Thousands of people in Norman and other central and southern Oklahoma communities know Simon Kim as the humble, soft-spoken, hard-working Asian American fellow who repairs their boots and shoes. Few, however, know that behind his quiet demeanor lies an enthralling family saga involving murderous Communist soldiers, escape through the thick of the Korean War, gallant American warriors, and freedom and flourishing in a far away land called…Oklahoma.
Join John and KTOK/iHeartRadio star Gwin Faulconer-Lippert for an epic journey of faith and survival that not even Hollywood could concoct. It’s the 48th original episode of our weekly OKLAHOMA GOLD! radio program and podcast. Go HERE to listen to them all! Future episodes explore more great heroes, events, and movements of Oklahoma History.
Simon Kim, his wife Janice, and two of their three children in Oklahoma.
A United States Marine fights through the massed Red Chinese army amidst a blizzard howling straight down from Siberia.
General Douglas MacArthur, who was raised on U.S. Army outposts in the Old West. Recalling Mac’s single-minded devotion to rescuing Korea from Communism, which cost the legendary general his career, Simon Kim of Norman said simply, “He is a hero.”
United States Marines bury their dead, December, 1950, in Hamhung, North Korea, where the devoutly Christian Kwan Kim family lived for many years.
Norman Boot & Shoe Repair, owned by Korean immigrant and American citizen Simon Kim since 1999.
Many thanks to Atwoods Ranch and Home, a farm and ranch supply company based in Enid, Oklahoma, for their support of the Red River Institute of History and OKLAHOMA GOLD! Please support them as you are able! Wherever you are, you can order online from thousands of quality products on their terrific website HERE. Atwoods also has 66 stores in 5 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In addition to farm and ranch supplies, Atwoods stores sell clothing, lawn and garden items, tools, hardware, automotive supplies, sporting goods, pet supplies, firearms, and seasonal items.