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Interview with Philip C. Ahn




Philip C. Ahn was born in Korea in 1928 to a family of third-generation Christians. His father owned a jewelry business, and his mother was a deaconess in the Presbyterian Church. When Korea was partitioned after World War II, Ahn's parents feared that the Communist government in North Korea would not look favorably on businessmen and Christians, and the family fled to South Korea. They arrived in Seoul at the height of postwar chaos and unemployment. At age 18, however, with five years of high school English, Ahn got a job as interpreter at the U.S. embassy. He also enrolled at a pharmacy school which later became part of the National University in Seoul, and he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1949. During this period a good friend, Young Pai, who was a student at Macalester College in St. Paul, urged Ahn to join him in Minnesota to continue his studies. Ahn was eager to do so and took the government examinations required for study abroad in 1949. He passed the examinations but did not have the necessary financial resources. With the onset of the Korean War and the arrival of United Nations troops, however, the demand for translators and interpreters increased, and from 1950 to 1951 Ahn worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army's 17th Regiment. In 1951 he joined the Korean Army and served as a lieutenant in the liaison corps, where he was an interpreter for the Korean Military Advisory Group, a group of American advisors. In 1953, at the end of the war, Ahn left Korea and enrolled at Macalester College just as Young Pai was leaving. Ahn majored in biology and chemistry and graduated in 1957. He took a job in Austin, Minnesota, as a junior scientist at the Hormel Institute of the University of Minnesota Graduate School. While in Austin Ahn married Betty Engel, also a graduate of Macalester College. Ahn stayed in Austin from 1957 to 1960 and then became an assistant scientist at the U of M Medical School in Minneapolis, where he worked as a physiological chemist from 1960 to 1962, a period in which the basic analysis of nutrition and heart disease was being launched. In 1962 he transferred to the nutrition division of the Home Economics Department on the St. Paul campus, where he worked as a lipid chemist. In the early 1970s Ahn became an associate scientist in the newly established Department of Food Science and Nutrition of the College of Home Economics and College of Agriculture. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Ahn discusses his family background and early experience in Korea during the post-World War II and Korean War periods - the close-knit group of Korean students at Macalester during the 1950s - interracial marriages - difficulties of childrearing in American society - Korean wives of American servicemen who have settled in Minnesota - and the history of the Korean churches in the Twin Cities area. Ahn provides valuable information on the early Korean students at Macalester College during the 1950s, who were the first significant group of Koreans to arrive in the state, many of whom remained as permanent residents. He also contributes useful insight into the acculturation of those who intermarried.





World Region



Philip C. Ahn Narrator Sarah Mason Interviewer December 7, 1979 University of Minnesota Saint Paul Campus Saint Paul, Minnesota

Sarah Mason Philip C. Ahn


SM: I’m talking to Philip Ahn on December 7, 1979 at the Saint Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. This is an interview conducted under the auspices of the Minnesota Historical Society, and the interviewer is Sarah Mason. Maybe we could begin by maybe a little of your background in Korea, your family background, where you were born? PA: Oh, family background, okay. I should have brought my family tree. SM: Oh. PA: I’m a thirty-first generation of pure Korean. SM: Oh. How do you define a pure Korean? PA: Because all the indication in my family tree, indicated they are all Korean. SM: I see. PA: No Japanese, no Chinese. SM: I see. PA: And my family especially paid a lot of attention and effort to keep this family tree. In our living room, if you come someday, I hope you will, you can take . . . see it. Lineage from our first generation. SM: Oh. PA: I still have to figure out the exactly . . . 1

SM: Thirty-one generations have been recorded . . . that’s amazing. PA: Thirty-one generations recorded, yes. SM: Hmmm. PA: And if you consider one generation about thirty years. SM: Yes. PA: Twenty-five to thirty years, I would say. So twenty-five times . . . I never figured it out. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] PA: Twenty-five times thirty. It’s about nine hundred years, isn’t it? SM: Oh! That is . . . PA: Oh. Seven hundred fifty years at least. Twenty-five years per generation. SM: That’s . . . oh, so your family kept track of this all that time. PA: Oh, yes. And I’m supposed to give this family tree to my three sons, but this is the first time I’ll have to translate into English, which I am doing. I’m writing a lot about my personal scrap of . . . one of these that I’d like to do. It’s been interesting. We are from the Northern part of Korea. As you know, then when Communists took over, we had to leave the North because we were Christian. I’m a third generation of a Christian. SM: I see. PA: My grandfather was the first converted to Christian. And my mother has been deaconess in the Presbyterian church for many, many years. SM: I see. PA: Then I was ordained in this country as an elder. SM: Oh. PA: Of a U.S. Presbyterian church. 1962, I think. Yes. In Saint Paul. Then after we came South, I attended the university there. I have a degree in pharmacy, 1949. Seoul National University. SM: Is that a B.S.? 2

PA: A B.S. Well, B.S. in Pharmacy. SM: Yes. PA: Then in 1950 . . . I was planning to come here then through my friend Young Pai, whom I mentioned. SM: Yes. PA: He and I used to sing in a choir together. SM: Oh, you were friends in Korea. PA: Yes. Young Pai. SM: Oh, I see. PA: You see, his father, Dr. Pai, as a Presbyterian minister, came to this country as a political reason. As you know, Korea, we had three different factions: pro-Japanese, pro-Russians, proChinese. And when the Japanese took over, many people couldn’t stand . . . some went to China, some went to Russia, some came to the United States. SM: This is [unclear]? PA: Yes, it was about 1920s and 1930s and especially before the Second World War when Japanese started real control of Korean life. SM: Yes. PA: And, you know, I have a Japanese name. SM: Oh, you do? Oh . . . PA: Most people . . . 1941, or 1942, Japanese government enforced to change our name into Japanese style. SM: Oh, so you have . . . but this isn’t the name you use? PA: No, no, no. I have changed . . . SM: Oh. But everyone had to take the name. PA: Yes. My original name is Chung—C-H-U-N-G, Hyun—H-Y-U-N, Ahn. And the thing is that when I became an American citizen, I changed it. The Chung Hyun as a middle name, C as a middle name, middle initial. 3

SM: Oh, I see. [Unclear]? PA: Oh, sure. By all means. Because nobody . . . nobody can pronounce my Korean name. SM: Yes. So you really changed it. PA: And I decided that as long as you live in America, why not make it Philip. SM: I see. PA: And I like Philip. SM: Yes. PA: And where was I? Young Pai was used to singing with me, and his father came to the United States. I’ve forgotten when . . . when Young Pai was very young. SM: His father was a pastor? PA: Pastor in a Presbyterian church. And his mother, as I remember, was a patriot and lived in Manchuria. SM: Oh. PA: For the movement of North Korean independence. SM: Oh, that’s interesting. PA: Then he became a minister, but the reason is that he went to mission school. And the missionary was Dr. Kagan, of Macalester College. SM: Oh, really? PA: [Chuckles] SM: This is the Minnesota connection here. [Chuckles] PA: Oh, that’s how it all started. SM: Reverend Kagan, you said? PA: Kagan, Edwin Kagan. SM: Edwin Kagan. 4

PA: Edwin Kagan, he was a professor of religion. SM: At Macalester or in . . .? PA: At Macalester College. SM: Yes. What years? PA: I don’t know when he became a professor, but he . . . he died a couple years ago, but he still had an office at Macalester. SM: I see. PA: And his daughter is a religious director at North Como Presbyterian Church where I go now. SM: Oh. PA: So the first time I came here [chuckles] I still remember, he said something in Korean, “How are you,” in ancient Korean, in the 1930s, you know. SM: [Gasps] Oh! PA: “How art thou.” SM: Oh . . . PA: That type of language, which we no longer . . . SM: He had learned the old . . . PA: Old language. You know, language changes. SM: I see. PA: Like he said, [unclear - speaks Korean], and I couldn’t believe my ears. I used to hear that kind during a radio show, you know. Anyway . . . SM: [Chuckles] Well, Reverend Pai was a student of Reverend Kagan? PA: Student of this mission school. SM: I see. Oh. What was the name of the school?


PA: [Sighs] Name of the school is Chung Joo, C-H-U-N-G, J-O-O. I could find through . . . Julia Kagan, I don’t know the name, but the Chung Joo is the name of the town where Dr. Kagan used to be a missionary. SM: This is in North Korea? PA: No, South Korea. SM: Oh, in South Korea. PA: South Korea. SM: Yes. PA: Then that was a connection how Dr. Pai came. SM: I see. PA: And he has an honorary doctorate from Macalester College. SM: Oh. PA: And he went to McCormick and Princeton, I’m sure, doctor of divinity. SM: McCormick Seminary in Chicago? PA: Yes, in Chicago. SM: Oh. PA: But anyway, 1945, he came back as an interpreter, that was the military government. SM: This is Reverend Pai? PA: Reverend Pai came. And he was a friend of President Syngman Rhee. SM: He came back to Korea with him? PA: Korea with him and military government. SM: I see. PA: Yes. SM: And he was a friend of Rhee’s. 6

PA: Yes. SM: I see. [Unclear.] PA: And actually, the Reverend Pai was criticized because of not getting into church ministry per se, but he tried to help many different ways, such as opening a rural bible school, and teach how to raise pigs. SM: Oh. PA: And through Christian principle. When they graduate, each student were given a pig. [Chuckles] SM: A live one? [Chuckles] PA: Live one. SM: Ah ha. PA: And he was to raise them and make a profit and teach another generation and so forth. And actually, this program was carried over by his wife, Mrs. Pai. SM: Oh, I see. PA: Until a few years ago, but she’s old and she’s retired. She’s in this country now. Now we have to go back and forth in order to get some of the stories. SM: Right. PA: And so 1948, he decided, Reverend Pai decided to send his son Young to the U.S. and I was envious at that time but I had no means of coming over here. But besides, I was already enrolled in the college there as a pharmacy student. Then we communicated all the time, and he came here in 1948. And he received a master of education. Initially, he wanted to be a pre-med student, but he changed to philosophy. SM: Oh. PA: And something amazing, if you talk to Young Pai, it’s amazing. His linguistic ability. SM: Oh. PA: When you teach philosophy, you know, the . . . you have to have a very good background in language. 7

SM: Yes. Yes. PA: He’s teaching in the University of Kansas . . . U of M, Missouri, University of Missouri, Kansas City, education department. And anyway, he used to write me before the Korean War, and I . . . I was kind of wondering if I could come over here to continue my further education. And in fact, I passed the government exams in 1949. I was planning coming . . . to plan to come over here, but . . . SM: This was an exam you had to take to come? PA: A government, yes. SM: Yes. PA: It’s very, very tough history, and linguistic ability, and my background. And, you see, Korean government had a . . . in a right mind, I believe. You see, we . . . when I came here, I knew the . . . The Chinese people and Japanese people, where they stand, you know. Chinese people as a laundry man and a . . . you know, grocery man. And Japanese people had a very low profile, especially after the Second World War. And even over here, in 1953, I still remember my classmate who went to the Second World War, went to Korean War. Never had a kind word toward the Japanese people. SM: Oh, yes. PA: And always japs. In 1953, I still remember. And the Korean people maybe knew better . . . if they wanted to send their students, they wanted to have at least . . . ah, first class, you know. SM: I see. PA: And when was it . . .? About ten years ago, when I was in New York, a friend of mine told me that there was a fellow in Columbia, he studied about ethnic movements in this country. I forgot the name. SM: Columbia University? PA: Columbia University. According to this man’s findings, Korea . . . Koreans were the most highly educated ethnic minority in the United States. SM: Oh. That’s true now, too, at least [unclear]. PA: Yes. And before we came, we were all educated. And like myself, I never had a . . . I went to grade school or public secondary high school. We all were educated. And you know, Japanese people educated Koreans as long as we were willing to bow. SM: [Chuckles] Yes. 8

