I will post several accounts of some fascinating linkages I have found between myself and other Chinese re: our history in the coming months. For example, two of the first people I met when I starting giving presentations were Joe and Liz Chan. In fact, Liz was probably the first person to buy a copy of Southern Fried Rice; she grew up in the South also and her family also ran a laundry in Louisville, Ky. A year or two later when I decided to write a social history of Chinese laundries, I invited her to be one of the 'children of the laundry' to write a narrative about her experiences in this family business. Then, when I subsequently embarked on a social history book about Chinese family restaurants, Joe kindly agreed to write an account of his growing in a family restaurant in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Some Connections Starting From Joe & Liz Chan
Just this week, I stumbled upon a fascinating and thorough family history compiled by Jack Jue, Jr. who documented his great grandfather's immigration from China and his success in southern California operating an asparagus farm. I didn't realize it immediately, but soon discovered that Jack Jue, Jr.'s aunt is the artist I met 2 years ago at my Phoenix talk, Joan Yen! Small world!
Jack included a link for was a digitized version of a film made back in 1956 by Jack's father showing the farm and the workers laboring in the fields hand picking asparagus! What a precious historical gem! I contacted both Joan and Jack to commend them for their work and discovered that Jack had recently 'discovered' my first 3 Chinese American history books in Clarence Chu's shop in historic Locke, Ca. What an intriguing coincidence!