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Date 17.06.21 Hit 302
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UnYong KIM's Memoir 63(Graphys)


              


 
63 The Memories of My Father from a Single Picture

 

 

 



 One of the important memories I have of my father with me is from a faded yellow picture that I have. The picture of him holding hands with his three year old son is an important  memory that I have. There are some things that I feel vaguely familiar with in that picture. However, I have never, even for a single moment, forgotten about the existence of my father. Needless to say, if my father didn’t exist, then I would have never existed either.

My father, Kim Do-hak, started as a reporter for Chosuminbo Daily in Daegu, and just before he passed, he was the chief of General affairs and Finance. The year that he turned 39, he suddenly passed away on a cold winter day.

After catching a really bad cold, he ignored the words of his family telling him to take a rest, and still went to work. He stayed by himself to give out the salary and balance the accounts in an old wooden building with only one store.

When he finally finished balancing the books, he was already suffering from an extremely high fever, and when he returned home in a rickshaw, they say that his fever developed into acute pneumonia. My father, his body burning all over, was immediately taken to the Kyungbuk provincial hospital but he had passed away the next day. That was 6 months before the penicillin, which was called the miracle was available.

두 살 때 아버지와.jpg

            ▲ With mu father when I was 2 years old

I still frequently meet with my dad through the picture that I took with him. My mother told me that my father used to hold my hand to take me places when I was just a toddler. She says that he sometimes took me to the newspaper office. My father always took me to the Daegu sports stadium whenever there was a match. He also took me to many concerts.

Not only this, but my father also took me to a party hosted by the Gyeongsangbukdo Governor, and thanks to him I had the chance to meet many high ranked officials. When I saw the gold stitched clothes of the governor, I thought that I could be wearing the same clothes if I became the governor, and I remember being in awe of the soldiers with swords to their sides. Although now I can barely remember, for a very short time, I followed my father, and indirectly experienced things that were hard to see and feel back in those times.

My father liked to write, and he left some manuscripts. Of his works, the Korean Literature Professors of Kyunghee University  told me the 'Keumkang Mountain Journal' is a masterpiece comparable to any of the works of the best writers. My father wrote this while touring the Keumkang Mountain about his feelings and scenery of Waekeumgkang, and Naekeumkang. Through his words, the love for the nature of his country can be felt.

Also, through the articles that he left, there are newspaper titles from all over Asia in 1929, and various matchboxes. Various trademarks from Korea, Japan, Manchuria, Hawaii, Siberia and China, can be seen in the scraps of the matchbox labels. It was during the Japanese colonial times, so most of the things that he left have a strong Japanese character. However, about 4 pages of the matchbox label scrapbooks are filled with labels of tigers and Taekukgi(Korean national flag). My father went to a Japanese school, and worked for a Japanese newspaper, but never lost his patriotism for Korea and its independence.

I told my father at a very young age, so I don’t have vivid memories, but I vaguely remember that he was kind and was a man a of dignified appearance. My father, who graduated from a Japanese university, devoted himself to the development of Daegu, working as a newspaper executive, and as an official for the establishment of the Daegu Medical College. He showed interest in various fields and I remember him to be highly intelligent and capable.

He especially held a special love for sports and music. He liked to play organ and violin, and when a concert of famous people in Seoul is held he went to Seoul to see it. He also liked to play tennis and watch baseball games at stadiums. Our family lived an abundant life and my mother also supported my father’s recreational activities.

I believe I was three at the time when there was a snack called 'Cigarette Snack.' This snack contained pictures of battleships that I liked very much. I used to ask my father to buy this snack for me as a present quite often. After a party, on his way home, long after I was asleep, he would buy this snack for me. When I woke up in the morning and reach into the pocket of his jacket, the “Cigarette Snack” was there. My father always kept the promises he made with me, small or big. So I tried to keep my promises with my children.

However, there were 2 promises that he did not keep. Before he passed away, he didn’t buy me a toy machine gun that I wanted for the reason that I was too young. The other promise was that he said we would live together even when I grow old. It was very unfortunate  my father passed away before he could keep his promise. My name proves the existence of my father. Un-yong probably means “fly around the world on top of a cloud like a dragon.” I still spend over 6 months overseas every year. I can’t become a dragon and fly around on a cloud, but I still fly through the clouds in a plane, so I can say that my father’s prediction was quite right. I used to fly 20 times around the world every year. I dream that I am flying in an airplane, sharing fun stories with my father.

However, my father is not in this world anymore. With the faded yellow picture, he remains as a memory, just like the memories of my youth. Nevertheless, my father still lives in my heart, and he will stay there forever.



 



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