PA: [Chuckles] We had a fantastic education. SM: Oh. PA: I speak fluent Japanese. I can do simultaneous translations. SM: So their education system was a good one. PA: Oh, yes. And my father had a choice when I was still in North Korea. Either sending to missionary school, sponsored by a Methodist group or a Presbyterian group, or public school. SM: Yes. PA: And my father knew if I went to the mission school, that’s it. You can never go beyond mission high school. SM: Oh. Yes. PA: Going to advanced school—forget it. SM: Oh, I see. Oh. PA: So he decided to send me to Japanese public school. So at the age of seven, I spoke Japanese, fluent Japanese. SM: Goodness. PA: Yes. And, you know, I often tell my students, Korean here, “I never had a Korean language lesson, per se.” SM: Yes. PA: Not even a one hour. Everything was taught at home. Alphabet, we speak and so forth. And ... SM: Wait . . . all your early education was at home in that? PA: Yes, in the Korean language. Because they . . . the Japanese didn’t teach Korean at our grade schools, high schools. SM: Yes. PA: And if you were caught by anybody speaking Korean, that report goes to school. And we used to have so-called “personal behavior” in your . . . the subject. English, math, and all forth. 9

SM: Personal behavior. [Chuckles] PA: Personal behavior. That was a very important . . . as it was sometimes considered more important than math or English or the algebra. SM: Oh. By the Japanese. PA: By the Japanese. This means that I . . . you know, they can determine I’m of their subject class or rebellious. SM: I see. PA: Yes. SM: So you’d get a bad mark for . . . PA: That’s right. So at my age, I’m fifty-one now, when I graduated from high school in 1945, we were the last class graduated under the Japanese. I graduated from the Japanese high school in March of 1945. And our war was ended August 15, 1945. Then my dad was more . . . oh, he had more money than average people, and we were considered as undesirables, so we came down South. I still don’t know how many people came. They often say three to four million people from North Korea. SM: Oh, really? PA: After 1945. And . . . many people perished, you know, going through the sea. And like the Vietnamese people died of . . . in a boat, people . . . people perished. SM: So the reasons were . . . was your father in business [unclear]? PA: My father was in business. His was a jewelry business. SM: And then the fact you were Christian, too. PA: Yes, we were . . . the fact that we were Christian. Then when I came to South Korea, and immediately I wanted to go to school. But the first school opened was the College of Pharmacy, and I took exams. Before that . . . you want to know everything about me? [Chuckles] SM: Yes, everything. [Chuckles] PA: [Laughter] Okay. SM: I might have to come back for a second session. [Chuckles] 10

PA: Okay. Okay. After the American forces came into Seoul, there was all kinds of unemployment, you know, there’s a chaos. The Japanese left and then came Americans. [Chuckles] And I had five years of good English under Japanese. But I was taught by Japanese, and we read all the Shakespeares and all the poems, you know. SM: That’s amazing. PA: However, conversation was zilch. SM: Oh. PA: Nothing whatsoever, you know. And especially if you knew Japanese people pronouncing some English . . . way, way . . . you know, back. Their pronunciation is horrendous, really. It is a [unclear – imitates pronunciation] you know. It is . . . SM: [Chuckles] How did you overcome that then? PA: Well, this is what I did. Then there was a compound, U.S. compound in the outskirts of Seoul. I took . . . carried my own lunchbox and go by the fence and try to find one or two . . . catch one or two or . . . what [unclear]. SM: An English [unclear] was this? PA: Yes, the GI barracks. SM: Oh, this was after the Americans. PA: After the Americans came in. SM: Ah. PA: And I tried to . . . comprehend some language, you know. SM: Yes. PA: It was . . . I don’t know how long, but I couldn’t understand. And then, there was a big announcement in the newspaper that was the MacArthur headquarters was hiring people who can translate. SM: [Unclear]. PA: The main purpose was to intercept all the letters from North Korea, try to see what kinds of propaganda they are sending through mail. 11

SM: Oh. PA: CCIG was . . . I think CCIG. That was a censorship . . . civil censorship information something. I’ve forgotten exactly. SM: Yes. PA: And that was strictly information gathering. And I took the exams and I passed it. And I couldn’t believe it. And the idea . . . the . . . oh, the thing was, to translate something like this, “The oppressive Japanese empire finally fell by the United Nations’ force, and Korean people would be liberated from their thirty-seven years of oppressive . . . oppression.” SM: Oh, this was for . . . PA: That exam. SM: [Unclear]. PA: No, that exam. SM: Oh, the exam. PA: And I was to translate this phrase into Korean into English. And, well, it wasn’t too difficult, you know. And then I . . . I was translating every day and, you know, then I learned some fantastic things. I was only eighteen at that time and we’d do all the daily chores and pick up all the letters and give them to the American section master. He was a Navy . . . I forgot his name. A young fellow, but spoke beautiful Japanese. SM: Oh. PA: And one day, about two months after that, he called me to his office. He said I’ll be a section leader and there will be six people under me working for me. SM: Oh. PA: And I said, “Sir, I cannot do that.” He said, “Why?” “Because all those people have a college education and I’m the only high school graduate.” SM: [Chuckles] PA: “What’s wrong? Your English is better than the other people.” But this is not done in Korean society. Always degree first. You know. SM: Oh. Oh, yes. 12

PA: Yes. So . . . wow. That’s something. That’s a different . . . SM: So you actually thought you shouldn’t have the job because of that? PA: Yes. And I became a section master and whatever the . . . people who were working under me was all the college graduates and so forth. SM: [Chuckles] Oh. PA: And they used to have a draft on their letters, if theirs have any mistakes, I change it to certain different phrases and I give it to this . . . my American counterpart. Then the following year, I passed exams and I couldn’t go to this place because the school is during the daytime. By then, I was able to say a few words and I was able to converse with my section leader. SM: I see. Well, you really hadn’t had much conversation. PA: No, it was just always translation and . . . Then there was a job at the American Embassy in a woman’s apartment. I worked four to twelve every day as interpreter, answering the telephone. And all the secretaries who live in this apartment need a lot of chores done, you know, the instructions to the maid, and some shopping tours, and answering phones. Now that was my . . . oh, that was where I really learned English, 1945 to 1950. SM: I see. PA: I kept that job until the Korean . . . the day Korean War broke out. And . . . in 1949, I told you, I wanted to come over here, but I didn’t have enough money. I couldn’t come then, 1949, I was still working in the American Embassy. And there was a lady, Betty Burke. B-U-R-K-E. One day, around 1949, I’m trying to come over here, and the only way I can come is I have to have a sponsor. SM: Yes. PA: If I become a public charge, then you have to pay me back [chuckles] to send back to Korea. SM: Yes. PA: And she was willing to sponsor me. SM: Oh. PA: That was the spring of 1950. And I passed the exams and so forth. Bingo. Korean War. Then that stopped everything. Then immediately . . . oh, that . . . during the three months of the refugee life . . . I’d rather not mention . . . that’s too tough to recollect. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] Yes. 13

PA: But when the MacArthur landed in Incheon, we were hiding in the mountains. There was a patrol car, Seventeenth Regiment, Second Division patrol car came over to our mountainside. And I told him who I was. [Chuckles] And this patrol leader couldn’t believe his ears when I spoke up. SM: [Chuckles] PA: You see, my English hasn’t changed in the last twenty years. I spoke this English in the back . . . SM: Oh. Oh, they were probably delighted to find someone . . . PA: Yes, they were delighted to have me. They said, “You hop in.” [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] This was an Army officer? PA: An Army, yes. And, “Just hop in. We need you.” Because, you know, language is a big problem no matter where you go. Then immediately they found out my credentials. I worked in the American Embassy and I told all the situation when I went to the compound. SM: Yes. PA: And I stayed with them. But shortly later I . . . the U.S. [chuckles] Army was going towards, see, my hometown Pyongyang. And I . . . one day, I told these people, “I have to see my hometown as long as we are going in that direction.” I [unclear] and I became an interpreter, official interpreter of a 728 MP Battalion Company A, as official civilian interpreter. SM: Hmmm. PA: And I went to my hometown a very brief time. We retreated and we . . . way back, you know, the Korean War, we went back and forth, back and forth. SM: Yes. Right. PA: Then I was really depressed, you know. I didn’t know where my family went. And one day I was so depressed and . . . We’d fight all the time with the GIs, all the high school graduates. And . . . always blame me, “Hey you.” SM: [Chuckles] PA: Oh. “Hey, we don’t want to fight because of you. It’s your problem we are here.” And then we [unclear].


SM: Oh! PA: You know, this is happening all the time. SM: Right. PA: And then one day I couldn’t stand it. And I went to the Korean Army headquarters for supplies and I saw a big sign. The interpreter needed. I’m interpreter, liaison corp. So that day I just went into the compound, I took exams in the afternoon and they gave me a Battlefield Commission, First Lieutenant. SM: Oh. This was in . . .? PA: 1951, early spring of 1951. I became a First Lieutenant. Then I was assigned, because of my English, they assigned me immediately Headquarters G1, that’s Personnel. SM: Yes. PA: And I sat between Chief of Staff G1 and American advisor. I had a desk in between. SM: [Chuckles] PA: See, interpreting is a very difficult thing, you know. I have a difficult time right now with a Cambodian family. I go every Saturday shopping with the people, and once a month we get together with the interpreter. And the interpreter is not doing the right job. SM: [Unclear]. Is this a family you sponsored? PA: Our church. SM: Your church is sponsoring. PA: Our church is sponsoring. And . . . twelve people we’re sponsoring. I’m on food committee. SM: Oh. PA: Yes. Anyway, I did interpreting and . . . between the GI head Korean counterpart and American. American counterpart is Dr. Wilson . . . no. Colonel Wilson Powell. P-O-W-E-L-L. He’s a man from New Jersey and he has a master’s from Syracuse. He understood Korean people real well. He went to China during the Second World War, way back in the interior part of China to help Chinese . . . Chiang Kai-Shek’s Army. Then the Korean War broke out and he came to Korea. And, you know, his role was to get some replacement personnel from the Korean Army whenever the American Army have casualties. SM: Oh. 15

PA: And he . . . it was supposed to give allocation of manpower to . . . to the perimeter of American defense line, you know. And . . . but . . . sometimes he just can’t get it, you know. SM: Oh. Yes. PA: Because even the Korean Army suffered two hundred and the next American . . . you see, in the Korean War, there’s many different ways of fighting. But Korean Army, American Army, Korean Army, American Army on the front lines. SM: They were separate then. PA: Yes, separate. But this particular American line was . . . let’s say fifty. And the same day, the Korean Army loses two hundred. SM: Oh. PA: The headquarters from the U.S. of the Eighth Army comes, replaces fifty people first. SM: [Chuckles] Yes. PA: Then replaces Korean. SM: [Clucks] Oh . . . PA: You know, this caused a lot of problems. Especially, you know, the Korean counterpart, we’d have an urgent request from the Korean side, you know, “We lost two hundred; that we know.” Then Americans lost only fifty. We have to supply fifty first. Then they’d fight like cats and dogs. SM: Oh, the two armies? PA: Oh, yes. SM: Oh. PA: Then I was to . . . then I was to translate. They don’t know any language. They use four letter words, then I use four letter words. SM: [Chuckles] PA: That’s the only way you can show the anger, you know. SM: Yes. 16

