In 2006, I gave a talk about Southern Fried Rice at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. In fact, eventually I had opportunities to talk about 3 of my Chinese American history books at this charming gem of a museum. They have been very supportive; the audiences have been engaged in the topics, which encouraged me to continue to speak at other venues.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is located in the historic Gaslamp quarter district, a very pleasant dining and shopping area near the Convention Center. The Museum occupies two buildings located conveniently across the street from each other, and one has a lovely garden patio where a nice reception was held after the talk. I got a chance there to meet and chat with Museum Director Alex Chuang, Board of Directors President Michael Yee, and Curator Murray Lee and many of the audience, which included two women who had lived in Mississippi and could relate to many of my Georgia experiences.
By coincidence, a history of Chinese laundries of San Diego exhibit was on display and provided a nice context for my presentation. I also later contacted John LeeWong, son of a laundryman, who developed the exhibit and graciously gave me permission to use a photograph of his parents at work for a book on Chinese laundries that I was working on.
It was wonderful that two of my former students, Scott Roesch and Hanh Nguyen, who went on to earn PhD's were able to attend. Both are now professors, Scott at San Diego State University and Hanh in my Department at Calif. State University, Long Beach.