I do not remember exactly how many years Mrs. Diane Mufson has contributed to the opinion section of the Herald-Dispatch, but I have enjoyed reading her local column for many years. She has covered a wide range of social issues including politics, economics, health, family, etc. The main reason I like her writings is that she puts a great deal of effort in thoroughly researching each issue, which results in a fact-based foundation with good illustrations. Her writing is easy to understand and teaches us valuable lessons. A recent column titled “Depression-era lessons are here and useful” is right on the nose and reminds me of my own personal experiences.
In June of 1950, I had only started third grade when the Korean War broke out. My family fled far south to Pusan and settled in a refugee village like so many Koreans. Despite refugee schools being set up, my family had no money for tuition since my father had fallen gravely ill.
Instead of going to school, my five siblings and I spent the time trying to make money and helping the family survive. Even though I was only nine years old, I sold gum and cigarettes at tea shops in the winter and popsicles on the streets in the summer. My mom and I would pass a small bowl of rice back and forth to each other knowing food was scare and not wanting the other to go hungry.
I could not attend school at all for two full years. Eventually, my dad recovered from his illness, and I could finally go back to school. This kind of tough situation, like what we are experiencing with the current COVID-19 pandemic, helps us value “our daily bread” as indicated in the Lord’s Prayer and learn to live a more frugal life like Mrs. Mufson referenced in her column.
We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Mufson and her husband as a part of our greater Huntington community. Their family has been a “necessity” to the region, and I hope to read her excellent column for many more years.
Chong W. Kim
Marshall University College of Business