Renewing Acquaintances with Long Lost Friends

    One of the wonderful experiences associated with giving book talks, especially out of town, is that once in a while I bump into people I have not seen or been in contact with for decades.  For example, during my visit to the San Francisco area to give a book talk on Chinese in the Deep South at the Foster City Library,  I had the opportunity to meet with two Chinatown pals from my youth, both of whom had the same name, "Mel Lee."  The last time I had seen or heard anything about them was about 60 years ago!
    One Mel Lee is now a successful developer of senior residences. He gave me a tour of the wonderful facilities at the "Avenue" in the heart of San Francisco. I noticed photos of Mel posing with virtually every prominent civic leader in town as well as some nationally prominent politicians.
Mel Lee and I at the "Avenue" at Van Ness and Geary St.

  A few days later, the other Mel Lee came up to me after my book talk at Foster City and asked me if I remembered him.  I was hesitant and not sure although he 'looked' familiar even after 60 years! Once he told me he was Mel Lee, old memories were activated such as the fact that his girl friend was (and still is, now his wife) named Jeannie and that he drove a Peugeot 403 with a sunroof back in the late 1950s and that one semester I commuted with them from U. C. Berkeley where we went to college back across the bay to San Francisco.

Mel Lee and I at the Foster City Library after my book talk.

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