This is the Saga of Son Ed's remarkable 18 month trip to China from March 1989 through September 1990 - the period of great unrest in that country.


In 1988, son Edward Hughes, had not traveled abroad as Patsy and I had, with son David and Daughter Rebecca  through our three year tour in Hawaii.

Ed, came along in 1961 while I was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Hardly an exiting place. He grew up, including going to college, entirely in 'dull' (to him) America.

For a combination of reasons he itched to do something exiting and foreign. So he  accepted an offer from the ‘Princeton in Asia’ program to travel to China, and spend at least a year at the Dalian Foreign Trade school in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China teaching the students oral English.

He did not need to know Chinese, for he would be in an “English Language’ department, where his native speaking and pronunciation of English words would improve the Chinese handling of the language. This was early in the ‘opening up of China’ to America which Nixon had started as President. And the “Trade” school would produce younger people who would go into foreign trading companies, especially since the Chinese government, in 1984, made Dalian a ‘Special Economic Zone’ where foreign companies could set up. Dalian is the largest sea port in China.  

Edward took to that idea. He had some interest in things oriental since his brother David has trained some on Tai Chi. So, being unmarried and with no obligations, he accepted the offer. He visited a number of Chinese restaurants in Colorado Springs asking questions, and even encountered one part of whose family were back in northern China – where Dalian, and the Provincial capital, Shenyang resides.

I took a separate interest in the Chinese location, for Dalian was original called “Port Arthur” (after a British officer when it was trying to colonize in the Far East.) But when the Russian Bolsheviks were taking over in 1917, the US Government sent a US Army Force, the 27th  Infantry Regiment, to help the ‘White Admiral’ Kolchak  who was still loyal to the Czar. The Regiment thus was one of the very few American units who has directly fought the Russian Communist Army. The mission failed, but the Russians were impressed with the spirit of the American unit, liking them to Russian Wolfhounds. The name stuck, and ever since the 27th Infantry has been called the ‘Wolfhounds – and its crest displays the head of one, with the motto ‘Nec Aspara Terrant’, a Russian Wolfhound called “Kolchak” after the Russian Admiral’s name, and the irreverent enlisted men said that the Latin motto means “Don’t forget the Dog Food.’

I commanded the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Wolfhounds in Vietnam in 1968. If I ever got to Dalian, China I wanted to see where my Regiment came ashore in 1918.


But back to Ed Hughes.

He absorbed as much as he could about China, even visiting Chinese Restaurants operated by native Chinese who had more recently come to America. In one case, detailed below, Ed's being in China helped a family whose son was trapped in China after his parents were declared persona non grata back in China while in the US for making comments critical of the Communist regime.

He got packed, and since I had brought him up learning about some of the earliest personal computers and modems – Radio Shacks – in 1978, he took a Toshiba laptop, proper software and a battery powered modem – on the long chance he might be able to connect up to the US somehow, some way. when there.

By this time I had a growing reputation in my ability to communicate globally by personal computer and even ordinary international telephone circuits. This was long before the Internet spread across the world. There was no such thing in China.

So I urged him to also take what I called his 'burglar tools' with which he could disassemble Chinese phone  which would not have American style RJ11 ‘jacks.’ And sent him with alligator clips to make it possible for him to tap into telephone wires.

So Ed left for China February 28th 1989 – the very year and month when the uprising in Tiananmen Square erupted.

Now since I was accomplished in using, from my home in Colorado Springs, a number of Telecommunications messaging and 'conference services - including the Source, Compuserve, Prodigy, the early west coast 'Well' and east coast 'Metanet' I accessed those in order to ask many questions about China, any possible government or academic 'networks' Ed might be able to use. 

The story continues from here. via a series of Articles named "Ed in China (1 etc)"