by Gerrye Wong October 24, 2019
For a nice fall getaway, our thoughts turned to ARIZONA where snowbirds leave during its hot summers, but return to wonderfully mild and comfortable sunny weather conditions in the fall and winter. Mother Nature surprised us. We invited Bay Areans Howard and Pat lum, Gene and Mary K Lim and San Diegans John and Nete Howo to join us on an Arizona Adventure and were greeted by surprising temperatures almost hitting 100, while folks at home were starting to light up their furnaces. We spoiled Californians think of mild 70s to be ideal weather, but survived what the Arizonians like Susie Tang considered very nice conditions. Braving the elements, we seniors managed to take in two wonderful indoor museums, and two outdoor golf courses at the peak of dawn to avoid the blistering sun.
CAPTION: JOE AND LIZ CHAN, CENTER, PRESENT THEIR DOCENT PRESENTATION TO OUR VISITING MIM GROUP.
The MUSEUM OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS (MIM) is a wonderful place to visit over and over because it would take days to stop and listen and view its many exhibits. Dedicated MIM docents Joe and Liz Chan gave us an introductory orientation and Marketing Director Raj Dayal told us to be sure to see the new Woodstock installation recently opened. We particularly found fascinating the Around the World Exhibit room where instruments from every country you could imagine was highlighted by a video and actual instruments display. What makes MIM stand out, in my mind, is that the majority of exhibits have an accompanying video which turns on an audio explanation into your earphones as soon you as you step up. It is fascinating to hear the sounds of music from different instruments and see the country’s people playing it in festivals and ceremonies.
CAPTION: GERRYE AND PAT LUM PLAY WITH THE INSTRUMENTS IN THE INTERACTIVE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ROOM.
Pat Lum and I liked the interactive room where one could actually touch and play on the instruments. What fun for adults and children alike to hit the gong from China and the row of bells from Indonesia. There was another room of music boxes and electric machines of the 1800s. A video showing the making of player piano music strips was particularly fascinating to me.
CAPTION: CALIFORNIANS ADMIRE THE LANDSCAPE GARDEN OF NATIVE PLANTS ADJOINING THE MIM.
John Howo, a country music fan, was especially enthralled with exhibits on Johnny Cash, Elvis and other Grand Ole Opry favorites. Younger fans probably enjoyed seeing Taylor Swift exhibits, while this senior enjoyed reminiscing with the music of John Denver, and Carlos Santana. The museum appropriately was surrounded by music as visitors would step up to the lobby’s grand piano and share their musical talents on the keyboard.
CAPTION: THE BRONZE EAGLE WELCOMES GOLFERS TO THE EAGLE MOUNTAIN GOLF COURSE IN PHOENIX.
Phoenix and Scottsdale are known for their many golf courses, and its always hard to pick two we only have time to play, but our choices of Eagle Mountain GC and Scottsdale Silverado were the perfect duo. Derek Crawford, General Manager of Papagayo Course, regrettably told us his course was closed due to traditional October seeding but referred us to these two of his favorites.
CAPTION: ADMIRING THE BEAUTIFUL EAGLE MOUNTAIN COURSE WERE PAT LUM, GERRYE WONG AND NETA HOWO
Eagle Mountain is true to its name and yes, there were hills to surmount, plentiful deep cavernous sand dunes to climb out of, and tricky fairway mounds to overcome. However, the course is beautifully laid out and a scenic wonder to golf on. General Manager Bret Crawford greeted us bright and early on, saying he feels very fortunate to lead the staff and greet visitors to this world class golf course. He laughingly told us he came to the world of golf course management quite by accident. He had played golf as a youth and one day happened to be playing on a course where the manager watched his play and said their head pro had just quit and would be like the job. He promptly quit his truck driving job and that was the beginning of many decades with the game of golf.
CAPTION: SCOTTSDALE SILVERADO GENERAL MANAGER MIKE ELMORE WELCOMES US TO HIS BEAUTIFUL GOLF COURSE.
When we met Mike Elmore, General GM of Scottsdale Silverado a few days later just as the sun was rising, he said he had played golf through college and has been in the business for over 20 years. His Scottsdale Silverado course was bustling with activity and he proudly said that his course is touted as the busiest 18 hole course in the area, even in the blistering summer months, no less. A course atmosphere always come down from the top, and Mike Elmore’s friendly welcoming spirit as well as love for the game extended to his staffers on the course who were the most friendly one could ever hope for a first time visit.