PA: But this Colonel Powell often . . . oh, he . . . he gets the word from our Eighth Army and sometimes he defends the Korean side. SM: Ah ha. PA: That’s an unusual man. SM: Hmmm. PA: Then we had a very good relationship. And then in . . . I forget the exact month. We’d already started the translating the prisoner of war exchange things already, about six . . . SM: Which year was that? PA: [Sighs] I think it was in 1951. SM: Yes. PA: Late 1951, we’d already started Operation Big Switch. That was a top secret. We couldn’t even go home. And about ten interpreters were asked to do in a compound . . . SM: Oh. PA: All the details. When their prisoner is coming, and how people walk how many yards, and cross the bridge, and at first they are asked to sit down in the ambulance. SM: This was a prisoner exchange? PA: Yes, prisoner exchange. American, and then Korean, and Chinese prisoners of war, we exchanged it. SM: I see. PA: And I knew the war will be ending after a talk between North, Chinese, and so forth. Meanwhile, the Colonel Powell . . . I didn’t expect this conversation today. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] PA: Anyway, he said he was sort of demoted in a way, he was asked to leave Korea because he was aiding the Korean side too much. SM: [Sighs] Oh. PA: And the politics. You know, politics are in the Army, too. He was kind of sad and then he asked me what I was going to do. And I said, “Well, if war will end . . . If the war ends, I’d like 17

to continue my education, but I don’t know where my sponsor is now.” I told the situation. “Oh. By golly, I will be your sponsor anytime.” SM: Oh . . . PA: So, oh, that was just big news. And he was sent to Japan. Then I was discharged at the end of December. December 1952. And I wrote a letter to Colonel. He did all the necessary papers. I didn’t get a penny from him, just signed that he will be my sponsor. SM: Oh. Yes, I see. PA: Then I started re-communicating with Young Pai, who was already in this country. And in 1953, summer of 1953, I came here. SM: I see. Straight to Minnesota? PA: Straight to Minnesota. SM: Oh. What was your impression when you arrived here? Was it what you expected? PA: A dream. Like a dream. SM: [Chuckles] Like a dream. PA: Yes. Like a dream. And at first . . . you know, that’s . . . the first few months, you get up in the morning and or nighttime, “Where am I?” You know, that feeling. SM: [Chuckles] Yes. PA: This happens to anybody [who moves] to a strange country. SM: Did your friend Young Pai greet you here? PA: Yes, he was still here. But he was in the process of going back. He already finished his studies then. SM: Oh, I see. PA: He had a five year program. He came in 1948 . . . nine, ten . . . Yes, in 1953 he already had a master’s in education. He was ready to go back. SM: I see. Well, that was too bad he had to be leaving just when you [unclear]. PA: Yes. Yes, that was . . . kind of sad. But that’s how I started Minnesota. 18

SM: I see. That’s really interesting. So then you studied here first. At the university? PA: Yes. I started, you see, at Macalester. SM: Oh, at Macalester. PA: Yes, I have a B.A. in Chemistry and a Minor in Biology. You know, I already had a B.S. in Pharmacy. But oh, we didn’t have enough of practice, just . . . SM: Oh, I see. PA: Lab work was poor. We didn’t have a gas . . . no reagent and so forth. And I said, “Well, if I’m going to start, I’m going to start from the beginning.” SM: Yes. PA: And I had a very good education. We had only four chemistry majors in my graduating class. SM: Oh. PA: And we had a fantastic education. And we had a good professor, like Dr. Schaeffer[sp?] was on the Manhattan Project during the war, atomic bomb, you know. SM: Oh, yes. PA: He was a department head. So then when I came, you know, I was really surprise that most people didn’t know about Korea. SM: Oh. PA: They know somebody died, twenty-seven thousand Americans died. And some people are bitter but more people are . . . curious, you know, about why? Why did we send our kids and then we lost so many lives? Tell us about Korea. So first four years, you wouldn’t believe the amount of time I spent, all the different organizations, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, church. And I still have some of scrapbooks . . . [Philip Ahn’s voice fades as he goes to get materials to show Sarah Mason] And from that end I can show so many [unclear] you know. [Ahn’s voice gets louder as he returns with materials] And the school arranged all the things. SM: Oh . . . [sighs] [Rustling noises] PA: Yes. 19

SM: This is . . .? PA: This is 1953. SM: [Unclear]. PA: Yes. SM: I should maybe take down some of these dates. PA: Yes. [Rustling paper noises] SM: I suppose they have a file of these at Macalester. PA: Sure. Ah! [Unclear] Young Pai. See? SM: Oh, yes. PA: It says, “The twenty-five year old former South Korean First Lieutenant [unclear] Macalester this summer. [Unclear] he served two years [unclear] army interpreter [unclear] Eighth Army.” SM: Is this from the same paper? PA: No, it’s a different date. But it is the . . . SM: Oh, a different date. PA: Yes. “Chung was in Seoul in 1950 when the Reds came in. He was released from the Army last December after applying for a discharge. A Presbyterian, he’s a friend of Young Pai, whose father [unclear].” SM: Oh. PA: Yes. “[Unclear] chemistry [unclear] peace prospects and unification in his country. ‘Well, that didn’t change. The land’s divided. We feel that things are so bad and mixed up that even with a new [unclear] trouble will arise again because of Communism’.” SM: Yes. PA: That’s my view. SM: Is that your classmates at the [unclear]? 20

PA: Yes, [unclear]. SM: Maybe we should turn this off. PA: Yes. [Recording interruption] SM: ...about Macalester. PA: Oh. I earned . . . Yes, at Macalester, I had many different jobs and I worked in the cafeteria and so forth. SM: Yes. PA: And the summer jobs. All kinds of summer jobs. And I didn’t get a penny from my friends, because I had pride and if I worked hard I knew I would be able to support myself and the tuition. SM: You didn’t get any help from your family then? PA: No. SM: Ah ha. PA: Never. Because the economic situation was very bad after the war, and the exchange rate was too high. And it was almost impossible. SM: Yes. PA: And so in 1957 I graduated and I became a translator at the Hormel Institute. SM: Oh. PA: Of . . . that’s a part of the university graduate school, and a friend mine down there asked me to come down to translate many Japanese [unclear] chemistry literature into English. Because the Japanese published in all the journals, but not in English. SM: Ah ha. I see. PA: Then I translated, the summer of 1957, to pay all my debts. I don’t know how much I had of debt. But you’d be surprised . . . that people found out my major was chemistry, they asked me to become a junior scientist. 21

SM: Oh. Hmmm. PA: And immediately, I was launched into heart research. You know, that was the first time American people started worrying about eating habits. They found lots of American soldiers died of heart attacks during the war. And they analyzed their blood, and lo and behold, their cholesterol was at three hundred milligram percent, three-fifty, you know. SM: Oh. PA: And they analyzed all the Army chow—very high in fat. That was really alarming. So early 1950s, the American Heart Association really poured into basic research. That’s when I started my research in heart disease. SM: Oh, I see. PA: Then . . . we have to go back a little bit. What I did while I was at Macalester. That’s important. SM: Yes. PA: You know, not many people at that time . . . As you know, you know how Lee was the only person I know. There was two Korean girls at Macalester: Helen Lee and Margaret Lee. SM: Were they sisters? PA: No, no. They are not related at all. SM: Yes. PA: And another fellow who went to [the University of] Saint Thomas, he’s not related, but Peter Lee. He was there. And there was another fellow who . . . had Korean M.D. degrees, but he couldn’t practice because of his status. His name is Shin. Dr. Shin. S-H-I-N. He came in 1949. SM: He came as a doctor then? PA: As a doctor. But he went to Macalester to study English. SM: Oh. PA: Then immediately he became an intern at Saint John’s Hospital. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. PA: Saint John’s Hospital. Now he’s practicing his medicine at Howard Lake, Minnesota. 22

SM: I see. PA: But, you know, it’s a funny thing. There’s many foreign people who come to this country. I’d like to retain my Korean heritage. Just if you come to my home, you’ll know . . . no doubt, you’ll say, oh, this is a Korean home—even though I married an American girl. Because I’m proud of my Korean heritage. SM: Yes. PA: But some people, for some reason, disassociate with the Korean people entirely. They never come to Korean meetings and just . . . it’s really sad. I don’t know their motivations. There are quite a few. SM: Who are these? University people or . . .? PA: Yes, I’d say he was not a university peer. I could say he’s highly educated, but . . . for some reason, a few percent of people just do not associate and become a strict one hundred percent Yankee type of thing, you know. SM: [Chuckles] PA: On the other extreme is the people who come over here . . . .oh, hate it, all American . . . oh! You know. SM: Yes. PA: Everything is different. I think that’s a bad choice. As long as they are here, they should . . . they should carry out some of the good things from their old country and learn new things. And if we find a bad thing, we should tell the bad thing to American people, you know. That’s making it a better country. SM: Yes. PA: I’m a strong believer in this. As we interview, go through, I will tell you, my mother-in-law, who stayed with us . . . I . . . I couldn’t send my mother-in-law. SM: [Chuckles] PA: To the nursing home. SM: [Chuckles] That’s a problem [unclear]. PA: Yes. No way. I cannot send my mother-in-law into a nursing home. She lived with us until she passed away. 23

SM: That’s really nice [unclear]. PA: Initially, she—like my parents—opposed our intermarriage. SM: Your parents? PA: My parents and also my wife’s mother. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. PA: You . . . you haven’t met her. [Chuckles] And she was so strong about the intermarriage. She objected bitterly. But . . . SM: Did the father oppose it? PA: Her father had already passed away. SM: Oh, I see. PA: But he was a more understanding gentleman. SM: Yes. PA: He died a year before we were married in 1960. And I met him a couple times. He never said . . . I had a very good impression and . . . I had a good relationship. SM: Yes. PA: So 1953 to 1957, very few people . . . then Dr. Shin, I already mentioned, brought his brother and sister, Kay and . . . Kay Shin and Roy Shin, to Macalester College. SM: Oh. PA: Then in 1955 I brought my brother Sam. The reason Dr. Shin came to Macalester was that also he was a friend of Young Pai. SM: Oh, I see. PA: Because it’s all one family thing. SM: That’s how you were connected. Yes. PA: Yes. So back here somewhere we even have a picture of family affair things and that was carried in the Saint Paul paper or Macalester paper, I forget. [Rustling paper noises] Ah, 24

somewhere. Yes. This is my brother. SM: Oh. Yes. PA: And this Japanese student, brothers came and the Chinese brother . . . Philip and [unclear] family. SM: Oh. PA: Kay and Roy, they were Koreans over here. SM: These are all Koreans. PA: Yes. My brother, myself, Dr. Shin’s brother, Dr. Shin’s sister. SM: Oh. PA: This is a Japanese boy. SM: Do you know what year this was? PA: Oh, that one must be 1956 . . . 1955 or 1956. SM: And that was the Saint Paul paper? PA: Yes. SM: [Unclear] Yes. PA: In those days, we had very small knit communities among foreign . . . the Koreans. SM: Yes. They were all students? PA: Just like all students, we had the same common goals. But you have to verify from other people, but there was a special program at University of Minnesota arranged with the Korean universities. SM: Oh, yes. PA: The exchange program. SM: Oh, the medical school. PA: Medical school, agricultural, and engineering people. 25

