Tuesday, June 22, 2010


1949, China was painted red very quickly. Father was lucky that he got on the last plane to leave Nanking and eventually got to Hong Kong, thus avoiding becoming a refugee. That was not true for thousands of Chinese who could not evacuate fast enough and were swept up by the communists. Some of our relatives were in that situation. Xiao-gi (小姐), Er-ge(二哥), and Susu(叔叔) were all under communist rule for some short periods of time. Xiiao-gi's case was the most serious, since her husband Yuan-ge(袁哥) was a high-ranking police chief in Wuhan. In early 1950, Yuan-ge escaped separately by himself. Xiao-gi had five children with her, the oldest was ten, and the youngest daughter was born less a year before. Using a variety of strategies, she managed to make her way from Wuhan to Hong Kong in less than two months, all while the country was under communist control. Sometimes she would pay bribes, sometimes she begged, sometimes she cried and asked for people's mercy. I still cannot imagine how she did it! Er-ge and Er-gi were young. They somehow also bought their way to join them in Hong Kong. They were in Hong Kong less than half a year. In late 1950, they all came to squeeze into our small house on lane 48 of Wenzhou Street, which had been provided temporarily to us by the University until more appropriate house became available. So for a short time, we had three families crowded in a two-bed room house with two very small babies. My Mother was not happy, but there were no alternatives!

Yuan-ge in late 1950 found a job as the police chief of a small township called Jinshan(金山). They moved there quickly. A picture was taken at his place when we went to visit his family:

I was surprised to see how "big" I was in this picture. I was 11 years old, while De-dong(德東), who is in the middle of the picture, was 12, one year older than me. Yuan-ge was the third adult person to my right, and Father was the fifth. Dean was the second child to my right, the first is De-shu{德恕}, Ed was next to the right from De-dong who is at the center of the picture. Next to Ed is De-bie(德璧). Xiao-gi is the third lady from left, holding, most likely her new son Derie(德瑞). De-lang(德萳) is in front of De-dong and next to the left is De-I(德誼). Hwei-ge(慧哥) is the second from left. She came slightly early than the Yuan family and was never under communist control. (There are several other people in this picture but I do not know who they are.)

Susu was not in the picture, he was at the Hong Kong refugee camp when he asked father for help in 1951. According to family poem, he was related to us at my father's generation, therefore our Susu. My father had never met him before or knew about him. He became part of our family after he arrived in Taipei, and he died just one year ago.

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