Yes, the above is yours truly, circa 1959, when I was growing up in Dallas, Texas. I consider myself blessed to have lived in Korea for the past nine years. During that time I have been all over the southern half of the peninsula, read extensively about its history and culture, made friends, loved children, advised students, listened to pansori music, run marathons and formed an NGO that seeks the repatriation of one of Korea's most significant overseas treasures—Jikji. Our labors ultimately proved unsuccessful, as the Frenchies refuse to let loose of it.
I am still involved in the land of my birth, of course. For example, in 2016 I led a campaign to have Abner Haynes (North Texas State, 1956-59) inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame. As the first black athlete at an erstwhile European-American school in the South, he is fully deserving. Little Abner could also play some ball.
My autobiography (published in August 2015) is entitled A Seoul Miscellany / Memories and Analyses, Critiques and Musings of Richard Pennington. It got rave reviews from newspapers from Rio de Janeiro to Beirut to Detroit to London.*
I hope this doesn't shock you, but here goes: I was born male, and I identify as male. I have a strong and natural attraction to females. Anything other than the male-female template baffles me. The words of an ex-girlfriend are still pertinent: "It comes down to a man, a woman and a bed." I've never gone walking around in women's underwear. In fact, it's never occurred to me to try. Does this mean I can't be a member of the BTGL community?
Living in a foreign country is inherently stressful, but it is also thrilling. Many times when I walk outside of my officetel in Gangnam, I look around at all the people, the hustle and bustle and sheer urban activity, and find myself thinking how great it is. In November 2007, I left behind one life in the USA and took up another here. As a foreigner and expat, I am sometimes given special consideration. Just as often, however, I am excluded, left out and even ignored. There is a lot of both. By the same token, I may seem like a Korea-phile but not always. I am not blind to the country's numerous problems. Where, after all, are you gonna find perfection?
On the subpages of this website, you will learn what I have done and where I have gone, my likes, dislikes, passions and prejudices. Please take a look at what I have written and the photos appertaining thereto, and do not hesitate to offer comments. I welcome dialogue with people from far and wide.
* not really
It's a sad fact that none of my books have won the Pulitzer Prize or sold more than a million copies, but I am proud of each one. The first came out in 1987 and the most recent in 2015. All but three of them have pertained exclusively to sports history--football, basketball, baseball, track and even hockey.
A Seoul Miscellany / Memories and Analyses, Critiques and Musings of Richard Pennington
I suppose it sounds presumptuous to say I have written my autobiography. After all, only important people do that—right?… read on
Travels of an American-Korean, 2008–2013
My intra-Korean excursions began on a small scale and very tentatively. I was a newbie who had a one-year contract at a… read on
Breaking the Ice / Racial Integration of Southwest Conference Football
My journalism career had scarcely begun in 1984. Sure, I had seen a few articles published in the Daily Texan and some… read on
To be quite honest, I never thought I would become such a prolific writer. I sometimes fear that I overload my friends with stuff I have written. I hardly know what to say in response, since I am interested in many things and like stating my views. If a subject interests me and it's not too far above my head, I write about it. There is a backlog of other things I plan to cover.
- Fie on speed reading, fie!
- From adoring O.J. Simpson to abhoring him
- Teachers I remember from Bryan Adams High School
- And so my campaign on behalf of Abner Haynes comes to an end
- Not “white”
- Nine years in Korea
- Fifty years since Jerry LeVias introduced himself to the Southwest Conference
- Memories of the Houston Marathon
- Now, about motorcycles
- DKR, the Bear and other Jim Crow coaches
- The bogosity of Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs
- Abner Haynes’ pro career
- The vagaries of being named an All-American and winning the Heisman Trophy
- Our final meeting with the Cultural Heritage Administration
- I miss the Southwest Conference
- Korean cars, Korean drivers
- 9880 Marlin Drive