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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

“Happy Birthday, Andy”

May 28, 2021

Celebrating Andy’s 74th birthday over a fabulous Korean feast.

“The Mirror of Friendship”

A friend holds the mirror of self-esteem.

You can see at a glance someone you admire.

But the beauty of that reflection, to me, it seems,

is the glow of concern from the friendship fire.

……..Dennis Adams (Summer, 1977)

About the poem

When I was about 27 years old (1977), I was at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) studying basic Korean, in Monterey, California. It was an intensive, one-year long course.

During that time one of my Korean instructors introduced me to her niece and asked if I would sing with her for some cultural event they held at DLI for each new class that came through. We studied the culture, customs and arts, as well as the language.

Her name was Cho, Gun Hui but Americans have a hard time remembering Gun-Hui so she adopted the name of Connie (it was the closest-sounding American name to Gun Hui) which she thought would be easier to remember.

I already had lived in Korea for one year and I liked Korean music and had learned several Korean songs, so I was happy she asked me to sing with her niece.

She was a beautiful Korean girl. She sang really well (much better than I) and we became friends. We practiced the songs that we were going to perform for the cultural event, and in so doing, got to know each other fairly well.

I was inspired to write a short poem (the one above) about friendship and I gave a copy to her.

She liked the poem. So she went to a frame shop to have them etch the poem onto a mirror and frame it, and then she gave it to me as a going away gift (I was almost finished with the one-year Korean language program by then).

I was moved by the thoughtfulness of her gift and her friendship.

But, after that summer, we were destined to go our separate ways, and we never did have contact again. But I have good memories of her and the short time I spent with her.

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it…………

No! Wait a minute…..

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it…….

No! Sorry! Just one more minute.

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it…….

Oh my gosh! Sorry!………..

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it……..


“HmmThe Mirror of Friendship, he murmured, while contemplating the story.

Then he continued, “Dad, that’s such a clever way of saying the only friend you have is yourself!” 😂😂


I don’t know why I even try…..😳😩


My favorite line in that poem is “…the glow of concern from the friendship fire.

When you are really good friends with someone there is always a genuine caring and concern emanating from both sides.

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Culture, Music, Travel/Adventure

Heart Of Gold

February 28, 2021

My “chin gu” (friend) , Dong Chul Lee, in Korea around 1977-1978.

A couple of weekends ago, we had the perfect snow storm here in Seattle and I wrote about it in my previous post, called “The Perfect Storm”.

In that post, I mentioned that on the first two days of that four-day snowy weekend, I listened to a playlist I made of songs by Lizz Wright, that I call “Freshly Fallen Snow”.

The last two days of the snowy wonderland weekend, I listened to another playlist I made of songs by Lizz, which I call “Seconds of Pleasure (Sighsmic Activity)”.

On that playlist, Lizz does a cover of “Old Man”, a song written and sung by Neil Young, written as a tribute to a caretaker of a parcel of land, who presented the land to Neil Young, which Neil eventually purchased, and lives on.

Neil Young was one of the most influential songwriters and guitarists during the 60’s and 70’s and he’s still active to this day.

When I heard Lizz sing “Old Man”, on the playlist that weekend, it suddenly reminded me of my friend, Dong Chul, and I wanted to tell his story.

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Health and Wellness, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 9 and Day 10

March 29, 2020

Cozumel, Mexico – Day 9 (2/2)

At Sea – Day 10 (2/3)

(Note: I’m bundling these two Days of the Cruise because the last day, Day 10, was a day at sea and was uneventful, as we headed back to Ft. Lauderdale.)

This is the view of Cozumel Island, the most popular destination in Caribbean (Mexico).

This dock was long………a long walk to shore.

From the balcony, before we disembarked, I watched a local entrepreneur giving the passengers a ride to shore on his bicycle carriage.

I liked that idea, so I said, “Let’s ride the bike, Uncle Walt!“My treat!!”

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Health and Wellness, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 8

March 29, 2020

Roatan, Honduras – Day 8 (2/1)

I woke up about 04:15 a.m., as the cruise ship was heading toward Roatan, Honduras, our fifth port on this ten-day cruise.

I had to go out to the balcony to peek at the weather and the view.

We weren’t due to arrive at Roatan until about 08:00 a.m. So it was back to bed after I snapped this picture.

However, we arrived earlier than expected. It was about 05:00 a.m. as we approached the island……

Soon after that we were docked….

The picture above was taken from a beach area (seen below) of Mahogany Bay, at Roatan, Honduras.

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Health and Wellness, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 7

March 27, 2020

Belize City, Belize – Day 7 (1/31)

The cruise ship had to anchor five miles off shore to avoid damage to the coral reef. This is what five miles looks like out at sea.

We boarded the tender boats to get to the dock at Belize City.

We got to Belize City at about 8 a.m.

Our excursion for the day was an airboat ride through the swamps.

As soon as we got to the city we were picked up and delivered to the place where we would get on the airboats and ride through the everglades to see all kinds of wildlife.

They said we might see some alligators, manatees, and a variety of birds.

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