Sterling Hard on April 5th, 1970 as he revisits the ditch below our house in Pusan, Korea where he found the dead baby.  

My sister "Wendy" (Gwendolyn), holding a Korean baby, hanging out with some of her Korean friends.  You can see the ditch beyond her where Sterling found the baby.

Dr. Rodney T. Hard

                  DEAD BABY IN THE DITCH

By:  Dr. Rodney T. Hard


My older brother Sterling saw a dead baby in the ditch below our house one day.  We had to walk or drive along the side of this big open ditch every day to go anywhere since our house was up the hill.  We played tag, cops and robbers, and many other outside games along the road next to this ditch with our Korean buddies.

Sterling ran to the police station down the hill about a half mile away to fetch the police.  When they came back with him, the two policemen told Sterling to climb down into the ditch to investigate.   You can see how deep the ditch is below where my sister Gwendolyn (we called her Wendy back then) is standing in the picture. 

When Sterling got down into the ten foot deep ditch, the policemen told him to throw the baby up onto the road.

Sterling reluctantly but dutifully picked up the baby and threw it up out of the ditch at their feet.  The two policemen looked at the baby, and then looked at each other as if to say, "Yeah, that's a dead baby."   Then one of them kicked the baby back down into the ditch.  It landed in the sewer splashing Sterling all over with raw sewage.

That was the extent of their investigation.  They really didn't want anything to do with it.  What could they do?  Let the next rain wash the baby away.  The two policemen went on their way without even a "thank you" or other acknowledgement to Sterling.

That incident was the focus of the dinner conversation that evening when Dad got home.  It sort of spoiled Mom and Dad's appetite, but Sterling and I ate heartily after a long day of hard playing and great adventures.

At that time, Sterling was on active duty in Viet Nam as a Lieutenant in the US Army Military Intelligence when he took a short R&R to his childhood home in Pusan, Korea for a Hard family re-union.

Rodney Hard kneeling in front.  Gwendolyn sitting to the right.  Sterling standing by the tree with neighborhood buddies.  The hats are school uniform hats.  This is about how old Sterling was when he found the dead baby in the ditch.