Saturday, July 11, 2009


Today I want to add 2 stories that I had forgotten about.
1. I was reminded by my good friend, Robin, about this story. When I was teaching kndg. we celebrated the 100th day of school. Each student had a 100 project to turn in that day. The projects were many and varied. Some had 100 buttons. Others had 100 candies. Still others had jelly beans, rocks, popcorn, seeds, nuts, cotton balls, nails, pins, gum, etc. etc. etc. Some were very elaborate(parents did most of the work). Others were very simple(kids did most of the work). There was not a single duplicate project. I also had a project. I took one of my aprons and made, with the help of my teen daughter's friends(boys and girls) made 100 tiny pinkish-maroon bows which we pinned on with little gold pins. It turned out so cute. The kids loved it. Our day was so much fun. We had many 100 projects which we accomplished with the help of parents who came in for the celebration. One of my favorites was a poster which we made out of the kids handprints(100 of course). The kids got to count out groups of 10 candies to equal 100(which they promptly ate upon finishing, they counted various things such as cereal, gum, etc. and made graphs, did crafts, ate, drank, and played games. It was a great, very enjoyble day for them and lots of work for me.:) I loved it.
2. My dear friend, Helen, reminded me that I should include this. When my family was traveling to the U.S.A. from China we were on the General Gordon. We had to leave in kind of a hurry because of the change in travel plans. So, my Dad didn't have time to sell his business. He left it in the hands of his sister and her husband to finish up all the affairs and then to sell the store and send him the money. Well, soon after we left and while we were still traveling, the brother-in-law unexpectedly had a heart attack and died. The communists then came in and confiscated everything. They said that a woman was not allowed to own a store or to have anything to do with a business. They took it all and so my Dad was left with nothing. We came to the U.S.A. with only the things that we took with us on the ship. This did not discourage or stop my family. Immediately after arriving, my Dad began looking for a way to provide for his family. We first went to my uncle's house and lived with him and his family for a couple of weeks. That very first week, my Dad got a job as a mechanic for the shipping lines. He also bought a house and a car that very same week. My Grandpa got a job as a gardener and my Grandmother went to work in Lillyann factory doing piece work, sewing buttons onto coats and jackets. My Mom eventually got a job in an office. Then my Grandpa became the babysitter for me and my brother and did his gardening on the week-ends. We never asked for help from the government and we were always a self-sustaining family.
Dad changed jobs a few times and eventually he became the best brace-maker (very well-know) in San Francisco. He designed and made braces for handicapped people and he also worked with prosthetics. If there was a problem anywhere in the Bay Area, he was the one called to solve the problem. He was always able to make the proper adjustments and to fix whatever was wrong with their braces or prosthetics. He was the problem solver. He received awards and lots of recognition for working in this field. My Dad was the greatest. As Helen said, "He was a charmer too." He was so friendly and just about everyone liked him.
One interesting fact about almost all of the Russians who came to San Franciso. They all went to work to support themselves and their families. Many of them had important jobs in China such as dr., lawyer, business man, engineer, architect, etc. They could not do this work in the U.S., but that did not stop them. They did whatever they had to such as be a janitor, a gardener, factory worker, whatever it took, to support their families. They were happy to have a job and did the best they could. They did not become a burden on society. As time passed, they got better and better jobs. They integrated themselves into the American culture and added to it. They tried to raise their children to become worthy, responsible citizens. They are to be admired for their courage, steadfastness, and diligence.


Yvonne said...

I am ALWAYS so glad whenever I see you post and then come and read your words. You inspire me with your wonderful stories. (You should write a book)

I remember sending 100 things with my kids on those special days.

Thanks for sharing this story of your family. How incredible.

Sharon P said...

I love the story about your family coming to America. It was hard that they lost everything they left behind, but if they hadn't left when they did, they might not have ever been able to come. What a marvelous heritage you have!