Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Days at the Van Nuys Ranch

San Tong and Ping

San and Ping, Guy's HS Graduation: San Tong Jue and wife Ping at the front door of the Vanowen St. home. They are going to Guy's graduation ceremony at Birmingham High School, Class of 1957.

Ping and her kids. The handsome young man is Uncle Guy . I think they are standing in front of the fish pond at the Ranch . The very fish pond I fell into as a little guy !

Ping and her daughters, Soo Yin , Soo-Jan, and Pingeleen

Uncle Guy and Auntie Soo Jan as youngsters.

Auntie Pingeleen and Auntie Soo-Yin are Hula Girls at the pool

My dad , Jack , falls in love with a beautiful gal from Sacramento and San Tong throws them an engagement party at the ranch . Dad says that San Tong at first didn't like my mom that much because she was always giggling and talked too much :) !!
My mom and dad , Jack and Alice, tie the knot .

Auntie Joan falls in love with a handsome guy from Phoenix and gets married

The Jue woman all in a row
Samsie ( Ping) , Auntie Soo-Yin , My mom Alice -Jack's wife, Posie(Leong Shee) Auntie Joan , Auntie Pingeleen,, and Soo-Jan

1950 was a very happy year for the Jue Clan , just as 2010 is . 60 years after these pictures were taken we are celebrating the 60th wedding anniversaries of my Auntie Joan and Uncle Richard , and my Mom and Dad , Jack and Alice . We also celebrated this year the wedding of the cute little girl in the picture above, my Auntie Soo-Yin.


  1. I loved our homestead. Our ranch was self-sustaining. We had our own gas pump, an auto- and repair shop, fruit trees of nectarines, oranges, pears, apricots, lemons, figs, walnuts, etc. We grew strawberries, grapes, corn, and vegetables of all kind. Behind the big red barn that faces Vanowen St. we had a large chicken coop. It was filled with hens and one rooster (probably purchased from Uncle Ed's Holly Hatchery or Albert Zoraster's hatchery). The rooster was a trip. During eclipse he would go to sleep, then wake up to sunlight and crow. When he grew old he got day and night all messed up and crowed at the wrong times. We raised a pheasant in the coop, too. Then San Tong got a bright idea. In addition to fresh eggs and chicken meat, we could have delicious squab meals too. So he threw feed onto the floor of the coop and all the stray pigeons flew into the lair. Immediately he covered its top with chicken wire. San Tong had wooden nests built from floor to ceiling in the coop, the lower half was for the hens, and the upper half was for the pigeons--hundreds. As a toddler I would awaken from a nap, then my mother would take me out to see brother Jack's Morgan horse "Thunder," in a stable. I got to pet Thunder's nose and feed him some straw. I loved horses from then on. Each Spring our dog Bingo always found stray kittens born on our ranch. We would carry the kittens home in a field box, then divvy them up--one for each sibling. Brother Jack had a childhood friend, Jack White, with whom he went riding and exploring with. One day Thunder got stuck in quicksand and it took 5 Mexicans to pull the horse to safety. I loved Jack White's parents. Mrs. White was like Mrs. Santa Claus. She was plump and jolly, gray-haired, and blew a hardy laugh as she chugged up our driveway in her Model-T truck. At X-mas time she gave us wonderful storybooks, and when we visited her house on De Celis dirt road, she had the most amazing doll collection for you to see. They were a collector's dream. David Frazer was brother Guy's childhood friend. And David had a perky horse named "Brandy," which prompted Guy to press our father for a horse too. When he got Senator, he and David went horseback riding together. The Frazers lived across the street from us on Vanowen St., and I loved playing with their Red Settler dog, "Rafferty." Rafferty was so gentle and had the personality of "Marmaduke," a cartoon character. In the evenings David Frazer and other friends came to play football with Guy on our big front lawn. On hot Summer evenings we'd have BBQ dinner in our outdoor bathhouse, which had a firepit, picnic table and benches, and Leong Shee's original black iron stove to cook on. We'd get our swimsuits out from lockers in the bathhouse, go for a swim in the pool, then shower in the stalls with toilets that San Tong had built. Those were family moments that San Tong enjoyed. He could balance a chair on one leg in his open palm and tread across the deep end of our pool. Jack was a champion gymnist in school, and he balanced me on his open palm, me on one foot with my hands folded across my chest. I liked doing that. Auntie Soo-Yin.

  2. "Nelson's Hatchery" was a small business within walking distance from our ranch. It was located on De Celis dirt road, about one or two blocks north of Vanowen St. Sometimes my mother Ping would send Pingileen and I to Nelson's to buy additional eggs for her. I always liked these errands because old-man Nelson would hold an egg up to a hole cut in a box, and inside the other end of the box was a lit lightbulb, then he would let us see whether an embryo was growing inside the egg. If no embryo, he would place the egg in a carton for us. When my siblings and I were very young, before our chicken coop came into being and before Nelson's Hatchery, my mother would drive us to the big "Holly Hatchery" on Sherman Way and Sepulveda to buy chickens for the dinner table. I remember Uncle Ed's father taking me to see live hens running around and squawking out back in a big pen. That was the first time I ever saw live chickens and I was thrilled. Auntie Soo-Yin.