Art, Music, Taiwan & The Refuge Community for GuanXi Magazine

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

                       Art, Music, Taiwan & The Refuge Community

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(This article was originally written for Guanxi Magazine Spring Issue/2016)

It was the year 2000 and spring was swaddling Taiwan as we moved into our new house on a dead-end street. Little did we know how that move – over the next sixteen years – would affect people’s lives – and moreover how much our own lives would change in that time.

We had worked out a pretty good deal on rent as it had only been a few months after the big devastating earthquake in the autumn of 1999. The house was a bit farther away from the city, and had a good sized yard. Perfect.

Friends began visiting from the city. They would lay in the grass, look up at a sunny sky while birds were chirping and exclaim… what a refuge!

Hearing this so many times and from so many different people we all started referring to our home as The Refuge. People brought their art, art supplies, instruments, food and ideas on the weekends. Together we would make art, music and share food and ideas. 

A Community was being built without us realizing it at first and it grew exponentially. There was no other place like it that we knew of in Taichung and at the time, no one was doing what we were doing. It was revolutionary.

Because of my love for music and art – and the whole birds of a feather concept – Our ‘refuge’ attracted artists, musicians, thinkers and supporters from all walks. Many Taiwanese frequented our place of course but there were also people coming from all around our beautiful island paradise – and the world. Then we started doing small events… some that grew into big events.

The Refuge has gone through many changes since the early 2000s and will keep changing with the times and the environment.  But one things is certain: The Refuge is all about the Art and Music Community.

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In the spring of 2011, the mayor of Taichung shutdown all the bars and music venues after a popular bar (that featured live music) burned down in Taichung, The Refuge Community defiantly stayed open. We felt it was worth the constant risk of being raided and fined just to keep the music scene alive. We had just relocated The Refuge to an old amusement park and because of the fire and subsequent shutdown of venues, we were the only venue (opened past 10PM) in Taichung where bands could play… and play they did!

Unfortunately, the land where that Refuge was for three years has since been sold to a big corporation and we have moved back to our original location. But we still have events and we still support aspiring musicians and artists.  We still have an eye out for another awesome venue, but to date, we haven’t found anything as special as when we were at that old amusement park. We’ll keep looking though!

Speaking of aspiring musicians and artists… after spending some time going to The Refuge events, and meeting the movers & shakers and supporters of The Refuge Community, many have discovered the artist within themselves. Surrounded by experienced and talented artisans from around the world, aspiring artists and musicians get the encouragement they need to go for it. The Refuge has seen thousands come through its doors.  And what a high it is to see people discover their talent or develop skills they never knew they had. What a high it is to see someone with skills and finally getting the opportunity to see those skills manifest. The Refuge Community gives people that necessary encouragement to grow. And that is beautiful.

And it’s that high and that beauty that keeps us doing what we do.

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The Refuge acts as a nerve center for charitable and cultural activities and puts on a variety of large and small events. Some of these events include: LUVstock (Music/Art Festival), Basic Aid (Fundraising/Charitable Organization), Hobo Happiness (Folk Fest featuring Scott Cook and other Local Musicians), Luna-C (Full Moon Events with Bands & DJs) as well as helping and promoting others and their events around the Island. LUVstock for example grew from a house party with one stage, a few bands and fifty or sixty guests –  to moving to a bigger location with three stages, fifty bands, twelve DJs, vendors, camping and over 2000 guests getting their groove on for the weekend… and without ever selling out to The Man.

There is so much more The Refuge does or is part of, but this article has a word limit, so be sure to find us by looking at the links at the end of this piece.


The Refuge has an eclectic collection of art, music, doodads, trinkets, musical instruments. The Refuge boasts over a terabyte of music from around the world and over two terabytes of local music and shows that we have recorded over the years. And we have a pretty damn good sound system to listen to it all on, too! The Refuge is a friendly inviting place that is always – as many of you know – morphing into something different, new and interesting. People come from all over the Island with their ideas, and artistic know-how.

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This is what keeps The Refuge relevant, growing and fun.

Come be part of a Refuge Jam, a drum circle… come to an event (we usually have events at least once a month – look below for links!).  The Refuge is still one of very few places in Taichung that continues to have Live Music in a very chill environment.

Look at the links below to see how you can be part of The Refuge Community and be up to date for Refuge Happenings!

Come be part of what we do.

