AN AMERICAN WHO LOVES ANYANG - AN HONORARY KOREAN
Interview by Kim Dae Kyu
Anyang Times, 20 May 2003
Anyang City Festival Offers Special Invitation to photographer
This month were introducing a special person, Mr. Neil Mishalov, 60 yeas old, who lives in California. In 1968 he was in Suk So Dong, the 83rd Ordnance. At that time he photographed many pictures of Anyang and now hes posted them on the Internet. We discovered these pictures, so during the Anyang City festival, were preparing a special photographic exhibit to show these pictures to Anyang citizens at the City Hall and Culture/Arts Center.
We have a long story, but space is limited. Kim Dae Kyu interviewed Mishalov about himself.
Kim When did you come to Anyang and how long did you stay?
Mishalov In March 1968 I came to Suk So Dong with the 83rd Ordnance. I returned home in 1969.
Kim When you stayed here, what were your experiences in Anyang?
Mishalov Life in Anyang was a new experience. I never saw rice fields or oxen before, so I learned many things. It was also a wonderful chance to learn an Asian culture. That still influences me today. My strongest feelings were how after the Japanese left Korea, the Koreans suffered through a terrible war. Ive also personally experienced how energetic, sensible and hard working Korean people are. Im not surprised that Koreans have developed their economy to such a tremendous extent.
Kim Whats the reason you took so many photographs?
Mishalov Good question I wanted to have a photographic record of Korea. Ive kept these pictures 34 years. Whenever I moved, I always kept the pictures. Theyre on 35 mm slides and only recently have I been able to transfer them to my website. I've gotten many e-mails from Koreans and other Americans who have been in Korea. Many were from young people who werent even born when I was in Korea.
Kim Anyang is preparing a 30 year festival so if we send an invitation, will you come?
Mishalov If youll invite me, Ill gladly come after that 35 years absence. Of course, Ill bring my camera.
Kim What would you think about us presenting all your pictures at the festival?
Mishalov Id be honored and very happy. The pictures are a symbol of Korean/American friendship so it would be an honor.
Kim What do you think about Korean/American relations in the future?
Mishalov The Koreans are a great people and Korea should become a united country. Americans respect and like Koreans; many Koreans now live in American. Like East and West Germany, therell hopefully be a united Korea.
Through the interview, we found that Mishalov deeply loves Korea and the Koreans. So we expect hell visit for the photo exhibition.
The above translation is an abridgement of the original interview and some mistranslations in the original Korean text have been corrected.
Thanks to Mrs. Yung Hee Hagen for graciously translating this interview from Korean to English. Mrs. Hagen lives in Colorado with her husband Jere Hagen, an Army buddy from 1968.