It wasn’t really wasted hours, but I did spend some time down a rabbit hole looking for old newspapers. My intention was to find all the information I could about my maternal grandparents, Thomas and Jomac (Potter) Chan.
As I wrote before, Grandpa Chan was in vaudeville. He played the saxophone and was part of a trio called the Kwang Tung Trio, Kwang Tun meaning Guangdong, the province of my ancestors. Grandma Chan was an elocution teacher.
Grandma and Grandpa Chan lived primarily in the Los Angeles area but visited Hanford frequently, not only to see family, but also because they had a ranch on Excelsior and 6th Avenue where they grew Robier grapes. When they stayed in Hanford, they taught English to local Chinese at The Mission, which was located at the location that became the Imperial Dynasty parking lot. I didn’t grow up knowing this set of grandparents because they died before mom reached adulthood. Hence my perpetual curiosity for their lives.
Arianne Wing is co-author of “Noodles Through Snails” and co-operator of the LT Sue Tea Room and Emporium, benefiting the restoration and preservation of China Alley. She can be contacted at [email protected]