Pulitzer winner seeks his long-lost Taiwanese muse

Staff writer, with CNA, LOS ANGELES

Fri, Mar 29, 2013 - Page 5

Fifty-one years ago, Paul Brinkley-Rogers met a woman named Vicky in Taiwan when he was a reporter for a US military newspaper.

Due to Vicky’s encouragement, Brinkley-Rogers stayed committed to writing and finally won a Pulitzer Prize. Now, he is hoping to find the old friend that he has lost contact with to thank her for her confidence in him.

“I’d feel good if I could say ‘thank you’ to her,” said the veteran journalist, who was a member of the Miami Herald’s special reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for coverage of the Elian Gonzalez child custody battle.

Brinkley-Rogers, who is now retired and lives in Arizona, has decades of journalism experience, including 11 years as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine and seven years as reporter and bureau chief at the Arizona Republic.

His journalism experience began in 1959 as a reporter for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper published in Tokyo for the US military in East Asia.

During a six-month assignment to Taiwan in 1962 he met Vicky during a gathering at the US Taiwan Defense Command headquarters on Taipei’s Zhongshan N Road.

Because it was a very long time ago, Brinkley-Rogers said he can only vaguely remember that the woman, surnamed Lee (李), was the widow of an air force pilot with three children.

He recalled that Vicky often discussed literature with him and encouraged him to continue writing. They usually met in a park in Taipei and later traveled twice together to Taichung and then-Taipei county’s Wulai (烏來).

He said that Vicky’s friendship and encouragement was one of the driving forces behind the non-stop pursuit of writing that eventually won him a Pulitzer Prize.

Showing dozens of photographs taken with her, Brinkley-Rogers said he wished very much to visit Taiwan again to see his old friend.