The Early Unification Church History
OUR SECOND CENTER IN SAN FRANCISCO
After about a year at 410 Cole Street, we decided it would be good to buy a center, and began to look around the area. We were able to save money from our combined pay checks for a down payment on real estate.
We finally found a suitable place for a center. It was big enough to house us at the present time. It was also big enough for future expansion of the center that would be needed for all the members that we just knew would be joining.
The building consisted of three large flats. Each with a separate entrance, and containing about 7 rooms. It was located on Masonic Street, near the east end of the Haight Ashbury district. The addresses of the flats were 1309, 1311 and 1313 Masonic. The purchasing price was $32,000. After the hippie era the area became a popular upbeat area, so I heard, but I have never been back.
Because we could not buy it in the name of the Unification Church. The church wasn't a legal entity and would not have had credit if it were. We bought the center in the names of George Norton and myself.
The owner lived on the first floor and rented out the other two floors. He moved soon after we purchased it, and we had to gave the other two tenants notice to move.
The next thing was to renovate the property and make it suitable for a center. The two bottom flats were in relative good shape and needed paint mostly. However, the top floor was unbelievable, the first time we entered it, one member had to go out and throw up. It had a terrible smell, and trash all over. I just pried open the windows and let it air for several days before going back in. I began work on the downstairs.
I had two weeks vacation coming from the post office and started on the house. This was a major job, 21 rooms, I rented spray equipment and we bought a huge amount of paint on sale, and I went to work. After spraying the whole place, we rented a sander and I sanded the floors, some were nice hardwood, others were just painted. About two weeks later the real estate man came by and offered us 45,000 dollars for it. That is known as double dipping, selling a piece of property cheap, then coming back a short time later and making another commission on the sale of the property a second time. We chose not to sell although that would have been a substantial profit on a couple weeks work.
We made the downstairs the center and used the top flat as the a bedroom area. Miss Kim had the back bedroom downstairs and George had the small front bedroom downstairs. The second floor became the girls bedrooms with a room reserved for father in the back. We eventually rented out the second floor flat, which was a little nicer than the third floor.
Along with us, we brought Henry and The Mad Frenchmen and soon acquired an assortment of others that came and went, as previously mentioned.
We were able to set up a print shop in the basement where we printed the New Age Frontiers. And we had plenty of room for storage in the basement.
OUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE BUILDING INSPECTORS
Soon after we moved to the new center, Miss Kim decided that we needed to let everyone know we had arrived. My conservative attitude was that we should keep a low profile. Because of my art back ground I was given the task of painting the sign to hang out front. I dutifully painted a sign, much against my better judgment, I still thought that a low profile might be best. We hung the sign over the front entrance. The sign read The Divine Principle Center of the Unification Church or something like that and gave meeting times.
I hardly had the paint dry and the sign up, when a San Francisco building inspector appeared at our door, telling us that this was zoned as a residential area and we were in violation. We immediately removed the sign.
He inspected the place, and as he walked through, he found I had a toilet removed to replace the linoleum. This was a building code violation because a building with three flats had to have everything done by a licensed plumber or electrician. Because of this violation we had to have the plumbing in the whole building brought up to code and the work had to be done by a licensed plumber.
Not only the plumbing but everything had to be brought up to code, the electrical. And to top it off, all the windows had to be operable. Getting all the double hung windows in 21 rooms operable, including operable sash weights was a major job in itself. Many of them were painted shut and hadn't been opened in years. The sash cords were rotten and broke and needed replacing in most of the windows. This required removing the wood trim to replace them.
Bringing the electrical up to code was maybe the simplest. It meant returning to the original ancient wiring. Most of the old houses were built with just one light in the center of the room with a pull chain. We had to remove all the wires that people had run from the ceiling light for switches and wall outlets. They would staple cords to the walls and ceiling and along the woodwork.