CAPTION: EAGER PLAYERS JOHN HOWO, CALVIN WONG AND HOWARD LUM ARE READY TO CONQUER SCOTTSDALE SILVERADO COURSE.
To a player, Scottsdale Silverado is very course friendly to golfers of any ability with its five tee boxes, and the course has wide beautiful manicured fairways, beautiful surroundings and a very friendly welcoming staff. Its accompanying restaurant has wonderful happy hour selections which are always welcomed by tired golfers following their round. We seniors found it in perfect condition which led to a great day playing a new Arizona course enjoyed by all.
CAPTION: CALIFORNIA VISITORS ENTER HEARD MUSEUM OF NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY
The last stop on our four day whirlwind visit to Phoenix area was to the HEARD MUSEUM which is dedicated to the history of Native American Indians. Established in 1929, this non-profit organization is widely recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world class exhibitions and educational programming. Its dedication is to the advancement of American Indian art as well as presenting the stories of American Indian people from a first person perspective.
CAPTION: RESEARCH DIRECTOR ANN MARSHALL PROUDLY SHOWED US ART WORK DONE BY NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS OF ARIZONA.
Marketing Director Todd Vigil and Director of Research Ann Marshall welcomed and introduced us to the first floor area showcasing the arts and history of the Native Americans in the tribes surrounding Arizona and New Mexico. Its collections of woven baskets and bowls as well as its silver artwork made us more aware of the rich intricate art that came from these people. A visit to the Heard is a must to learn more about the lives and history of the Native Americans in Arizona.
CAPTION: TODD VIGIL AND GERRYE WONG POINT OUT NATIVE INDIAN HISTORY EXHIBIT
Especially interesting to our California group fairly unfamiliar with American Indian history of this area, was the exhibit “Remembering our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience” which told of the US government efforts during the 19th and 20th centuries to educate and assimilate American Indian students through the often tragic practice of removing children from their families and forcibly placing them in distant residential schools
CAPTION: CURATOR JANET CANTLEY STANDS BEFORE PHOTO OF CHILDREN WHO WERE SENT TO BOARDING SCHOOLS.
.As Heard Museum curator Janet Cantley explained, “Through personal interviews shown on monitors throughout the gallery first-person stories could be heard from actual students who lived through this devastating educational experiment. “ This was a wonderful exhibit to give uninformed visitors such as us an in-depth and profound and emotional insight on this little known complex history of how Native American Indians were treated in the past. As descendants of immigrants ourselves, we wondered how our families would have felt if their children were taken from them to move all over the nation to schools whose mission was to forget their own cultural backgrounds and assimilate more into the American way of life? What do you think?
THE CHINESE LADY IS IN SAN FRANCISCO
For those of you in or close to San Francisco, rush down to Fort Mason’s Magic Theatre and catch their production of THE CHINESE LADY. I braved afternoon weekday work traffic to see the play because the story line fascinated me, and believe me, the production was well worth the trip.. Playwright Lloyd Suh’s play was inspired by the true story of the first Chinese woman to arrive on American soil who was put on display for an 1800s public in America who wanted to see something from the exotic East. Put on stage as a side show spectacle with PT Barnum Circus at one time, Afong Moy, as played so brilliantly by Rinabeth Apostol , in the play led a lonely life as a person stared at for being different and foreign. Apostol was on stage the whole 90 minutes and portrayed the tragic life of Afong Moy with emotion and passion.
San Francisco’s MAGIC THEATRE is within Fort Mason grounds and its small theatre makes for personal intimate staging. Will Dao is believable in his role as Afong’s faithful interpreter and Director Mina Morita deserves applause for excellent staging. I can’t shout praise enough for the whole crew that put together this great production.
CAPTION: RINABETH APOSTOL PORTRAYS AFONG MOY IN THE CHINESE LADY
Don’t hesitate before play closes November 3. Go to MagicTheatre.org for your seats now. It’s a lesson in Chinese American history hearing Afong’s true but sad story of exploitation.
CHINESE YMCA ANNUAL CRAB FEED
Congratulations to the Chinese YMCA AROs mens group who put on another successful fundraising golf tournament and crab feed recently. The AROs men joined together as young men in 1950 and will be celebrating their 70th anniversary next year. They still enjoy having lunch meetings and the golf tournament and crab feed is their one way to continue to support the Chinatown YMCA of San Francisco where they originally met and formed.