SM: Yes. PA: And all these professors started coming. And that must be 1956 . . . 1955, 1956. I’ll have to verify. I’ve forgot exactly. SM: After the Korean War. PA: After the Korean War. And these people came about six months to a year . . . those people didn’t study, just to observe the class and some attend . . . audit. Not all of them. One or two . . . . [Recording interruption] PA: . . . we felt immediately something had to be done in regarding the introduction of Korea to American friends, okay. SM: Yes. Oh, but now . . . excuse me. PA: Yes. SM: What was this Korean student association? Just Macalester or . . .? PA: Macalester and then the University of Minnesota. SM: And the university. PA: Yes. And there’s one article . . . I forget what I did then, but we had some Korean student association and Korean Association of Minnesota. SM: Oh, yes. PA: 1957, May. SM: [Unclear]. PA: Evening of Arirang. Arirang is the name of a song. [Korean folk song sometimes considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea.] SM: Oh. PA: At the Newman Center. We wanted to introduce some Korean song, especially. SM: A-P . . . excuse me just a minute. PA: Yes. 26

SM: [Unclear]. PA: Yes. Then I was master of ceremony. [Chuckles] SM: Oh, yes. PA: And we had some accordion solo by this . . . oh, this different Kim—there’s another fellow, Kim. 1956 that’s where . . . Yun Ho Lee, Mrs. Yun Ho Lee sang. SM: Oh. Hmmm. PA: She was a music major. But I happen to love music. I . . . I was a soloist at Macalester. SM: Oh. PA: And we gradually wanted to introduce some Korean as a group. SM: Oh, I see. PA: And invited American people. SM: So you presented this then. Oh, and also a film. PA: Yes, Two Koreas Today: the Korean Government . . . I forgot what it would look like. SM: Well, this probably can give us some idea of how many students or [unclear] recruited or . . .? PA: Yes. [Unclear] “Yun Ho welcomes the Joo Young Han.” Oh, consul general. SM: Oh . . . PA: From the West Coast came. SM: Oh, my goodness. PA: Yes. “[Unclear] is a foreign student advisor.” SM: Oh, yes. He’s still around. PA: Yes, he’s still around. You know, come to think of it, he and I . . . here. “What’s cooking in our town.” SM: [Unclear]. 27

PA: And “Foreign student leaving our community.” And I was here but . . . some of the occasions, he and I used to give a talk together. SM: Oh, Han. PA: He has European students. That was . . . what is that? 1954, this one. SM: You did a talk together? PA: Yes, as a group. SM: Oh, I see. PA: And if you’ve . . . oh, there’s a lot of things . . . I did quite a few things. This is sponsored by . . . I forgot this group. Chamber of Commerce. SM: Oh, that was sponsored by Chamber of Commerce? PA: Yes. SM: Oh. PA: [Chuckles] SM: Just from that program, could we get a little idea of how many Korean students [unclear]? PA: No, that was no Korean. Not here. SM: Oh. The other program, I guess. PA: Oh, the other program. Yes. SM: Or were most of them in it, do you think? Or . . . PA: Oh. [Sighs] Most of them are gone. SM: I mean most of the students were in the program? PA: Oh, yes. Yes. SM: Oh. So we could get some idea then. PA: Ah . . . SM: Those were officials. 28

PA: Probably . . . yes. This is a Korean project called [unclear] of the universe, at the university. SM: Oh. Oh, I see. [Clunky noises] PA: So it must be 1950s, yes. SM: [Unclear]. PA: It must be 1956, 1957, we had this here project. SM: I talked to Neil Galt [sp?]. He explained some of it to me. [Unclear]. PA: Oh, really. Yes. Yes. Then he is working for the Univac now, [unclear] Kim. SM: Oh. Yes. So he stayed. PA: He stayed. Yun Ho Lee stayed. SM: Oh, Yun Ho Lee. Is that the one that was . . . who has [unclear]? PA: Yes. Yes. SM: Oh, I see. PA: Yes, Yun Ho Lee. SM: Oh, so they were married then. PA: Oh, he was married before he came here. SM: Oh. Oh, I see. And they were Macalester . . .? PA: No, no, no. SM: No. PA: He went to Macalester, now University, working for his master’s in business administration, I am sure. SM: He went to the university. Oh. I see. Yes. So most of the early settlers were from [unclear].


PA: Yes. [Unclear] I forget who that is. Forgot. And there’s [unclear] head of Korean dance. I don’t know who . . . I don’t remember. SM: Hmmm. PA: The same person. SM: Oh, yes. So some of these names are repeated. PA: Yes. [Hyun Sook] she attended Saint Catherine. I used to date with her. SM: Oh. Did she stay around or . . .? PA: She went back to Korea. And then many Koreans sang folk songs. Mrs. Lee Yun Ho, [unclear] I don’t know who she is . . . Oh, yes! Yes, yes. She went to Concordia. SM: Oh. So they were spread all over. PA: Yes. Yes. By then, people started applying to different small universities. SM: Yes. So they all got together for this though. PA: Yes. [Unclear] I don’t recall. [Unclear] Lee I don’t know. SM: Yes. PA: This is that Kay Shin I mentioned. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Yes, Kay Shin. Sam. SM: And she was at Macalester. PA: Yes. Oh! I didn’t know he was here. SM: [Chuckles] PA: This is a Walter Kim. He got a Ph.D. from university. He’s still in this country. I think it’s North Carolina. North Carolina? Yes. SM: Oh. Did Kay Shin stay there?


PA: Yes, Kay Shin married an American, my classmate, too. And do you that Minnesota has the largest interracial marriage? SM: Oh, really? Between Koreans and . . .? PA: Koreans and Americans. SM: Oh. Well, that’s interesting, isn’t it. PA: Yes. That’s very interesting. SM: How did you find that out? PA: Many people have said that that was reality. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Then . . . then all of these [unclear] backbone of a community. SM: So they remained if they intermarried. PA: Yes. Yes. SM: Well, so was that more frequent in the early community, you think? PA: Yes. SM: When there were less Korean women here maybe. PA: Yes. That’s true. When I was planning to marry, there wasn’t any Korean girls. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Four or five. [Unclear] went to Tennessee and my parents said I should go meet a certain girl. SM: Oh. PA: And we tried it for over the weekend. Oh, you know, love doesn’t . . . [chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] PA: . . . happen overnight. SM: So you did go down there then. 31

PA: Oh, yes. SM: But it didn’t work out. PA: It didn’t work out. SM: Yes. So your parents were pretty upset then? PA: Oh, very upset. Because I’m the first one. SM: Did they ever come and visit here? PA: Oh, yes. Now that’s a long story, but they opposed. But my brother knows my wife well. SM: Oh. PA: Then I was hesitating about my getting married. And he wrote a letter without telling me. Had I known a girl . . . if I have a girl like Betty, I would have married a long time ago. SM: Oh. He wrote to your parents. PA: Yes. That was a big help. SM: Oh. PA: And another thing was when I was in Austin, I was very active . . . SM: Austin, Minnesota? PA: Yes, Austin, Minnesota. SM: Oh. PA: I was very active in church affairs and I directed the junior high choir, and I was active in their community YMCA. Chatfield is not too far, it’s about thirty miles from there. SM: Oh, yes. PA: And my mother-in-law, through someone, heard, you know, that Korean boy’s after all, not bad at all. [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] Oh, that was fortunate that she . . . Ah. PA: Oh, then we had had fun time. Really fun time. 32

SM: Is she still living? PA: She passed away five years ago. SM: Oh, she passed away. Are your parents still living? PA: Yes, they are here now. SM: Oh. Oh, they’re here. PA: Oh, yes. They’re all here because of me, the eldest son coming over. SM: Oh. PA: My second son came over, and then . . . SM: Second brother, you mean? PA: Second brother, yes. SM: Yes. Okay. PA: Then my youngest brother arrived about eight years ago. Then my parents all came. SM: I see. PA: My youngest brother lives with my parents in Pennsylvania. SM: Oh, they live in Pennsylvania. PA: Yes. Excuse me. Okay, this is one form of things we wanted to tell Korean people. We are fond of music. SM: Oh, yes. PA: And sort of first night . . . SM: Well, somebody told me Korean choirs are really exceptionally [unclear]. PA: Yes. Yes, I directed a Korean choir for many years. SM: Oh. Here with the student association? PA: Student association. 33

SM: Oh, I see. PA: And also Korean church. SM: Oh. And the choir sang at the church? PA: Yes, I directed the choir at Korean church for about six years. SM: Oh, is that the Korean church in the Twin Cities? PA: Yes. SM: Oh. PA: We have five Korean churches now. SM: Yes. I’ve been talking to some pastors. PA: Yes. Catholic church. And a Presbyterian church is the largest one, they meet in Crystal. And two Methodist churches. And one non-denominational church, you know, legal nondenominational church. Oh, we have a Baptist church, too, while I’m talking about it. SM: Oh. Oh, yes. And that’s a Pastor Lee that’s . . . PA: Yes, Pastor Lee, I haven’t met him yet. SM: That’s very new. PA: Yes, very new. SM: [Unclear]. But so the Presbyterian is the largest? PA: Largest, yes. SM: Yes. I talked to Reverend Yu just yesterday, as a matter of fact. PA: Really? Yes. Yes. SM: Yes. And . . . oh, I see. So that’s the largest then. PA: Yes. SM: But the Korean church in the Twin Cities was the first one—first Korean church here. 34

PA: Yes. But we had only one church. SM: Well, there was a [unclear]. PA: We had a Korean . . . you know, I have a . . . entire Korean church . . . [Voice fades as he goes away from the recorder, searching for something] SM: Wait, before you lose the . . . PA: . . . history of the Korean church. SM: Oh, you do? PA: Yes. SM: Oh, I’ve been asking everybody. [Chuckles] PA: Yes. I was . . . we used to meet at the Cleveland Avenue over here. I know this is not it. SM: [Unclear]. Oh. Yes. PA: Yes [unclear]. This is 1973. Around 1970. 1970 . . . SM: Oh, here. PA: Yes. SM: Oh. Oh, I wonder if I could make a copy of that, or . . .? PA: Sure. You can have anything you want. SM: Oh, that would be . . . PA: Anyway, I’ve been . . . I was ordained at the American church but around 1970s more Korean people came and they were hesitant in going to American church. But I’m entirely different, American wife . . . SM: Yes. PA: Do not understand Korean. And I was comfortable going to American church. But I felt a need of a Korean church. And we used to have a prayer meeting over here at Cleveland Avenue, Saint Paul Campus Christian Ministry? Yes. SM: Oh. Saint Paul Campus Christian . . . they’re still here then. 35

PA: Yes. And we used to get together on an informal basis, all the Christians regardless of their denominational background. SM: Meet in what kind of places? Or . . . oh, you met at the Saint Paul [unclear]. PA: Yes. Yes, Sunday afternoons. Once a week. SM: And it was called the . . . was that the Korean Fellowship or was it . . .? PA: Yes, Korean Christian Fellowship. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Korean Christian Fellowship. SM: I see. So you were a founder, a founding member of that? PA: Yes. SM: Did your wife go to that too then? PA: No. Very seldom. SM: Oh. Yes. I see. PA: We used to go to some Sunday worship service. Then we were back and forth some church at University Avenue, but that church was sold. Then we found some theological difference between . . . congregation and minister. SM: Oh. PA: Initially, we wanted to have just one united church, Christian church. You know, we have enough problems back home, why don’t we have just one church. SM: Oh, I see. Yes. Because [unclear]. PA: Everybody agreed. SM: Yes. PA: However, we found out that the theology of a Baptist minister, fundamental but a Baptist, was so . . . different than the average people. And one thing I can say without reservation. Our baptism doesn’t count unless we re-baptize in the . . . SM: Oh . . . 36

PA: You . . . you have to dunk. SM: He was really fanatic on that, wasn’t he? PA: Oh, yes. Yes. And that he was at professor at the Fourth Baptist Seminary here. SM: Oh, yes. PA: As [unclear] Fourth Baptist in Minneapolis. One of our . . . one of the Orthodox Fundamental Baptists in the Twin Cities. SM: That’s a church? PA: Yes. Fourth Baptist. SM: Fourth Baptist Church. PA: Yes. They have a Seminary, too. SM: Oh. What’s the name of that seminary, I wonder? PA: Oh . . . SM: Is that Central Baptist? No . . . PA: Whenever I call the Fourth Baptist Church, then Clearwater is the name of the . . . SM: Clearwater? PA: Yes, Dr. Clearwater is the head of the whole organization. Very, very prosperous church. SM: Hmmm. PA: Anyway, there’s a Korean . . . SM: This was Daniel Kim, right? PA: Yes, Dr . . . Reverend Kim, Daniel Kim—you must have heard his name. SM: Yes. PA: And he’s still a good friend of mine. He has a difference in the theology.


