen and Larry Tinker are about to rub the belly of the nearly 5 foot tall favorite symbol of the culture.  

Daily, hundreds of folks rubbed his belly for good luck and a good time.

Photo by R. Lentz; courtesy of

Looking so happy, as usual, the Buddha was easily positioned for the crowds to enjoy.

Photo by Peter Schow in 1973; courtesy of

If you look closely, the entire area has changed as the Americans began to depart from Taiwan en masse as our involvement in the Vietnam War was declining.  

The key to this picture is that "K Shoes" with its DuPont Corfam shoes seems to be replaced by a store selling Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars.

Photo from    

Have you ever spent an afternoon looking for a duplicate to a Buddha statue?  I did and this is as close as could be found to Taipei's.  

It is meant for placement in any outdoor or indoor area. 

Photo from

Here is a teak Buddha which is as close as I could get to our unique downtown statue. 

Photo from  

If you can find a shop that sells them, this t-shirt is something many of us would gladly wear with a feeling of nostalgia. 

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