“ Keeping In Touch & Nurturing Rapport “ Billy on Tim Prentice – June 2021

Hello Billy,
I love the fact in this age of high tech we can live
 on opposite coasts and stay in contact for decades..
Good luck with your Friendshipology project !
Tim    Jun 16, 2021


Tim Prentice and I may both be described as the sociable and amicable type of guys among mostly serious intellectual classmates at Yale’s School of Architecture in the late 1950s. We were the Happy Go Lucky fellows who enjoyed making friends as well as learning from esteemed professors. We had genuine rapport and always wished each other well.

Prentice and Chan and Copelin and Lee were both upstart Architectural firms in NewYork City – college buddies suddenly became keen competitors. Both firms were Included in the 40 Under 40 Exhibit by the Architectural League of New York.. But Prentice and Chan was always half a step ahead of us in terms of getting significant commissions in the New York Region.

Most sincerely I want to express deep gratitude to Tim, for his showing true Friendship and Support during our firm’s growing years. Tim recommended several Architectural commissions to Copelin and Lee ( including the prestigious new Air France’s Sales Headquarters in NYC ). On a personal level, he also recommended me to become a Member of the American Arbitration Association.

I am drawn to Tim’s wonderful Happy Personality. He seems to be always so Happy & Free in Spirit. He is most creative in his kinetic sculptures.

Look at this photo showing him imagining himself gliding through the wind.

And look at his “Flying Carpet :

He has created many versions of Reflective Metals Dancing in the Wind, so
I have called him a Choreographer.
BTW, Tim is also an accomplished guitarist with a golden voice. He wrote :
      During the sixties the State Department sent Marie and me around the world with banjo and guitar to perform American folk songs and bring back songs of our host countries. In Bangladesh India we learned a boating song in Telegu from a couple of schoolgirls. We loved the song and on the way home we sang it for my cousins in Switzerland.

       Years later while working in my shop in Connecticut and listing to a favorite radio station located in Paris that specialized in American Jazz and folk music I heard the boating song again for only the second time in fifty years. It  is performed this time by a full choir.  How could this happen?

       One of my cousins had moved to Philadelphia and was now a music teacher. She had arranged the little boating song for her choir and the recording of it was picked off the air in Paris.   

       After a zigzag trip to India, Switzerland, Philadelphia, Paris and Connecticut, I have to wonder where it has been since our day and is it still drawing people together as it goes.

Tim Prentice Bio. :

Tim Prentice, kinetic sculptor, received a Masters Degree in architecture from Yale in 1960 and founded the award-winning architectural firm of Prentice & Chan in 1965.
        Ten years later, he established a studio in Cornwall, Connecticut to design and fabricate kinetic sculpture. His corporate clients include American Express, Bank of America, Mobil, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo, Astra Zeneca, Samsung and Nokia.  In the last few years he has completed installations in Japan, South Korea, Northern Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cameroon. He currently shows with Maxwell Davidson in New York and is represented in Europe by Miklos von Bartha in Basel.
        He has served on the boards of Hartford Art School of the MOMA Committee on Architecture and Design from 1968 to 1969.  An Adjunct Professor of Design at Columbia University from 1975 to 1980, he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and President, New York Chapter, A.I.A. (1973-1974). From 1974 to 1978 he was President of the Municipal Art Society of New York.


“WE ALL LIKE TO INTRODUCE AND WRITE ABOUT CERTAIN NOTABLE FRIENDS” – Here, Greg Chew on Pearl L. Wong & Billy on Greg Chew – June, 2021

Pearl L. Wong (Center– Owner and Founder of Jazz at Pearl’s in S.F. Chinatown) w/ S.F.Mayor Willie Brown, S.F. Chronicle’s Journalist & Humorist Herbert Caen, Pearl’s Daughter Cookie Wong, and friends at Jazz at Pearl’s – 1984
Nationally known Jazz Musicians performed at Jazz at Pearl’s because of their friendship with Pearl and partner, Sonny Buxton.

Hello Brother Billy,

As promised, here’s the article about Pearl L. Wong. Enjoy!

Pearl L. Wong will be celebrating her 90th birthday this September and we will honor and dedicate a day on behalf of our City and County of San Francisco. The plaque that will be displayed in Chinatown tells a great story about her life. She’s an overlooked Chinese American and one in a zillion !

‘When I was a regular and investor at the then Shanghai 1930 Guanxi Lounge, and after Jazz at Pearl’s had sadly closed, we engaged our dear friend Pearl to continue and promote Thursday night ala Jazz at Pearl’s where she held court with late nights – a fusion of entertainment and Chinese dim sum !’ 