SM: Yes. PA: And I couldn’t fight with him, because I wasn’t an elder. SM: [Chuckles] PA: And we had some Presbyterian minister who went to that school and . . . most of them had a heated argument after they left here. SM: Oh. PA: Because of . . . over baptism. Certain interpretations. SM: Oh, that was the main issue, over baptism. PA: Yes. Yes. So First Church left that church was a [unclear] church. They just had a . . . I have a whole history. That will make a [unclear] someday. SM: Yes. Yes. You should write the history of it. PA: I’m going to. SM: Yes. PA: And I’d like to read how you summarize that. I’d like to change that. SM: Yes, I will do a much smaller . . . PA: Yes, sure. Smaller. SM: Right. PA: Anyway, then, you know, this church was the first one to leave from this Christian Fellowship. Then Methodist . . . SM: Yun Ho Lee, is he one of those students? PA: Yes. SM: Ah. Yes. PA: Then the minister of that church was Baik, P-A-I-K. SM: Oh, yes. I have [unclear]. 38

PA: He was my classmate of Kindergarten and high school. SM: Oh, he is? Reverend Baik? PA: Yes. SM: Yes, I talked to him and his wife, too. PA: Yes. SM: Oh, they’re very nice. PA: Very nice people. SM: Yes. PA: And again, as a friend with I grew up in the same town, the same Kindergarten and high school. SM: Oh. PA: But as a church matter, he begged me to come to his church. But I said, “No, I cannot.” You know. SM: Oh, he maintained the Fellowship, right? After the Korean church was starting. PA: Yes. Now he left again. He has another church now. SM: Yes. Yes, a new Methodist church. PA: Yes, a new Methodist church. And he . . . SM: Oh, I see. Well, which was Yun Ho Lee’s church? PA: The . . . SM: The Community Church? PA: Community Church. SM: Oh, I see. PA: Yes. SM: He isn’t here now then, right? 39

PA: Reverend Baik? SM: No, Yun Ho Lee. PA: Yun Ho Lee? He’s still here. SM: Oh, he is? PA: He has a factory. SM: Oh, yes. Excuse me, I keep . . . PA: [Chuckles] SM: I didn’t know his first two names for a long time. PA: You will hear . . . yes, everybody . . . he does a lot of things. He entertains . . . oh . . . SM: Oh, he’s been . . . PA: He always constantly entertains. But we have some difference in approach. Again, church using . . . using church as a . . . a social gathering. Nothing wrong, but church has an entirely different function to me. SM: Yes. PA: Church is where you teach the word of Christ. SM: Yes. PA: And then fellowship comes next. But Lee always felt a certain aspect fellowship comes first and then sermon, you know. SM: Oh, Lee thought this? PA: Well, many church . . . some certain groups. SM: Oh, yes. PA: This is the whole idea. SM: Yes.


PA: And even fellowship . . . word was not good enough. Then Methodist church . . . then finally last year, two years ago, the Korean Christian Fellowship dissolved. SM: Oh, just two years ago? PA: Yes, a couple years ago. SM: I see. PA: Two or three years ago. I don’t have . . . SM: Oh, yes. When Baik decided to . . . it should be a church, or he and his . . . PA: Yes. Well, I arranged to have a . . . a church at the Macalester Chapel because I was a graduate of it. SM: Oh, yes. PA: I approached them initially, [unclear] chaplain. SM: So they were going to meet over there? PA: We used to meet there. SM: You did meet there? PA: Did meet, yes. SM: This was the Fellowship or the . . .? PA: Fellowship. SM: Fellowship. PA: Korean Christian Fellowship. SM: I see. PA: That’s the first word. Then you know these have a new church . . . another church. SM: Yes. PA: Anyway, he’d already left. Then there was still a majority of people belonged at the Korean Christian Fellowship at . . . like the Korean . . . I forgot the name. 41

SM: Korean church in the Twin Cities? [Rustling paper noises] PA: Let me see. It’s a very interesting thing. We then changed . . . this is a Korean Christian Fellowship. SM: Christian Fellowship. PA: It was 1971. That was the original one, okay. SM: Yes. PA: Then things had changed to . . . to . . . [Rustling paper noises] PA: Someday I was going to write the history. [Unclear]. [Rustling paper noises] PA: Korean Community Church of Minnesota. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Is the first one to leave that thing. Then we then maintained at the Macalester . . . Korean . . . oh, what’s the name of that church? That we struggled over for so many years. [Rustling paper noises] SM: Was that the pastor of Korean Community Church for a while? PA: Yes. SM: Until that summer, when he broke off. PA: Yes. Right. SM: I see. Okay. PA: I have a good friend who was my mentor, Dr. Holman, said, “You know, Korean people are smart. When we Swedish came we had a [unclear] church in a small community.” SM: [Chuckles] [Unclear]. 42

PA: Yes, in [unclear], the . . . SM: Oh, yes. Yes. PA: Up here. Korean Christian Fellowship. Yes. SM: Yes. Okay. That was the original. PA: Original, yes. Then they changed it once more. Twin Cities Korean Church it was. SM: Yes. PA: Yes. SM: And that was Kim’s church. PA: Oh, Kim’s church. Korean Church of Twin Cities, yes. SM: Yes. PA: Okay. Community Church, initially Korean Christian Fellowship, that’s number one. First terminology. SM: Yes, the first one is this. PA: Korean Christian . . . yes. Then we have this, too. SM: Then this. But this . . .? PA: As the Community Church it’s number three. SM: Okay. PA: Then another church . . . a big fight over another Methodist church happened in Saint Paul. Have you met Hok Su Kim? He works for the Burlington Northern. SM: No. PA: Anyway, we had another Methodist church, they have a church in East Saint Paul somewhere. SM: Oh, yes. That’s . . . oh! Is Hok Su Kim the pastor over there? PA: No, not Hok Su Kim, but a Kim is the name. 43

SM: Oh, it is a Kim, yes. PA: Yes, Kim. Yes. SM: Yes, I did talk to him. PA: Yes. SM: That’s the Korean United Methodist Church. PA: Exactly. Exactly. SM: Yes. Okay. So that broke off later. PA: Yes. Yes. Then about two or three years ago . . . SM: I think about 1976 or so. PA: Yes. About two or three years ago, finally, that heated . . . the theology got really heated . . . a hot fight. SM: Yes. PA: And finally they dissolved. SM: The Fellowship dissolved. PA: That Fellowship, yes. SM: Oh, this is before . . . PA: This church Korean, yes. This is. SM: Okay that dissolved in about . . . PA: Korean church of . . . yes, dissolved about two years ago. SM: Two years ago. PA: And here came a Baptist church immediately. SM: Yes. PA: And the Reverend Daniel Kim went to this . . . Virginia, Lynchburg, Virginia. They have a TV every Sunday morning, what’s that they . . .? 44

SM: Oh, they do? PA: Yes. SM: Oh. PA: Ah, who is that guy? [Sighs] They have a strong TV ministry they do. SM: Oh. PA: At Lynchburg Seminary, Freedom College or something. SM: Oh. PA: He transferred there. [Speaking to an unknown person] Hi! Unknown Visitor: [Unclear] have the key? [Rustling noises] PA: Have you used it so far here? Unknown Visitor: Nope, today I’m going to. PA: Okay. Good. Unknown Visitor: [Unclear]. PA: And then a Korean Presbyterian church became known. However, I was proponent of joining under the wing of the United Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. SM: Yes. And they did that, right? PA: They did that three Sundays ago. SM: Oh, just three Sundays ago! PA: Yes. Then I attended that meeting. I was so happy. SM: Let’s see, what was the date of that then? PA: Yes. [Chuckles] Ah. Korean Presbyterian congregation organized by Twin Cities area Presbyterian to serve [unclear]. This was . . . November 18, 1979. 45

SM: November 18th. PA: Hallelujah. Now we no longer will have to fight. SM: [Chuckles] Well, that’s what, I think, Reverend Baik said. PA: Yes. SM: That once it joined the denomination it would be more stable, I mean, more [unclear]. PA: Sure. It’s stable, because if something happens, we’ll tell the Presbyterian [leadership] please resolve some of our differences. SM: Right. Yes. PA: And it’s bad, but, you know, as a human being, church . . . you can have a difference in opinion. SM: Right. PA: And people . . . oh, if you don’t like it, we’ll organize in other churches. SM: Well, were they mainly theological problems? PA: Theological problems is one thing. But Korean . . . SM: Or personality, too? PA: Yes. Not a personality. SM: Not personalities. PA: I wouldn’t say personalities. SM: Yes, because it didn’t seem to be hostility afterwards. PA: No, no hostility. SM: Yes. PA: But some of them, then . . . when you have a small church, some of the mission comes . . . very remote. Just get together Sunday and then listen to sermons and so forth. SM: Yes. 46

PA: It makes the church very weak, you know. SM: Oh, I see. Yes. PA: Now we belong to this large U.S. church. There’s another movement in the United States, that we have a Korean General Assembly, something like that. SM: Oh. PA: They are governed by . . . oh, the Korean church, they organize their own structure. SM: Oh. There is . . . this does exist then. PA: It does exist. SM: Is that on the West Coast? PA: I don’t know where the headquarters is. I think Daniel . . . the John Kim’s father in Cicero, a Presbyterian United Church, they belong to this Korean General Assembly rather than U.S. General Assembly. SM: Oh. Well, that’s interesting. PA: Yes. But one thing I want you to note. As a Korean, you know, we have so many Chinese or Japanese people in this country. More numbers. But how many churches do you have? SM: Of the Chinese? Just one or two. PA: Yes, just approximately one or two. SM: Yes, just one that I know. Yes. PA: Yes, no matter which city you go, the . . . our . . . we are very grateful that we’ve found a church. SM: Yes. PA: And [unclear] movement of a Christian movement is really helping, you know. SM: Yes. PA: Spiritually. SM: Well, the church is very important in Korea, too, isn’t it? 47