 
The Refuge is an icon in Taichung as it continues to provide Creative Outlets for Artists, Musicians, Bohemians & Truth Seekers. Come explore, create & make new connections with others.

                                           A Strong Community Makes a World of Change.

If you would like to get in touch and find out more about Boston Paul & The Refuge Community, check out the links below:

*https://www.facebook.com/BostonPaul
*https://twitter.com/MilitantHippi
*https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheRefugeCommunity
*https://www.facebook.com/TheRefugeCommunity
*https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com

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You can Follow the Militant Hippi/Boston Paul on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BostonPaul
or
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MilitantHippi

You Might also like to read some other short stories by Boston Paul AKA The Militant Hippi:

  1. About a Great Grandfather and his Great Grandson:My Great Grandfather: When Cultures Clash. Ass kicking, long hair and Hard Knocks

2.  This is my weapon and this is my Gun, based on real life events, a young man finds himself in Central America:

https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/this-is-my-weapon-and-this-is-my-gun/

3. Hate waiting in line?  This is for you:

https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/the-express-lane-10-items-or-less/

4. The Would Be Patriot:

https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/a-good-young-man-or-lockes-socks-the-would-be-patriot/

5. A bit of Horror and suspense… never blow this guy’s candle out!

https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/short-story-the-flame-that-softly-danced/

6. Getting Stoned at The Fair

https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/short-story-stoned-at-the-fair/

 

True Story: Vietnam Veteran searches for his Son. This story has been updated please go to new link

This story has been updated. We are still searching!

Here’s the New Link:

https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/breaking-vietnam-veterans-dying-wish-to-find-his-son-lost-love-in-taiwan%E5%8D%B3%E6%99%82%E6%96%B0%E8%81%9E-%E8%B6%8A%E6%88%B0%E9%80%80%E4%BC%8D%E8%80%81%E5%85%B5%E8%87%A8%E7%B5%82-2/

A Vietnam Vet in his seventies is searching for his son whom he’s never met and the mother of his son whom he was once in love.

He’s been searching since 1968 to no avail.. but now we have the power of the internet.

This is an Ongoing story and will be updated as more information is given.

請幫忙廣發此帖,但願能早日找到她母子倆,謝謝 !

 (This story has been updated 3x)

3/25 (FRIDAY):  WE HAVE NEW INFORMATION AND IT WILL BE UPDATED IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS… THE SEARCH CONTINUES!  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR INPUT, LINKS, CONNECTIONS, IDEAS AND LOVE… KEEP IT COMING!  加油 !

 

Picture of Harvey Woods

(Center) Harvey Woods,  (Right) Ming Ying Chi AKA Kiko, (Left) Ming’s Younger Sister

I got a private message on social media asking for help. A woman named Leah from North Carolina asked if I could help find her brother whom she had never met. Her father, now in his golden years, wishes to find his long lost love and their son… before he dies.

The Community has come together and the search is on!
(Please scroll down for Chinese).

The Story

His name was Harvey Woods and he arrived in Taiwan in 1966. He was stationed at Qinquan Air Force Base (清泉崗空軍基地, CCK) in Taichung.  This was during the Vietnam War and many Americans in the military were stationed here in Taiwan.

Harvey was an Airmen 2nd Class and was attached to Detachment 3 / 2165 Communications Squadron.
His Commander’s name was Capt. Robert O. Bissey.
Harvey had two roommates: Sgt. Flemings (who was also his supervisor) and Airman 1st Class Tombs.

 

During his tenure in Taichung, Harvey had met Ming Ying Chi (We are not sure if it is Ming Ying-chi  or Chi Ming Ying as it is customary for Chinese to write their surname first but sometimes put it last when dealing with Westerners). They all lived in the same apartment building. Kiko lived with her younger sister (shown in the picture) and a daughter who would have been about 6 or 7 years old then making her in her early 50s now.

He had nicknamed her Kiko and she affectionately referred to him as Mr. Woods.

They fell in love during his stay here and when Harvey left in 1967, he tried to take Kiko back to the United States with him.. but to no avail.

Harvey Woods is from Atlanta, Georgia and that is where he returned after Vietnam

Even whilst Stateside he tried to locate Kiko to join him in the US, but his attempts were futile.  Over the years, he had put out several ads in various newspapers in Taichung, but got no responses.

Saddened by losing his love but determined to move on with his life, he was to marry an American girl. That is when he learned that in 1968 Kiko had given birth to his son.

