40 Years in America
The 1972 purchase of the 4411 Canal St. house was most fortunate because Father, Mother and their entourage stayed there during the 1973 Day of Hope Tour, leaving Louisiana forever with a priceless landmark. I can never forget how at speech time we all squeezed into that house: Father and Mother in the prayer room, Col. Pak in a bedroom, Mrs. Won Bok Choi in the breakfast niche we had enclosed, Pres. and Mrs. Salonen and other assorted members of the entourage were in bedrooms in the basement.
As an outpost, we had received periodic visits from International One World Crusade bus teams crisscrossing the country led by John Schuhart, Perry Cordill, Joseph Sheftick and Reiner Vincenz. Mr. Vincenzís and Dr. Sheftickís teams came to help with the Day of Hope tour. Martin Porter inspired us with a visit as IW and advance man to help us prepare for the speech. Father had remarked that New Orleans, located where the Mississippi empties into the sea, is a spiritually low place, like the excretory part of the nation. Still, the bus teams worked very hard and Fatherís speech and the banquet went very well.
There were a couple of firsts. At the banquet Father was presented with the keys to the City of New Orleans from the mayorís representative. This was the first time Father received this honor. Soon it became the standard. I also wrote and published New Hope News, the first tabloid newspaper about our movement. We printed 20,000 of them and distributed them all over the city as we visited house-to-house inviting people to the lecture. Father liked it so much he ordered that it be done by National HQ on a regular basis: New Hope News later evolved into Unification News.
With a publicity budget for which New Orleans members had fundraised, I had huge billboards of Father and his message "Christianity in Crisis" put up all over the city. It was an exciting experience when Father and Mother drove in from the airport to see their faces as they spotted a huge picture of Father on a billboard along the highway. Of course, they stopped and took photos!
After the speech, True Parents celebrated Childrenís Day in the New Orleans Center, the bus teams and everybody gathering in the basement. Lady Dr. Kim and a few sisters worked all night setting up the offering table and cooking special dishes.
At this time, I learned from Col. Bo Hi Pak that I was the second member of my family to be an active participant in our movementís activities. I mentioned to Col. Pak that my paternal great uncle was General John Coulter, a principle figure in the Korean War and in charge of Korea in the reconstruction period after the Korean War. He had lived with Syngman Rhee. He was an enthusiastic Korea-phile and his Washington, D.C. apartment was filled with Korean treasures given to him as gifts by the Korean people. There is a statue of him in Seoul.
Col. Pak told me had visited that apartment on a number of occasions and that General Coulter was on the board of Col. Pakís Radio of Free Asia, an organization Col. Pak formed to build support for South Korea in the United States during the Cold War. In 1974 two noteworthy events took place. One was the Celebration of Life speaking tour led by Dr. (Colonel) Bo Hi Pak and his eldest daughter. Only Dr. Pak can create excitement anywhere close to the excitement of one of Fatherís speaking tours. The program not only included an inspired speech by Dr. Pak introduced by his daughter, but the performance of the Korean Folk Ballet. We learned a lot from the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of Dr. Pak.
Several members joined as a result of the Celebration of Life, including Steve and Judy Rondino and Scott McAffey.
The other noteworthy event was a visit to our center of the twelve disciples and Fatherís first son, Sung Jin Nim whom Father sent on a sightseeing tour of the United States. They ranged in age from the 40ís to the 70ís, yet they all humbly slept on the floor of the New Orleans house basement. I remember the snoring was very loud. I enjoyed their characteristic enthusiasm and child-like joy. Once when our van broke down, nearly half of them jumped in to try and fix it.
George Glass and John Robbins left as participants in Fatherís first leadership training in America at Belvedere with Pres. Young Whi Kim as lecturer. A little later a call went out to send our best fundraisers for a special 3-week fundraising contest. I sent Mark Turegano, Peggy Parker Nakamura and Peter Spoto. They never returned, but formed part of the first fundraising teams under Mr. Kamiyama.
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