Before Loretta left the States, she had had lunch with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and he suggested that she be sure to visit a leprosarium in Taiwan. As it turned out, despite all the glamourous entertaining in Taipei, including a festival hosted by General Chaing Kaishek, the visit to the leprosarium would present the most memorable moments in Taiwan. Located about two hours outside of the capital, the leprosarium was composed of a couple hundred bungalows with a population of ten people living in each.

The first bungalow they visited was inhabited by young men, all dressed solely in shorts, thus exposing many of the sores on their upper body and legs. There was a television in the corner and, most likely they recognized Loretta, as her show was now in syndication throughout the world, including Taiwan. They had stood when the priest had entered but when the women followed, every single one of them turned their faces toward the wall, and in spite of the priest's pleas, they refused to turn around.

Finally, the priest looked at Loretta in resignation. She then approached one of the young men who had been hitting his hands on the wall and shaking his head. She placed her hand on his shoulder and spoke to him soothingly while patting him; this continued for about five minutes. Finally, he removed his hand from the wall and turned around to look at Loretta. Never in her life had she seen such a sweet look on anyone's face. She turned him all the way around and as she placed his head on her shoulder, she could see tears streaming down his face. They sat down on the floor together and Loretta continued talking with the priest interpreting. The young man nodded his head from time to time, but he never looked up again. This was just the first of several beautiful experiences Loretta and Josie would share throughout the day, and as they passed through the gates and looked back to the top of the hill, they saw thirty residents who had gathered to wave goodbye.

The above excerpt is taken from Chapter Fourteen of Edward Funk's unpublished book "Loretta Young: Journey of a Hollywood Soul"

Back to the Loretta Young Web Site

This page hosted by Get your own Free Home Page

This site is always under construction (Last updated January 5, 1999)