IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE IN 2018
By Gerrye Wong December 2018
As the end of the year rolls around, it is wonderful to look back on another wonderful year about activities, events, organizations and individuals I have written about for this column. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my own adventures around the world, the leaders and individuals who make things happen in the community, and the many happenings on and off the stage of life happening around us. Thanks to Diana Ding, leader of www.dingdingtv.com , who has been a guiding light in helping us all report on happenings within the Asian American community of Silicon Valley. Here’s welcoming 2019 with open eyes, mind and ears so I can report on local and international news to you. Please continue to send me your pictures and news items for me to write about, and invite me to experience your club’s events to report on.
FOON HAY SENIORS GOLF CLUB
The Foon Hay Seniors Golf Club, headquartered in Silicon Valley, ended its busy year of golf, golf and more golf, with its annual holiday party and installation of new officers.
So welcome to newly installed 2019 President Fran Gin, VP Victor Mahr, Secretary Willy Yichoy, Treasurer Victor Gin, Tournament C-Chairs Sheila Lee and Ron Wong, Directors at Large Norman Lam, and Webmaster Clarence Bakken. Ukelele entertainment with a sing along opened the evening with great audience participation following leaders Chuck and Deanna Leong with Stella Chan, leaders of the Rossmoor Ukelele Club.
Fon Hay Club honors Funders Clarence Bakken, Calvin Wong, Ernie Wong and Wilson Fong
Foon Hay Club Champs were announced at the China Stix Restaurant dinner.
Women’s A Level Champ taking home the Perpetual trophy were Category A Level Women’s Division Sheila Ho, Level B Gerrye Wong. Men’s B Champion was Daniel Lo, Men’s A Ron Wong. Foon Hay Seniors Golf Club for ages 55 and older, meet once a month on the second Wednesday of the month at various local Greater Bay Area golf courses. Check website www.foonhay.org if interested in joining.
Foon Hay members this evening brought toys and children’s clothing for the Asian Americans for Community Involvement’s Drive to bring cheer to children at their Center for victims of Domestic violence. AACI worker Katherine Wong expressed her gratitude to the club members for their kind support of Paradise Fire needs.
Karl Chang and Shannon Lee exchanged vows in October at the Trinity Cathedral in the bride’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa. A lavish celebration was held in the historical landmark rotunda of the Pennsylvanian Hotel, as planned by the bride’s mother Amy Lee, and the happy bride was surrounded by father James, and grandparents Wing and Fung Lee.
Since the bride and groom met over coffee at Starbucks, the banquet theme was Starbucks where guests could order specialty coffee at a special station. One thousand home-baked cookies accompanied the coffee celebration, baked by Shannon’s family members.
Susan Chang visits with grandchildren.
Following a Japan honeymoon, Karl’s parents Dr. Brad and Romina Chang hosted a luncheon reception at San Mateo Prime for their West Coast family and Friends, including brother Dr. David Chang and sister Lori Wang, who gave prayers for the couple, and grandfather Dr. Clifford Chang, giving thanks for the food.
Happy grandparents Dr. Clifford and Susan Chang congratulate newlyweds.
Happy celebrants at the West Coast reception were Karl’s maternal grandmother Simone Lisant, with Uncle Roland & Patricia Lissant and two nephews who flew in from Tahiti. Greeting guests was Karl’s happy grandmother Susan Chang, who welcomed friends the Hampson Lums, Jackie Yees, Steven Toms, Dr. Larry Jews, Marina Ng, Mel Lees,and Edwin Lees. Happy guests left with a gunny sack of Starbucks Coffee beans with tag saying “Thanks for bean there for us” while large S and K shaped cookies went to happy celebrants too.
Brides mother Amy Lee meets West coast friends Gerrye Wong and Evangeline Lum
HOLIDAY VISIT TO SAN FRANCISCO
A holiday visit to downtown San Francisco is always a special treat to see the glittering Christmas tree of Union Square, the cute SPCA animals in the Macy’s windows and the traditional six-story Christmas tree in Neiman Marcus’ rotunda.
Knowing that reservations are hard to get to enjoy dining at the NM restaurant rotunda area, two groups from Fremont, Saratoga, Walnut Creek, San Francisco and San Jose braved traffic to enjoy the holiday ambiance of the City while dining under the magnificent stained glass roof of the Neiman Marcus Rotunda area.
Fremont’s Maelene Wong celebrated her birthday with golfer girlfriends Carole Yamaguchi, Pat Lum, Pauline Lee and Gerrye Wong, who marveled looking on the street below from the room’s beautiful spacious windows.
Another group of old and new friends gathered to ooh and aah at the Neiman Marcus tree which rises majestically up past the restaurant area were Rossmoor Friends Marie Lee, Frances Blanchard and Stella Chan; South Bay friends Mary Ann Wong, Pauline Fong and myself; Muriel Kao from Pleasanton, and San Franciscans Stella Lee Wong, Phoebe Choy, Eileen Dong and Dali Jones. Such a joy to recall memories from UC Berkeley days with some, and catch up on news with newer friends.
