Wednesday, June 9, 2010

San Tong falls in Love

My grandfather ,San Tong , met my grandmother Rosemary Chung in L.A. at her family's grocery store and began to write and visit her whenever his family went out to LA to stock up on staples. He was smitten by her beauty and charm. Rose was an American born Chinese
girl whose family had already been in America for several generations . San Tong and Rose wed and she soon became pregnant with her first child , my father Jack .
While pregnant with Jack ( who she calls Ah Yit - meaning the first born) , she pens a letter to San Tong who is out farming with his father in the Imperial valley. The letter was discovered in a trunk at the family ranch by my Auntie Joan , Rose's 2nd child many ,many years after Rose's death. The letter brings to life the grandmother I never knew . In the letter "Ma" is Leong Shee , Jue Joes wife and San Tong's mom. . "Dad" refers to Jue Joe .

Los Angeles, Nov 25, '27

Dearest Husband,
Am writing a few lines to know how you are getting along . Are you working hard, and do you miss me very much? I sure miss you , Honey Boy!! We thought perhaps you were coming back for Thanksgiving Day . Sam phoned the nite before saying that he would bring a turkey and a couple of chickens out the following day. So we did have Turkey, dressing , potatoes, chicken, Birds nest soup and Roast pork. It was good ! Oh, how I wished you were here to eat it with us !! It didn't taste near as good as it would have if you were with us too.!

See, I really had two Thanksgiving dinners! Laura had invited me to dinner a couple of days ago . So yesterday morning (Thanksgiving) I got up early ,helped Mother get everything ready for the big dinner. Gee! I worked all morning. Then about two o'clock I went over to Laura's to eat lunch. She also had invited Mother and May over . We had a nice time , eating in American Style. Then I came back over . Sam and the babies hadn't come yet , so we waited and they got here at seven . We had a dandy supper , but it would have been better with you !!

Gee, I'd like to bring you folks some Turkey, cause I'd know you'd like it! But just think of the distance, 150 miles to go and 150 miles back. I'd like to take the train but the distance I'd have to walk !!! Oh Baby! when are you coming back to " Ah Yit" and me ? You've been gone five whole days already!! Sometimes I get so lonesome I cry.

I went up town and got myself a hat. I hope you like it . I got it down at Bullock's . I got Ma a hat for her birthday. I told her " I'm going to spend $5 on you anyway ,so you might as well choose what you like, before I buy something you don't care for !! So she chose a hat. I bought Dad a wool shirt for $4. I brought the clock to fix and they're going to charge me $1.50 for fixing it . I'm going to buy $5 of yarn to knit a blanket. After I buy that , I'll sure be broke!
Isn't it funny how fast money goes?

Sanyou says he hasn't taken Brownie away from our ranch yet . But he says he'll do it. He said he lit the light at nite like you said but couldn't find a small globe so he took it off the bedroom lamp. It doesn't do much good anyway!

Mother wants to know how Father is and if he is any better. Please give him my regards.
Mother hasn't been so well either, backache, headache , heartache and etc. I told her to let me bring her to the doctors' but she says the doctor doesn't do much good anyway. Sometimes she's alright but at other times she doesn't feel good at all. Just like me! Sometimes I'm alright but gee, sometimes my back hurts me terrible, also my tummy feels so heavy. I guess it's " Ah Yit". Gee! I'd be glad if I was all through with him !! Wouldn't that be nice? Close now and please write soon ! How much longer are you going to stay , Honey? Here are all my love and kisses.
Your darling wife,

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic!!! This letter is a reflection of how happy they were together. It's a treasured view of their early years that I didn't know much about. Thank you for sharing this with us. Auntie Soo-Yin.