D & U Director returns from trip of a lifetime

By Joe Moskowitz
It was the journey of a lifetime. It was a chance to see new things and sample different food, some of it very much alive and squirming. Arkville resident and Delaware and Ulster Railroad Executive Director Dave Riordan returned home last week after visiting his daughter, Kelsey in South Korea.
She is a graduate of Roxbury Central School and the Fashion Institute of Technology, but her current job has taken her thousands of miles from her home in Halcottsville. She teaches conversational English to what Americans might call middle school children in South Korea.

Opportunity knocked
Kelsey Riordan took the job in Yeoju, South Korea because she sees it as a land of opportunity. It gave her a chance to pay off her student loans. Yeoju is a Kingston-sized city about an hour-and-a-half from Seoul. That means she would have been in the line of fire had North Korea done any firing during the recent dispute between North Korea and the rest of the world.

Riordan says everyone in the world was on edge during the recent crisis. Everyone that is except for the people who live in South Korea. He says his email in box was filled with messages telling him that he and his daughter had to leave. It was too dangerous to stay. All of those messages came from outside South Korea. Even the U.S. Embassy in Seoul said not to worry about it.

Riordan says the people in South Korea have been hearing threats from the North for 60 years, and even though North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un may sound more frightening than those of his predecessors, they have become used to them. He says they did take some basic precautions, such as parking their car in an accessible place, just in case, but there were no emergency drills. During the two weeks he was there he only saw two fighter jets flying overhead.

Riordan says the timing was a bit unnerving. Kim started his saber rattling just before the trip was to begin. And Riordan says had it just been a regular vacation, he might have postponed it. But he says it was a chance to see his daughter and if something really did happen, where else would he want to be?