In 1979, Iranian militants seized the US Embassy in Tehran, the Russians invaded Afghanistan, and Margaret Thatcher became the new Prime Minister of England. The album of the year was Saturday Night Fever by the Bee Gees. The song of the year was Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel. Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter played in the cinemas.
That year also marked a major event in Korean history: the military general and president Park Chung-hee was assassinated. There were many human rights abuses under Park’s dictatorship. People protested around the country, and Korea’s democratization started to take form. Yet the country was still far from being the economic powerhouse it is today. Here’s more of what life looked like on Jeju in 1979 through my father Tony DeMarco’s eyes (Part 1).
Click here to read Part 1 of this story which includes an interview with my father. He talks about why he went to Jeju in 1979, what raising a family was like, how it was to teach English at Jeju National University, and more.
[This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Groove Magazine.]