The Ping Picnic
The Ping Yuen was a housing project built by the government in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I did not live in the Ping Yuen, but it’s hard not to know anyone who lived there when growing up in Chinatown.
The people who grew up in the Ping Yuen threw their second annual picnic at Heather Farms in Concord, CA. It was well attended by about 150 people. This time they invited a lot of people whom were friends of the Ping Yuen. I knew a lot of people who grew up in the Ping Yuen. I used to think it was cool to live in the Ping Yuen until Albert Louie told me in the sixth grade how bad it really was. (I learned from Jimmy Louie that Albert died in a car accident at the picnic)
A boy was crushed to death in the elevator shaft when I was about twelve years old. Kenneth Wong was electrocuted to death when a radio fell into the bathtub when I was in the seventh grade. I got the meanest dirty look ever from Gilbert Wong when I was about ten years old. My newspaper route ended at the 655 Ping Yuen and I used to hang around there after the newspaper delivery. When I was about six years old, Lawrence Quan, the kid two doors from our store told us of a cool playground at the Ping Yuen. When we went there, there were a bunch of kids sitting on the apparatus in the playground. They looked at us and began pointing their middle fingers at us. Next thing I knew we were being chased out of the Ping Yuen. We ran for our lives! I am proud to say that I witnessed Hamster jumping off the second floor balcony onto the first floor when he was about nine years old. I found out Albert Louie died in an accident from his brother Jimmy. The stories go on and on.
It’s really great now that our generation of people who grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown are getting together and sharing our comraderie.