Luckily two scholars of Chinese American history found a somewhat amateurish website that I had created to publicize my memoir, "Southern Fried Rice: Life in a Chinese Laundry in the Deep South" and contacted me. One was Judy Yung, a prominent historian of Chinese American women (Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco). She generously read my manuscript and gave important advice and direction. At her urging, I submitted a proposal to the Chinese Historical Society's 2005 Conference in San Francisco, "Branching Out The Banyan Tree." This exposure would lead to a local television interview about my memoir.
The other fortuitous contact I made via my website was with Daniel Bronstein, a grad student at Georgia State University working on his Ph.D. thesis about the history of Chinese in Georgia. Since then we have shared much valuable information and resources about this topic. And this contact would lead to an invitation to participate in the 2006 Association of Asian American Studies Conference in Atlanta. Again, one thing leads to another.
As luck would have it, I also had a beneficial contact beyond the website. A colleague, Jean Bader, hearing about my research referred me to her good friend, Sylvia Sun Minnick who had published "Sam Fow," an excellent history of Chinese Americans in the San Joaquin valley. When I contacted her, (after procrastinating for the better part of a year because I was hesitant to cold call someone) Sylvia was very supportive and guided me toward finding my voice. Incidentally, I learned that we shared other commonalities as both of us had attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and we had lived only 2-3 blocks apart during the 1950s.