My grandfather came to the United States, following his brother who had started a laundry cleaning business in Historic South Central Los Angeles. For years, my grandfather toiled working as a laundry man leaving his wife and two sons behind in China. They could not reunite until he saved enough money while his sons became young adults without him.

In the 1980s my grandma, uncle and father immigrated to Los Angeles to join my grandfather. With his mother, my grandpa managed to purchase a small yellow house on 24th Street, a few blocks from Skidrow. My father, lacking anything past a high school education, worked as a bagboy in a small neighborhood grocery store and slowly worked his way up. While my father moved out of that yellow house when he got married, my grandparents are still in the yellow house. If my father had not mentioned this bit of history one afternoon, I would not have known anything about my grandparents’ journey trying to build a better future for their family.

My grandparents and parents never mention the past, but knowing their stories means the world to me.


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