Kiko had written a letter to Harvey to tell him of the birth.  Unfortunately for Harvey and Kiko,  Harvey’s mother – perhaps a bit overprotective and wanting her son to get on with his life after the war – destroyed the one letter with Kiko’s return address on it thus all the clues that would have had helped find them.  Harvey’s mother would also not tell him the name of his son.

Finally, in desperation, Harvey told his daughter Leah and her siblings the whole story of their brother in Taiwan and asked if they could help…. he implored them to please help find his long lost love and their son before he dies.

Leah then got in touch with me through a PM – and others through the various social network groups.  We’ve all come together and now the search is on!

What We Know:

Kiko spoke a little English and would now be in her early seventies. Presumably, if she is still alive, she lives in Taichung.

Harvey and Kiko’s son would be bi-racial  (Chinese/African American) and approximately 47 years old.

 ATTENTION Fellow Detectives and Sleuths in the Community!

Here is what we have for you so far:

Looking for:

  1. The Mother: Ming Ying Chi 紀 明 櫻/possibly Chi Ming-Ying
    Nickname Kiko

    Approx: 70-71 years old
    Spoke enough English to communicate
  2. The Father: Harvey Woods
    From Atlanta, Georgia (Before and after military service)

    US Air Force stationed at Qinquan Air Force Base in Taichung, Taiwan during the     Vietnam War from 1966 – 1967.
    His Commander’s name was Capt. Robert O. Bissey.
    His supervisor was Sgt. Flemings
    His roommate was Airman 1st Class Tombs.
  3. Their son: Biracial – Taiwanese/African-American
    Approx. 47-48 years old
  4. Ming’s Younger Sister (in picture on the left): no other information

 

CHINESE TRANSLATION

大 家好!在照片中央的是我爸爸,自1968年起,他一直在找照片右邊的女士.她的名字是MING YING CHI (Surname 明 or ?),她能說英語,現今應該約70歲了。

我爸當年是美國空軍一員,越戰時期曾駐台中,他很愛她,也很想把她帶回美國,可是那時候情況不容許。她曾寫過一封信給我爸說她有了他的孩子,是個混血兒,現年約47-48歲,因為我爸跟別人結婚 了,我祖母沒把信交出,當然也沒給他MING的回郵地址或孩子的名字。 我爸曾連續幾年在台的報紙刊登尋人廣告,可是音訊全無。他自1968年一直在尋找MING和他倆的孩子…最近,他跟我及他其他孩子說出這個故事,希望 我們能在他死前幫他找到她和那孩子。照片中左邊的是MING的姊妹…抱歉,我也沒有她的名字。

請幫忙廣發此帖,但願能早日找到她母子倆,謝謝您們!

大 家好!在照片中間的男士是我的父親,在右手邊的女士是我父親從1968到現在一直再尋找的人。她的名字是“Ming Ying Chi”(翻譯者的我在想因是羅馬通用譯語),我父親給她的小名是“Kiko”。現在的她約為70-71歲,會說英文,我父親非常愛她,也曾想把她帶回美 國,但當時情況不容許。她曾寫信過給我父親,告訴他,她生下了他們倆的孩子(男生為台灣-非洲美國裔,現今年齡約為47-48歲),後來我父親跟別人結婚 了,當時我祖母沒把信轉交給他,並且也沒告訴我父親Ming的回信地址及小孩的名字。我父親曾登報協尋過,但始終無音訊。從1968到現在,我父親一直再尋找“Ming Ying Chi ”,及他們的兒子。最近他告訴我們這些孩子,希望他在臨終前幫他找到他們倆。而在圖當中的左邊是Ming的姐妹,但我不知道她的名字。

※如果,有人在台中,有任何他們的消息,請幫助我,取得聯繫他們,我由衷萬分的感謝※

During the Vietnam War an Airman in the Air force was stationed in Taichung, Taiwan. He fell in love with a Woman. She was unable to go back to the US with him, then gave birth to their son… he’s been looking for them ever since.

Translations by:

Marya C. Mocha and Jill Chung and Eddie Lin

This is an ongoing story please check back every day as there will be UPDATES…

You are also welcome to leave information in the comments.

 

UPDATES
3. LAST UPDATE: March 25, 2016 1:00PM
2.Update: March 23, 2016 11:15PM
1. Update: March 23, 3:00PM

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You can Follow the Militant Hippi/Boston Paul on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BostonPaul
or
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MilitantHippi

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