My grandfather, San Tong, spent the last days of his life living with my Auntie Soo-Jan's family.
Auntie Soo- Jan writes :
"His most happy and contented days began when Seal Beach placed a
Community Garden right along the river at the beginning of our tract (2
long blocks from our house beyond the park). He cleared and planted 2
plots with various vegetables such as zuchinni, eggplant, strawberries,
green onions, carrots. He built his own trellis and strung up string
beans, Chinese bittermelons (fu gua), Chinese okra (sing gua). He
hauled his tool chest down there along with a lawn chair. After a hard
days work on the land, he often lingered and I would have to drive down
there to tell him dinner was ready. I'd find him sitting in the chair
at sunset just enjoying the vista of all the vegetables in his prolific
garden. I have some photos that I took of him in that garden, but like
your father, I would have to sift through boxes of photos to look for
them. He and I would walk among the other people's garden plots and he
would point out tell-tale signs of yellow leaves, curled edges on
leaves, insect infestations, etc. and instruct what the remedy was, ie.
that plant needs more nitrogen, or that's a symptom of lack of
potassium, or overwatering, etc. He was always a teacher and he also
always loved the land. He even grew some asparagus in a large pot in
our front yard as a testament to the past."
Recently, I have been sifting through some of my father's old photos and came across these photos of my grandfather tending his plants in the Seal Beach Community Garden.