PA: Oh, yes. Yes. SM: Yes. PA: But unfortunately, the last ten years, eighteen years, we’ve been harassed by . . . [unclear], he was murdered. SM: Yes. PA: He was a Buddhist himself. SM: Oh, he was a Buddhist? PA: Oh, yes. Yes. SM: Well, somebody told me that the church was pretty outspoken [unclear]. PA: Oh, yes. Outspoken as critics, but the constant harassment and . . . how many ministers are in jail right now, God knows how many. SM: Yes. Maybe they’ll be released now. PA: We’ll still be . . . some of them will be released, but yes, they are very cautious right now. SM: Oh. PA: They’re not releasing as rapidly as they should. SM: Yes. PA: And in fact, they arrested more students last week. SM: That’s what I heard. PA: Yes. SM: It seems like just this morning though, they said they were going to release some political prisoners. PA: Yes. SM: But whether it’s happened, I don’t know. Didn’t they inaugurate the new president today? PA: Yes, they inaugurated. Yes. You know, I’ve been trying so hard, ever since I came here, to tell who we are. 48

SM: Yes. PA: And we’ve been oppressed so much by Japanese people. We didn’t have any . . . SM: Yes, the history is really tragic. PA: Yes, it’s tragic. SM: Yes. PA: And we are better in many ways if we unite and . . . SM: Well, [unclear]. PA: Intellectually . . . SM: Bigger more united churches are better for accomplishing [unclear]. PA: I think so. Yes. SM: Yes. PA: The Koreans are intellectually . . . oh, same if not better than Japanese. We didn’t have opportunity to grow. And when the surveillance found the atomic bomb flashing South Africa about three months ago. SM: Oh, yes. PA: They didn’t know what that was. And then everybody worried about atomic bombs and the following day, you know, the . . . what the news says. Maybe South Korea is the next one to have it. And Pakistan. SM: Oh. PA: Capabilities of this. SM: I see. PA: And I carry all the Korean news all the time and New York Times and so forth. And their progress is a phenomenal economic progress. SM: Yes. Really. PA: Oh! It’s just . . . 49

SM: It is. Yes. PA: You look at Korea one day, and the following week, its whole thing has changed. SM: [Chuckles] That’s [unclear]. PA: And I want to go back next year again. SM: Oh, you’ve been back quite a bit? PA: About three times. SM: Oh. PA: And I want to go back again. And I teach two . . . just two courses on Korean nutritional . . . SM: Oh, you do? PA: Yes, I give . . . SM: Oh. PA: I know more than my counterparts here, they always ask each quarter. I give a lecture on sociocultural aspects of nutrition, especially Korea and Japan. And I really enjoy it. SM: Oh, do you get credit for your students taking that? PA: Oh, yes. [Unclear]. SM: Oh, sociocultural aspects. PA: Yes. I just teach a Japanese and Korean [unclear] China very well. SM: Oh, the course covers a variety of cultures? PA: Yes, this Dr. Doyle cover the . . . all over the world. SM: Oh, that’s interesting. PA: [speaking to a visitor] Hi Carol. Carol: Hi. Excuse me, can I use your white-out? PA: White-out? It’s kind of dried. 50

SM: It’s always at a premium. [Chuckles] I see. What else do you teach or what’s your specialization? PA: Well, mine is . . . I’m doing strictly research here. SM: I see. Oh, you don’t teach [unclear]? PA: No, I have strictly research here, and I have about fourteen publications of predominantly fatty acid metabolism. Fatty acid metabolism. SM: Fatty acid metabolism. PA: Yes. And my last talk was I went to Canada to talk about a liquid protein diet. A lot of people died last year. SM: Yes, I remember. PA: And one of my students just finished her work, and she gave me this thesis. And we discovered that when they started selling this product, animals was not tested. SM: Oh. PA: So our project was to have animals, really obese rats, about seven hundred grams, it’s really gross. And we started the ECG on the animal. SM: Oh. PA: This is a healthy animal, it’s just like people, no changes. SM: Yes. PA: However, as you can see, animal grows older or weak, heart will slow down. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Of course it’s like this then. SM: Oh. PA: Arrythmia. Beep, bip, beep, bip . . . it’s not even. SM: Oh, yes. PA: And all the different phenomena. If you have [unclear] figure. 51

SM: Oh. PA: And I presented this paper in Canada this summer. SM: Oh. Hmmm. PA: You see, like . . . even lay people can notice a difference. SM: Sure. Sure. PA: So I do . . . SM: This was after [unclear]. PA: Yes. SM: Hmmm. I see. PA: But my work varies in many, many ways here. It all depends on the project, each student’s project. Like I’ll be helping these [unclear] students lay out . . . SM: Oh, I see. You’re an advisor for research students. PA: Yes. And . . . no, they have their own advisors. SM: Oh. PA: But the advisors . . . often cases involve the teaching also. SM: Yes. So they don’t have much time. PA: And not much time. So I’m coordinating all the lab work and . . . SM: Oh, I see. PA: Which gives me a lot of freedom, too, and the things I really want to do, many other things. And I was on board of directors of International Institute of Minnesota for seven years I was the vice president. SM: Oh, were you? I see. PA: Two years ago. And I believe in this . . . family planning is a really big thing. I . . . SM: Yes. 52

PA: I was board of directors for a good many years. And my church work. Those kinds of things really . . . SM: Now you go to an American . . . PA: North Como, yes, North Como Presbyterian Church. I served two terms as a . . . as an elder. I served a session, we call [it] session. If you are Presbyterian, you know, session is a governing . .. SM: Yes. Yes. Well, do you think that eventually most Koreans will go to the established churches or will the Korean church always have a role? PA: Korean churches will prosper because there are many parents and relatives who come who does speak English. Those people will eventually, after they learn English and if they should move to a church . . . we don’t have a Korean church, we’ll go to American church. But people love to worship where their native tongue is used. You know, like a sermon. SM: Sure. PA: And once a week, meeting your fellow countrymen is a great, great help. SM: Yes. PA: Psychologically, emotionally. I try to go to Korean church when the time allows. And I try to . . . I subscribe to my . . . SM: So you still go to it then. PA: Oh, yes. Because I feel like that’s my second church and where I started. SM: I see. For many . . . for special occasions? PA: To special occasions, yes. SM: I hear there’s a joint Christmas program, usually. PA: Yes. Each . . . yes. It started about three years ago, after they separated. But now we are separated but why not celebrate Christmas and Easter and that. Oh! SM: Celebrate them. Yes, that’s a very good idea. PA: That’s a good idea. And they should.


SM: I’ve always wondered whether the denomination divisions aren’t largely Western divisions to start with but . . . PA: [Sighs] The thing is that most of our Korean Christians are Presbyterian. SM: Yes. And that isn’t too different from Methodist, is it? PA: It’s a bit different. SM: A little different organization. PA: Different organization. SM: Yes. PA: And selecting ministers in Presbyterian and Methodist, there’s fundamental differences, you know. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Congregation have a final right to select a minister in Presbyterian. SM: Right. PA: Whereas minister of the Methodists, they . . . SM: It’s appointed. PA: . . . appoint it. Oh, that is . . . SM: So the congregation has nothing to say. PA: No, nothing to say. So Presbyterian to me is more democratic. SM: Yes. Well, what about [unclear] ministers? Were they chosen by the congregation? PA: Well, after they organized, and . . . well, I don’t know the future of this Methodist church, how these people will be assigned. SM: Oh, yes. PA: If the people grumble, we don’t like . . . SM: Now that they’ve joined the big one. 54

PA: Yes, then United Methodist Church must have enough Korean . . . Korean ministers. They will dispatch. SM: Assign. PA: It will change. SM: They started by calling their own [unclear] didn’t they start as independents? PA: That’s right, independently. SM: Yes. PA: Because some people who left had a more Methodist background. [Speaking to someone else] Say, June? Excuse me, I have to . . . . [Recording interruption] PA: . . . bringing up children in this country is a difficult thing. I have to compromise always, because I have to allow I’m in America, and I was brought up strictly Oriental. And I had my idea how to raise, but it doesn’t work out that way. You know, I’m supporting this student who does seminary work, which financially we are supporting. I just got this letter the other day. They are expecting a child. SM: Yes. PA: And in preparation of . . . for becoming a mother, I am studying the Proverbs, where God has a lot to say about rearing children. SM: Mmmm. PA: Okay. And there’s Chapter One, Eight and Nine. Children should obey their parents, because it is good for them. SM: Yes. PA: This implies that the parents’ motivation is love. Because I love my children and we hope they will obey our will, you know. SM: Sure. Right. PA: Wanting the best for the child. SM: Right. 55

PA: You cannot dispute that. SM: No. Right. PA: I cannot . . . Okay, secondly, Children brought up to fear the Lord live in security. This is a direct quotation. SM: Yes. PA: Children instructed with wisdom make proud, happy parents. Discipline helps a child to learn. But, you know, American children don’t have discipline. SM: That’s really . . . PA: School. I’m really, honestly, reconsidering sending my remaining two children to some private school, if financially available, I mean, possible. Because this public system . . . I go often to the high school for a speech, some nutrition and share my ideas. SM: Oh, I see. PA: These kids are outrageous. They don’t know how to respect the visitors. Chewing gum in front of teachers and . . . [Sighs] SM: Well, and it varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. PA: Yes, but oh, I go to a good school. You know, Kellogg, and Park View and Fairview. SM: It should [unclear]. PA: And I don’t like their music. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. [Chuckles] PA: I don’t know. SM: [Chuckles] PA: How many people got killed the other day? Eleven kids, people killed in Cincinnati. [Philip Ahn is referring to the December 3, 1979 Who concert when eleven fans were crushed to death in Cincinnati, Ohio.] SM: That was terrible.


PA: For that lousy and banging noise. This whole society is moving that kind of thing. Why? I think kids have too much money nowadays. SM: I think that’s the biggest thing. PA: That’s the biggest problem. SM: Underlying. PA: Underlying, you know. SM: Yes. They expect too much. PA: Yes, expect too much. And my son, he has his own banking account. He works very hard, eldest son. He was just approved . . . accepted by University of Wisconsin last week. SM: Oh, very nice. PA: And then he works hard. He makes salad at Brothers restaurant. SM: Yes. PA: I told him, you know, he shouldn’t think this is a big, big job, because he’s making three seventy-five an hour. That’s not a big thing. SM: But to start off with. PA: But to start off, but . . . he has too much money. SM: Yes, it’s a problem. PA: He has free room and board, you know. SM: Yes. PA: And hopefully he will use his money wisely. And I told him, “Save every bit of it for next year and the year after that.” And then my kids often say that, “Dad, after all, you were educated in Korea. You are in America. Things are different, you know.” But basic thing, discipline is a big problem in American society right now. SM: Yes, it is. PA: And I don’t know how to cope. I still ground my kids, even though they are in high school. In fact, today I allowed my second son . . . he did a naughty thing the other day. He was reading a wrong book. So I grounded him for a week. 57

SM: Yes. PA: And today he had a half day. This morning he came to my bedroom if he could go to a new Star Trek movie. SM: Oh. PA: And half day and a lot of kids are going. And he was begging. SM: Yes. PA: So I [asked] if he’s going to read that kind of book again. He says no. “If you promise, you can go.” SM: Yes. PA: And I still believe in discipline. I don’t know how much, it is a big problem as a parent. SM: Yes. Yes, it’s a big problem for Americans. PA: You know, I don’t want to have them have a psychologically . . . be really oppressed and then they go the other way. SM: Yes, right. It’s really a difficult place to bring up children. PA: Yes. And I try to teach my children. My heritage is something, you know, we have a long . . . their our thirty-second generations. SM: Yes. PA: They . . . my heritage is a good one. [Speaking to a visitor named Brandy] My heritage is better than Finnish, right? Brandy: Oh, no! SM: [Chuckles] Brandy: No, no, no, no. [Unclear]. PA: You see? Finnish, Korean, Turkish, Hungarian, started all the same place, by the way. SM: Oh, really? PA: According to the anthropology. 58

SM: Where did they start? Central Asia or something? PA: Central Asia. SM: Ah. PA: Routal. SM: Hmmm. Finnish and Koreans and . . . PA: Turkish, Hungarian. SM: Hmmm. So there’s something in common. PA: So Brandy is my sister, or daughter. SM: [Chuckles] Brandy: Oh [unclear]. PA: Do I have to sign your paycheck yet? Brandy: See, it goes in on . . . PA: Tenth. Tenth is Monday. Are you gone on or work Monday? [Recording interruption] PA: . . . supports me in many ways. SM: Oh, that’s good. PA: And, you know, basic principle of the discipline is all the same. But the whole society is mixed up. So many divorced people and they don’t know how to raise kids and I know some of those kids I see around are in broken families. SM: That’s really hard for the children, too. PA: You know, when you look at certain entertainment section. Okay. There is not a single family picture or movie segment, based on a happy family now. SM: [Chuckles] Right.


