I was fortunate to have nice weather and warm audiences for 3 book talks about Chinese family restaurant history in 4 days in the area where I spent my adolescence and college years after moving from Georgia. It was wonderful to see, and recognize, friends from my youth whom I had not seen for 'half a century,' see newer friends again, and make some new friends. Appropriately, after my Chinatown talk, I dined at a Chinese "soul food" restaurant as a guest of my new friend, local photographer and graphic artist, Leland Wong.
Below are photos showing portions of audiences at my book talks at Him Mark Lai Chinatown Library, S. F. Jan.22, the Main San Francisco Library, Jan. 23, and Berkeley Chinese Community Church, Jan. 25. I was especially pleased to be invited to the Berkeley venue where I have spoken previously about each of my three earlier books on Chinese American history.
At the first talk, noted poet Nellie Wong had planned to recite her restaurant poems that she contributed to the book, but was down with a cold; fortunately, one of her friends stepped in to 'pinch-read' for her. At the second talk, her sister Flo Oy Wong, a noted artist spoke passionately about her experiences growing up and working in their Oakland family restaurant. At the third talk, another contributor to the book who grew up in a Lodi, Ca. Chinese family restaurant, Julie Wong Hornsby, related poignant anecdotes about her experiences,
We had over 50 people attend each of the talks and they gave us a positive reception.