They then had to inspect everything after it had been brought up to code. I did a marvelous craftsman like job of covering up some illegal plumbing. In the basement, I installed a cabinet against the ceiling under the downstairs bathroom and locked the door, to cover up an illegal ancient lead pipe under the toilet.
We had done some illegal wiring with new conduits in the print room downstairs. I got a brush, took some Santiflush and mixed it up in a jar. I then painted the new conduit with it. With a little dirt thrown on it for effect, the conduit looked like it had been there for a hundred years. We made it past the inspections and from then on kept a low profile.
It was from this center that we did a lot of our work in San Francisco.
When we arrived at San Francisco, we had a 51 Chevrolet 4 door sedan. George had a late model car, but soon got rid of it. So the transportation was the 51 Chevy, which wasn’t all that suitable for our use.
We then bought a Ford truck and had a custom camper installed on it in Los Angeles. This was for the use of Reverend Moon if he came to the United States. It later proved very awkward for the center to use. Our main need was to transport people so we bought a Ford Econoline van. The van was really underpowered to save on gas. When full of people and stopped at a top of a San Francisco hill, it took two people operating the clutch and brake to get it over the hump. We were also were able to buy the A.B.Dick table top offset printing machine, along with a copier necessary to make the prints, and print the book and have it bound.
One time father sent a hundred and twenty Gingko seeds and said to grow trees and plant them. And said that everyone was to plant at least 120 trees during their lifetime. We grew them and after the center changed, members didn't take care of them. When George Norton came to Denver he had managed to salvage two. The last one died when my young son Jonathan, about two years old at the time, pulled it out of the pot. It was the last one and we eventually gave it a proper burial in the backyard.
It was at this center that I remember having the celebrations and having members arrive from all over.
For awhile we kept the second floor in reserve for Reverend Moon. A sunny room at the back. We also used this as the prayer room. Later when we went to the satellite centers , and had only a few members in the center. We rented out the second floor and moved fathers room to the first floor. On holidays we held the prayer ceremony in fathers room, and members tearful prayers in that room.
MISS KIM AT THE CENTER
At 1309 Masonic Miss Kim took the back corner room of the lower flat. During the day most of the members were working, or sleeping if they worked at night, as some did. She spent her time in her room writing. She was always writing, either working on a revision of the Divine Principle, or writing articles for the New Age Frontiers or writing letters and reports back to Korea. When she wasn't doing that she shopped or cooked or witnessed.
Her room was simply furnished with an old double bed and glass front secretary, from the Pumphrey collection. There was a late depression Salvation Army dresser with a large oval mirror, the oak wood painted black.
In the afternoons her room was sunny and warm, as warm sun light flooded through the windows past the apartment buildings in back. She would sit in a large chair with her back to the window. She was comfortable with her legs crossed on the seat of the chair. George Norton built her a plywood table affair which gave her room to cross her legs underneath it while sitting in the chair. In the afternoon the warm sun light would flood her room through the two large windows. She wore a straw hat to keep the sun from he head while soaking up the warmth of the sunshine.
Miss Kim, who's fragile health she maintained through a very conscious program, was always cold. For financial reasons she would never waste money on heat, except when it was extremely cold or we had guests. One time George Norton took it upon himself to purchase a heater for the center. She became angry at George Norton for buying the heater made him take it back.
She was also as conscious of wasting time as she was money. While I was working on the building I had bought linoleum for the downstairs bath. She said not to waste time doing that, the old worn linoleum would be fine, although it was in really bad shape. I dropped the subject for a week or so, and in the meantime I made a pattern and cut out the linoleum in the basement. I waited until she went to church to witness one Sunday and installed it while she was gone. She came back from church and saw it. I expected a lecture on wasting time, but she commented "It looks nice." and didn't say anything more about it.
One time I had to go up on the roof and make some repairs down near the edge of the 3rd floor roof. It was about a forty foot drop to a concrete walk below. After I was through, I found out that Miss Kim had been in her room praying while I was on the roof. She was praying for my safety while I was working on the roof.