Written by student producer Mabel Chan
Located at the intersection of Hill and Ord Street, the Chinatown Branch Public Library is a friendly, inviting place that gives access to a variety of books and videos. This library carries a deep personal meaning because it provided an opportunity for many children like me to enhance their vocabulary. I recall going to the library almost daily, every summer in my elementary school years. Now as a senior citizen and regular library volunteer, known by many children as Grandpa Fred, guided me through countless numbers of reading sessions that I was and still am thankful for. Although Grandpa Fred no longer remembers me as a child, he was thrilled I communicated with him in his native language, Toisanese. The Chinatown youth love Grandpa Fred, who is also a retired war veteran. Grandpa Fred is very active in the community. He teaches English to adults at a local church and participates with several community organizations including the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA). Before retiring, Grandpa Fred fought in World War II and then studied to become a commercial artist.
"When I finish I feel that I've done a good thing. In this world, there are not that many jobs that make you feel that way."
"Before I joined, my parents told me, 'They won't treat you well because you're Chinese.' But my parents were wrong."
"Not many people become like Picasso, you know?"