CAPTION: CHINATOWN YMCA VOLUNTEERS GREET CRAB FEED GUESTS
This year’s tournament was their 48th annual event and for the past 35 years they added a fun time crab feed at the YMCA . This year according to Co Chairs Mel Lee and Ford Lee, over 300 people came to imbibe on the pans of crab the eager young adult servers brought to all the happy diners. Awarding of golf tournament prizes and raffle winners rounded out the evening’s happy atmosphere of meeting fellow YMCA San Francisco Chinatown supporters to bring new funding to the Sacramento Street facility. Pat yourselves on the back, AROs Men’s Service Club members who include Gerald Chan, Hanley Fong, Hanley Hoey, Hop Jeong, Bill Kim, Louie Kwok, Ford Lee, Mel Lee, Ron Lee, Jake Louie, Jeff Low, Stuart Poon, Alan Wong, Allyson Wong, Paul Wong, Peter Wong, Victor Wong and Jerrick Woo.
CAPTION; PACKED YMCA DINING ROOM OF EAGER CRAB FEED SUPPORTERS AND DINERS
Executive Director Kari Lee informed us of the annual golf tourney winners,
Naming Men’s champs Paul Tan, Nelson Huey and James McGilley. Individual women taking home prizes were Hillary Poon, Phoebe Choy and Charlene Toy. Teams who came in beating all competitors were First placers Paul Tan, nelson Huey, James McGilley and Ben Fong, followed by 2nd place Don Briones, Stuart Poon, Galen Tom and Robert Chun. Third place team winners were Alistair Maxwell,Chris Pangilinan, Dave Maxwell and Mike Lee.
The hardworking committee putting on this annual event which raises about $35K annually, were Hanley Fong, Louis Kwok, Ford Lee, Kari Lee, Mel Lee, Stuart Poon and Allyson Wong. Thanking them, Kari Lee told the over 300 crab feed diners that this annual crab feed and tournament supports the YMCA’s Immigrant Support Programs, ensuring that youth, teens, adults, seniors and families have a safe place to come to at the Chinatown YMCA to be healthy, connected to community, to learn and to thrive.
CAPTION: LOUIS KWOK, MEL LEE, WEYLIN LUM AND GEORGE PON SING TO CRAB FEED PATRONS
To further show how much the Chinatown YMCA works to serve the community, over $647,000 was awarded in financial assistance for membership and programs and 158 kids swam in the FREE Safety Around Water program. Additionally 663 kids were able to attend the before and after school care and 7000 pounds of food will be distributed to families every week at their Food Pantry. I’m sure the Chinatown YMCA could use YOUR support – so all of you former fellows who enjoyed your youth with the YMCA, contact them, send a check and lend more support to the fine work they do for Chinatown youth. Everyone – come to support this fine neighborhood facility which has been a second home to many Chinatown young men for over 80 years.
BE A FRIEND OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
FULFILL OUR DREAM is the theme and message to be given at the annual fundraising gala for the FRIENDS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (FCSN) non-profit organization. Happening November 2 at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley, the dinner gala will enable this family support group to continue its programs of serving over 1000 families, including 500 children and adults of many ethnicities with special developmental needs.
FCSN began humbly back in 1996 as a family support group founded by a few families with special needs children and some other kindhearted community members. In its 23 years, it has grown from a handful to 1000 families, with programs ranging from Adult Day Program, Supported Living Program, independent living program, transportation, respite, supported employment, children’s after-school program, and summer camps with sports, music, and drama activities. As one of the founding co chairs Anna Wang told us, “We work hard to advocate for the rights of the disabled, and community education to help dispel cultural stigma and for the community to embrace us.”
Albert Wang, Chairman of FCSN Board of Directors, adds his thoughts about the organization, saying, “What makes FCSN unique and its services different from others is the vision captured in our Mission Statement: to help individuals with special needs and their families to find love, hope, respect and support through integrated community involvement. Our program is in great demand with 200 on the waiting list and our outreach effort in the Asian American community has identified numerous families who qualify but do not know how to obtain services. Your help is needed by FCSN to enable them to continue to help the disabled community. Matt Keller and I traditionally ran the Fund A Need campaign at the event, but this year the committee wants to celebrate FCSN’s achievements in addition to asking for future sponsorships from kindhearted members of the community who see the disabled person’s needs being cared for by FCSN volunteer programs. Call for dinner tickets 510 739 6999 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.