I completed my San Francisco Neiman Marcus day by enjoying the Natura Bisse-Bubble Pure Air , a new concept for facial and body treatments performed within a clean environment where a 00.995% pure air is breathed. The O2 bubble was an isolated special area where your masseuse and you are in a simulated zipped closed bubble with an aromatic environment, soft music and a setting for complete rest. It was truly transporting me in a state of relaxation ritual that offers exceptional rejuvenating effects. The company is sensitive to the effects our environmental pollution affects our bodies, and the Bubble Pure Air is highly beneficial to our health, since pure air is essential for the correct functioning of our respiratory system.
Although coming out of the bubble tent glowing, I was lucky to have Jason Yapching and his staff at the Christian Dior Salon on Neiman Marcus’ main floor prepare me for going to the Symphony later that evening with their special products. Thanks to them, and their special make up ritual, I was able to be whisked off to Louise Davies Hall for a special concert by the San Francisco Symphony.
Called Cirque de la Symphonie, this concert spotlighted circus performers on a trapeze swinging on silk ropes high above the audience, strong men in unique body positions of strength, jugglers, and the artist on a large circular round hula hoop type apparatus who twirled himself around the small stage miraculously while the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra played in rhythm to their movements.
This year the SFS holiday shows were very well rounded. One night I heard former Miss America Vanessa Williams, still beautiful, with the Oakland Gospl Choir in the background. Another night was enjoying the Handel’s Messiah with beautiful work done that evening by individual members of the orchestra as well as the woman guest conductor was the most animated conductor that stage has ever seen, I think. Between enjoying the many decorated trees in the Davies hallway lounge areas, and enjoying the music within the concert hall on this and other nights, I say this is a God-given gift to San Francisco for all to enjoy to get in the holiday spirits. Be sure to catch one of their holiday offerings – and especially New Years Eve. With the San Francisco Symphony, if you can.
MORE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
San Franciscan Joyce Chan treated her guests to an intimate evening at China Live’s Gold Mountain Room on the second floor, with a visit from chef owner George Chen as well. Many of Joyce’s winemaker friends were on hand to herald her 70th so guests were treated to wine pairings of the best with China Live’s best dishes.
Joyce Chan greets winemaker friends to her 70th birthday Affair.
Brian Allard had his Bouchaine Rose of Sytah paired with CL’s crispy chicken wings with Lime sauce. Gee Vineyard winemaker Paul Gee paired his pinot noir with China Live’s PEKING Duck in Sesame Pockets. Geee Vineyard French Kiss Pinot Noir was served with Chinese siu pork and “crunch” buns. Friends Carol Jue, Leroy and Claudia Quan, and Frank Jang were all there enjoying the ambiance and celebration of Joyce Chan’s big day. Congratulations!
Joyce Chan welcomes Calvin Wong, LeRoy and Claudia Quon to her party
Taking the opportunity to visit once again China Live’s bustling downstairs restaurant was another fun time people-watching all of the young people who were enjoying all the special dishes George Chen has introduced to the public. The suckling pig is always a treasured favorite, said George, and most popular is his juicy siew lung Bao served piping hot so one can carefully suck up the tasty juice within its thin noodle wrap. Young Asians with strollers and young children were enjoying eating in the Tea Café, swinging singles occupied every bar side seat, and diners all around us seemed to like the dim sum choices and Shanghai chow mein. I told Manager Michele Lew I particularly like the downstairs casual atmosphere, and someday hope to treat myself to one of George Chen’s already famed Eight Tables set menu fix price dinners in his upstairs dining rooms in 2019. Hear tell that Google knows a good thing when they see it, and took over the whole restaurant building one night to treat its employee staff.
China Live chef owner welcomes Dr. Howard and Pat Lum, Gerrye and Calvin Wong
Wanda Ching celebrated her 70th, she said, at her favorite restaurant, Chef Chu;s of Los Atos. Born and raised in Palo Alto, Wanda’s many friends came to herald her big day, and best friend Liz Chew even donned a Lions head to do an impromptu Lion dance.
Wanda Ching hugs daughter and grandchildren who came from Southern Californis yo honor grandmother.
Cheryl Fong performed a Hawaiian hula while guests savored Wanda’s special menu of favorites with daughter and grandchildren who came from Los Angeles to honor their grandmother.
Wanda is surrounded by her Chi Am Circle friends at her San Francisco party.
Virginia Bakken sometimes says her birthday gets lost in the Christmas and December hustle and bustle but her Birthday Babes group never forgets and celebrated with her in Los Gatos. This Birthday group has celebrated each other’s birthdays for over 10 years and gone to over 75 restaurants in honor of each other’s