PA: Always divorced people. Either husband a wife is separated and they are trying to raise their own daughter or son. SM: It’s become a really common [unclear]. PA: Common thing. People are learning as it is . . . this is a way to live, you know. And I don’t know why. Hollywood people, wake up. Make some movie that depends on a happy family, like a Harriet and Ozzie. Or since years ago, that was very popular. SM: Well, there is one. Eight is Enough. [Chuckles] PA: No, they . . . but they are divorced! They got together again. They’re about . . . SM: Oh, really? I must have missed that. PA: They’re not originally . . . That’s not originally a happy . . . the family. They got together. SM: [Chuckles] Oh. Well, this is the second wife. I thought his first wife died. PA: Yes, that’s the second wife. Yes. SM: Yes, she died, the first one. PA: Yes. SM: [Chuckles] PA: I think three is enough. [Chuckles] SM: I think eight is too many. [Chuckles] PA: Think of it. SM: Well, is your wife from a . . . PA: Chatfield. SM: Is she from a particular ethnic group? PA: Irish. She’s an FBI. SM: Oh, Irish. Oh, and you’re going to Ireland with her. PA: She’s FBI, foreign born Irish. [Chuckles] 60

SM: [Chuckles] PA: You see, my boss is Irish, real Irish. She comes from Ireland. SM: Yes. PA: So the first time we met each other and she found my wife’s heritage, “Oh, you are one of those FBI,” you know. SM: [Chuckles] Well, if by foreign born she means born in the United States. PA: Yes, [chuckles] to them. SM: And usually they mean . . . [Chuckles] PA: Yes. SM: Yes, to the irish. PA: To them, all the Irish born outside of Ireland is FBI. SM: [Chuckles] I see. Well, does she retain much of her Irish heritage? PA: Oh, yes. SM: Yes. PA: Very much so. That’s why next year my boss is going on sabbatical. SM: Yes. PA: And he said as long as we’re going, why don’t you go with at the same time. SM: Oh. PA: You know, the first three, four weeks. SM: Oh, he’s . . . ah ha. PA: So after they settle down, then we’re going to go there. Just leisurely . . . just Ireland. SM: How nice to have someone to visit there. PA: Yes. I think you can learn more. 61

SM: Yes. PA: That’s why I want to buy the tape recorder and the cassettes and the video recorder. JVC have a very lovely one. You can actually put it on your shoulder. SM: Ah ha. Oh, that’s pretty nice then. PA: Yes. SM: You can record your visit of Ireland. PA: And this is my way of thinking and rearing children. I hope that they learn something. And I took my son four years ago when I went to a meeting in Japan. And I took him to Korea. SM: Oh. PA: This . . . this guy. After he came back from Korea . . . SM: Is he the eldest? PA: Yes. SM: Oh. PA: He’s going to college next year. He learned . . . you know, I know why you behave the way you do. SM: Yes. PA: So I’m planning next year when I go, I’m taking Peter, second son. SM: I see. PA: And eventually my youngest son, to see. If you see people, the way they live and, you know, respect elders. SM: Yes. It would mean a lot to visit for you, I’m sure. PA: A lot to them. Yes. SM: Oh, yes. Has your wife been there? PA: My wife is not a traveler.


SM: Oh, she doesn’t like that sort of [unclear]? PA: We went to Jamaica when my boss was in Jamaica for quarter leave and we . . . I was going to do some malnutrition study. SM: Oh. PA: I was going to see the sample of what I was going to study, so I went there. Tour versus . . . oh, tour and pleasure and a work type of thing. SM: Yes. PA: She was very scared to go. SM: Oh. PA: But Ireland, she is inclined to go because, you know, her heritage. SM: Yes. It sounds a little more dangerous in Ireland though, to me. [Chuckles] PA: We go to the Southern part. SM: Yes. I see. PA: County Mayo is where her ancestors come from. SM: I see. Oh, that’s good. PA: Third generation in this country. SM: Third generation in this country, okay. PA: So we say that we are compatible because I’m the Irish of the Orient. SM: [Chuckles] How do you mean that? PA: The missionaries coined Korea as the Irish of the Orient. SM: Oh, well, what do they mean? PA: And typical people, has the Korean people have been oppressed like Irish people have been oppressed by Danish and the, you know, the Vikings. SM: Oh, I see. Yes. 63

PA: And then recently by British people. SM: Yes, I see. PA: And I think another thing is temper. [Chuckles] SM: Oh. Are Koreans known for their temper? PA: Oh, yes. SM: Oh. Yes. PA: I forget easily but I get mad. So we’ve been married twenty years. SM: Yes. [Recording interruption] PA: ...average Korean like, you know, Lee has been here a long time. He’s in business. He knows how to deal with Americans. But like Americans and [unclear] that we married the American girl, or American husband, we can really relate to our feeling. And what most Korean students come over here studies and goes back, they hardly know . . . to them you are an American, untouchable, you know. The person never can’t communicate with our people. SM: Yes. I see. PA: But I’ve been telling people and oh, their people are all the same. It’s basically saying, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell. Many people feel that I’m a radical, but I’m . . . well, I’ve lived here long enough, try to bring into my Korean culture into American life and . . . if there is an invisible wall, I have crossed. I can see both sides. SM: How do they mean they think you’re a radical? You mean in [unclear]? PA: Because I married an American girl. SM: Oh, I see. PA: Because this was not done so because Korean people always kept as the purified Korean blood. And because when Korea was divided, pro-Japanese, pro-Chinese, pro-Russian, during this in the 1907 to 1945, people couldn’t stand the Korean situation that Korea and Russia is one of them, and China and America. And subsequently, there are three factions, pro-Russians, proJapanese, pro-American. SM: Oh, I see. They went to one of those [unclear]. 64

PA: Yes. And then Korean government was formed pro-American became a South Korean leader and . . . and then they . . . our pro-Chinese people tried also, but they didn’t succeed. And of course North Korea is strictly pro-Russian. Not lately pro-Chinese. And all these periods, Koreans did not marry foreigners. That’s bad. And you are outcast. SM: That was the same with the Chinese, too. PA: Yes, same thing. SM: Well, but now you go back to visit your family in Korea and they don’t get too upset about it. PA: No, they don’t feel that way. And there are certain people, they envy my position. And I even tell, if you are to marry once in your lifetime, I think it’s more exciting. I crossed a link between the West and East. And if I had married a Korean girl and still live in this country, possibly, I really don’t know real Caucasian American feeling. SM: That’s true, you’re probably much more assimilated. PA: Yes. That’s right. And like when our friend invites Betty and I . . . I don’t know how they feel, but we are one of them, but if my wife is Korean, and speaks limited English, they will always regard her as a Korean, never as an American. SM: Yes. PA: You know what I mean? SM: Sure. And I’m sure it’s made a big difference. PA: Oh, yes. SM: Yes. Well, there are quite a few Asian professors and so on in the university. PA: Oh, quite a few. SM: Do they seem to be completely integrated with the other faculty or do they socialize with each other or some of both? PA: You know, the university is so big. SM: Yes. PA: You know, we’d be lucky just to communicate with our own people, a few people. SM: [Chuckles] Right. You can’t know everybody. 65

PA: You have your own . . . you have a . . . students over here, their problem and my problem. It’s really difficult to communicate with other people. Oh! SM: [Chuckles] So it isn’t a really close knit kind of . . . PA: I don’t think so. Its competition is severe. SM: Oh, right. I was up at University of Minnesota, Morris. PA: Yes. SM: And there it does seem to be a small family. [Chuckles] PA: Small, yes. Yes, that’s right. SM: But that’s completely different from here. PA: Yes. SM: And it is a kind of cutthroat competition, as you said. PA: Yes. You know, we have a saying, to publish or perish. SM: Yes. PA: That thing still applies, and the more papers you publish, your fame goes up. SM: Yes. So your work is mainly research and publishing and so on. PA: Yes. Yes. And I love it. SM: Yes. PA: I really love it. SM: Some of dream of that, I guess. [Chuckles] PA: Yes. SM: Did you go somewhere after Macalester? PA: I did . . . I did quite a bit of graduate work, but I decided after I got married, all the things . . . and I don’t want to go through that rigorous Ph.D. program or master’s program. I knew where I had enough background in chemistry in Korea also. 66

SM: Oh, yes. PA: I had a fantastic program under Dr. Shepherd. We had only four chemistry majors, as I told you. SM: Oh, that’s right. PA: And it was a really, really fantastic experience. And I . . . my colleagues all recognized my competence, how I was. SM: Yes. PA: And I feel sorry sometimes on Ph.D., they work so hard. SM: [Chuckles] It’s a terrible [unclear]. PA: Yes, it’s . . . Then that some of them didn’t know the meaning of philosophy, you know. What’s a philosophy? I said, “After all you’re working for a doctor of philosophy. Can’t you define philosophy?” [Whispers] They never had philosophy. SM: [Chuckles] They’re so specialized. PA: Yes. So I don’t know . . . many doctors, my boss here is . . . he’s about . . . he’s forty now. Very dedicated, but I see his day in day out search for literature, search for literature, exams, grant proposals. SM: Yes, it’s a rat race. PA: It’s a rat race. But [unclear] I do my job, [unclear] and I have so many other things I wanted to accomplish as a person, at church and some organizations. And back in 1958 I wrote some Christmas letter that I happen to have. [Voice fades as he goes and searches for it] And I just read what I wrote, you know. And . . . SM: Oh, this is a valuable little scrapbook you have [unclear]. PA: Yes. At that time I was very active in . . . SM: [Unclear]. PA: Yes. He was right. [Unclear] but he said if China falls into Communism, entire Asia will become Communist. SM: Yes. 67

PA: Nobody listened. SM: [Chuckles] PA: I liked him. But I was a . . . I was [unclear] Metropolitan [unclear]. SM: Oh. Oh. PA: Twelve of us sang with her. SM: Oh, so you’re really quite a musician then. PA: I sang at about seventy-four weddings. SM: Oh, really? PA: Yes. SM: What was that in Austin? PA: Oh, then again . . . SM: And this was the date, too. PA: Yes. SM: As historians, you know, we have to always find the date. [Chuckles] PA: [Unclear] yes. Yes, 1957, again, I was there already. I was in Austin, but again, Macalester College went down there [unclear] Philip Ahn, Korean [unclear] who participated in Austin [unclear] program four years ago sang two Korean songs and so forth. SM: Oh, [unclear]. PA: Because when the first . . . yes. The first year when I was there as a guest of Austin, International Weekend, they call it. SM: Yes. PA: And we go visit a family. SM: I see. PA: And try to tell what the foreign country is all about for the . . . 68

SM: Yes. PA: She’s from a . . . SM: Yes. PA: This is Young Pai, 1953. SM: Oh, that’s a nice picture. PA: Yes. That’s me, and then Jane, her father is [unclear], Hormel Institute people. SM: Well, why were all these pictures in Austin now? PA: Oh, we . . . SM: Oh, you went down there to . . . PA: Down there. SM: Oh, yes. PA: The community activity, they invited foreign students there. SM: Oh, I see. PA: That town is very famous for that. SM: Oh. PA: I went there as . . . the year I arrived. And actually, there’s a lot . . . many side stories. I stayed with one family. They became so attached to me. And when I got married, my parents couldn’t come because of distance. SM: Oh. Oh, yes. PA: And this American host family became . . . SM: Oh, how nice. PA: Yes. SM: Yes, that was nice of them.


