Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:
Larry La discusses his parents' journey of leaving Communist China, growing up in Saigon with his Chinese heritage, his family's escape from Vietnam after the Vietnam War, settling in Erwin, TN after living in a refugee camp in Malaysia, moving to Washington D.C. to work at City Lights of China, opening and running Meiwah, numerous anecdotes of his restaurant's customers working in politics and government, closing Meiwah West End, and earning the Outstanding American by Choice Award.
The initial phase of this project interviewed some of the oldest residents in Chinatown, representing a generation in transition. This phase interviewed second and third generation stories that are uniquely Chinese American.
In this interview, Wallace Lee describes his and his parents journey from Hong Kong to Washington, D.C., where he grew up. Lee recalls meeting people at the Lee Family Association, helping his family's laundry business, attending Catholic school, moving to the suburbs, and playing sports with other Chinatown kids. He concludes by describing the decline of D.C.'s Chinatown, his desire to preserve the area, and businesses closing down.