PA: And they didn’t have any children and they adopted. Their adopted children have to be just trouble after trouble. SM: Oh, I see. PA: So they have referred to me . . . and look at Phil. SM: Yes. PA: Hardworking, he’s having a good education and so on. SM: Yes. PA: Well, anyway, we used to go . . . I used to go to every Thanksgiving and Christmas, things like that. SM: I see. PA: And I was a soloist at Macalester. SM: Oh. PA: Little choir. [Chuckles] SM: 1954. PA: Yes, 1954, 1955. This is Austin church in 1957. I sang a solo. SM: Oh, yes. PA: I sang innumerable . . . I sang all over the country. Whenever I go . . . And last year I sang at the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. SM: Really? PA: Yes. Mamie Eisenhower was there. SM: Oh, really? PA: Yes. SM: Oh. PA: Yes, this was the little choir. 70

SM: Hmmm, [unclear] all over the place. PA: Yes. We got . . . we . . . SM: Oh, the Macalester choir went to all these places. PA: Yes, Macalester. Yes, yes. SM: I see. PA: Then . . . one letter I wrote the . . . how many years ago . . . then I was a president of a Cosmopolitan Club when I was at Macalester. And I believe . . . SM: Oh. That . . . I’ve seen pictures of that in the [unclear] at the [unclear]. PA: Yes. SM: But it included students all over the area. PA: No, this is at Macalester College. SM: Oh, it’s a different one. I see. PA: Yes. Cosmopolitan. SM: Oh. PA: And when I had an international . . . SM: [Unclear]. PA: Yes. SM: What year? PA: 1956. Yes, 1956. And after I did the community concert, the president wrote me a letter. The international [unclear]. Tried to tell our friends all over North America. SM: Yes. PA: That is all the different places I sang solo. SM: You were really active. Did you study music at Macalester? PA: Never. 71

SM: Oh. No. PA: Never. SM: Hmmm. [Unclear]. PA: United Nations [unclear]. SM: Oh, you were really active. PA: Well . . . SM: Who is this? PA: Judd. SM: Oh, that’s Judd. PA: Yes. SM: I guess I haven’t seen that picture before. PA: Yes. And . . . oh, here’s a 1958. What I wrote is . . . it’s all the regular story. SM: Yes. PA: “The next news might surprise you. As you know, I have been in the United States more than five and a half years. How many . . . how time passes by. In July I received a most shocking letter from our Korean Consulate in reply to my request for passport extension for another year.” We had to change a visa, you know. SM: Oh, yes. Yes. PA: “They denied my further extension because of the new regulations set up by Korean government.” At that time, they found out that Korean students . . . students always cause some problems. SM: [Chuckles] PA: I knew some kids at Washington, said bad things about Korean government. SM: Right.


PA: So people who stayed more than four years, in 1958, were summoned back to Korea. They did not renew our passport. SM: Oh. Oh, well, who was it that wanted them. The Korean government or . . .? PA: Yes, Korean government. SM: Oh, yes. PA: Syngman Rhee government. They were really afraid . . . SM: Oh, this was in the 1950s? PA: 1958. SM: 1958. PA: Yes. SM: Oh, so Korean students were sent back if they were critical. PA: Oh, yes. Forced . . . they were really forced. So people who didn’t have a job were forced to come back. Okay. This . . . I’ll continue to read. “I had no choice except to go back to Korea. I know more than [unclear] my knowledge I’ve gained so far isn’t anything academically speaking. All of my friends back home are expecting me to achieve something outstanding when I come back to Korea.” Ah . . . where is it? Yes. “All of my friends back home are expecting me to achieve something outstanding when I finish my education so that I may be useful in the rebuilding of our troubled and war-torn land. I realize that with the present knowledge and the education I have, I could . . . I could do some degree, render service towards the rebuilding of our country. But I know I can do a better job if I could study a little more and learn more in the United States. After serious speculation and consultation with my friends around here, I decided to apply for permanent resident status.” SM: Yes. PA: “The months of September, October, November have been . . . have been moments of extreme anxiety waiting for the outcome of my application. It was five days before Thanksgiving when I received the joyous news from Immigration Service that my status has been changed to that of a permanent resident in the United States as an immigrant. I will never forget that day as long as I live. Some sixty people came to my open house to help me to celebrate my new status. I had a lot to thank for on Thanksgiving, believe me.” That is a . . . I never wanted to stay in this country. That’s a totally . . . it’s political things and then 1960 I finally wanted to get married because I was getting old and I met my wife then. SM: Yes. 73

PA: And she had all the qualifications of a good wife. She’s very quiet. Very quiet. SM: I see. PA: Many Korean girls know me and come to our house . . . says, you know, we should learn the quiet Oriental type of thing from my wife. SM: Oh. PA: And many Koreans feel that she is a Korean. SM: Ah. PA: The way she talks and . . . and my parents, after they came over here, really fell in love with her. SM: Oh, that’s good. PA: And they respect . . . and for a while my mother came before my father did. And I had three women in the house. SM: [Chuckles] PA: My wife, my mother-in-law, and my mother. SM: Oh. PA: And they always aid Betty. That was the wisdom of my mother, too. When I’d say something bad, she’d immediately side with Betty. SM: Ah ha. That’s really good. PA: [Chuckles] SM: [Chuckles] That’s pretty nice. Let’s see if there was anything I was planning to ask you that I didn’t. PA: [Chuckles] SM: I think we just about talked about it all. PA: Yes.


SM: Yes, I think we covered everything I had planned and more. [Chuckles] But I was thinking, you know, if I run into things I didn’t quite understand, I can call you up or . . .? PA: Anytime. [Speaking to a visitor named Laura] Hi Laura, how are you? Laura: Oh, pretty good. PA: How is the exam coming? Laura: Well, I haven’t had any yet. PA: Haven’t had any? Laura: No . . . I’ve got four coming up though. PA: [Unclear]. I’ll turn them in Monday. Let me sign it now. Laura: Oh. Okay. SM: Did I misplace that card you gave me [unclear]? PA: What card? SM: Or did I put it over here? You gave me one of your cards. PA: Oh, I have lots here, another one here. I’ll give you another one. SM: Oh, here. This might be [unclear]. PA: Oh, it fell down? Yes. SM: Yes, here we are. PA: [Sighs] SM: Also, [unclear]. [Recording interruption] PA: ...that they tried . . . the professor of the university accused my son of stealing their . . . the variables while they were gone, you know. SM: [Unclear]. PA: And then . . . then this university guy even came to see my boss to seek my personal . . . 75

SM: The prof did? Or . . . PA: No, no. They went over the guys in the university. SM: Oh. Oh, I see. PA: I know who he is. And he even came to find out what type of person I was. SM: [Gasps or sighs] PA: Then that went on too far. One day when my son went to collect the money and they said to me, “You know who stole that. You tell me or else.” And he was crying when he came back. So I finally . . . I couldn’t stand it that we . . . SM: That’s terrible. PA: This is too . . . that was . . . that is too much. SM: Yes. PA: So that night I went for it . . . we were really angry. I said, “If you do not come by at eight o’clock tonight with a . . . with a letter of apology, you will hear from my lawyer. And he’s a damn good lawyer,” I said. SM: [Chuckles] Yes. PA: And he came that night at eight o’clock. He was shocked at the way I lived. And he was shocked that my wife was a Caucasian. SM: Well . . . [sighs exasperatedly] What’s his problem? He’s a university . . . staff or . . .? PA: Yes. It’s [unclear]. You know, there’s . . . it’s not all bright. SM: That’s terrible. PA: It’s not all bright. SM: I mean, you wouldn’t expect that from a university [unclear]. PA: It’s . . . oh. Oh, we have one or two. SM: That’s [unclear] like an Archie Bunker. [Chuckles]


PA: [Unclear – whispers too softly to hear]. [Normal voice] And most Koreans like myself, we work harder, actually. SM: Oh, sure. Well, what was it . . .? Why . . . what was the situation? Why did he think your son . . .? PA: Well, my son, according to his theory, when he collected, he admired the nice things, you know. And once he had . . . SM: Collected for his paper? PA: Paper money. SM: I see. Oh. [Sighs] PA: Then that I . . . this professor happened to have some foreign object where when he taught in foreign country he brought it. And one day my son said, “Oh, you have nice things here.” And my . . . I have a lot of the lovely things from Korea as decoration things, you know. He . . . and he can tell the difference. SM: [Chuckles] PA: And that one statement led them to believe . . . SM: Oh. PA: Then the police found out the garage door was ripped open with a hacksaw or something, you know, with the kitchen door. SM: Oh. Hmmm. PA: There was no evidence whatsoever. But he was accusing, so . . . [sighs] Oh! I was so mad. SM: That’s really terrible. PA: Then he came and then he apologized. Then okay. “As a Christian, I’ll forgive you once now.” SM: [Chuckles] You told him that? PA: Yes. SM: [Chuckles] PA: “As a Christian, I forgive you once. But don’t you dare repeat that thing.” 77

SM: Did he know you were part of the university? PA: Oh, yes. He knows who I am. SM: I mean, did he know that before when was accusing your son? PA: Yes. Oh, he knows who I was, but he thought I was a . . . just some Asian technician who couldn’t make enough living, you know. SM: Oh. PA: And that thing happened. SM: Well, that’s inexcusable. PA: That stings. SM: So there really is quite a lot of that kind of thing still going on. Well . . . PA: [Chuckles] SM: It’s hard to believe in the university. PA: Oh, yes. There’s all kinds of people. SM: Yes. Well, thank you very much. PA: Well, I hope I can relate some of the . . . relate some of this information you didn’t have. SM: Yes. Yes, and I’ll keep in touch with you for information I don’t have. PA: Anytime. If I missed anything, then I’ll let you ask me. I will be happy to. My phone number is different here, I know, it’s just . . . SM: Oh, is it? PA: Yes. SM: Okay, maybe you could fix that.