FF, Gregory 

PEARL’S ROOM ( the plaque )
Dedicated to Pearl L. Wong

In the basement of the Great Eastern Restaurant on Jackson Street, Pearl Wong created a jazz club in San Francisco Chinatown in 1984.  At times, the joint was jumpin’ til 4 AM. As proprietor of the long running “Jazz at Pearl’s” on Columbus Avenue in North Beach, Pearl nurtured and elevated the local jazz scene with a listening room to present countless talented musicians including her daughter, vocalist Cookie Wong. Jazz patrons and musicians alike treasured Pearl and her club.

For her vision, tireless efforts, and love for this City, we dedicate this room to Pearl L. Wong.

July 2021
San Francisco 


NOW, BILLY on Greg Chew :

Although Greg is already a “Senior Bro.” in our FF Fraternity, I have been a “Senior Brother” to him and others like WeiTai Kwok and Tony Keng etc., by almost one generation. However, I often address Greg: ‘Hon. Chew’, as he was appointed S.F. Arts Commissioner in September 2009. I have admired ‘Hon Chew’ not only for his prestigious title, but for a long time for his fame as the creator of the ‘California Dancing Raisins’ Campaign 1985’. He often sees things beyond what we commonly see.

Below is Greg’s story :

“Some time ago, the grape farmers ( California Raisin Advisory Board ) in the Central Valley of California were facing a huge glut of too many of their sweet products not being sold to consumers. It was known as ‘Nature’s Candy’ through the endless marketing campaigns. The advertising agency that I worked for ten years in the making at Foote, Cone & Belding, S.F. was hired and given the problem, or shall we say, an opportunity to change people’s perceptions, we initially performed numerous focus groups and discovered that raisins even reminded them of rat remains! The creatives were at work and came up with the IDEA to make Raisins cool

Therefore at the ‘pitch’ meeting in Fresno to the farmers, we all played performed the soulful pop hit Marvin Gaye’s   ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ 
and in partnership Will Vinton claymations maker we created the original three raisin characters to perform the song and ran the (TVC’s) nationwide television commercials.

It started a movement as consumers caught on with a wave of many serious followers. 
Many tons of raisins were sold nationally at all the major grocery markets as well as the agency started to merchandise products that were everything related to raisins. 

 If you come across or have collected a pair of ‘Raisin’ sunglasses, car sun shades, a claymation figure set (there’s at least six made), collected all the promos in all of the Sunday comic strip ‘Raisin’ characters, saw many a noted chef, cooking with California Raisins, dressed up for Halloween as a ‘Raisinette’ or hundred of other items from the campaign, we hope it reminds you of that fun time. 

Gregory Chew the Creator of Dancing Raisins


From  Greg’s Introduction of Pearl L.Wong above, I noted two ‘Significant Comments’:

1) An overlooked Chinese American and one in a zillion and

2) Fusion of Entertainment ( JAZZ ) & Dim Sum.

Indeed, to partner with Sonny Buxton, a Black American Drummer, to present Jazz (the most Innovative & Original part of American Culture) from S.F. Chinatown, a Chinese American setting, was an admirably courageous and humanitarian decision. Indeed, there is still great need today to promote deeper cross-cultural understanding and good feelings among people from different cultures and different racial and gender backgrounds.

Dim Sum is an important part of Chinese Culture and Chinese Culinary Art.  

, ( Dim Sum in Cantonese and ‘diǎn xīn’ in Mandarin ) means ‘Touching of the Heart ’. For me the ‘Touching of The Heart’ is indeed the ultimate goal of our Friendshipology Initiative.


Gregory Chew Bio :

In the world of advertising, Greg was Founding Creative Director of DAE, a full service multicultural advertising firm based in San Francisco, targeting the burgeoning Asian American and Asian consumers worldwide.

Prior to that, he worked for a number of mainstream ad firms and was also the team that created the iconic ‘California Dancing Raisins Campaign.’

In public service, Greg worked in the City and County of San Francisco Mayor’s Office, first appointed as Film Commissioner, to help revitalize the film industry,
Immigrant Rights Commissioner,to fight on behalf of newly arrived citizens, then transitioned over to serve on the Arts Commission, At Large, to champion the arts and culture, visual, performing arts, street artists, including the San Francisco Symphony for all. 

He has invested over a number of restaurants, one of which the runaway success, Betelnut in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district.

He is an honorary judge of modern cars for the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Owner’s Club for many Concours events.

He has been a frequent guest host for the ‘Asian Comedy Night’ at the legendary Purple Onion, North Beach.

Greg was initial funder of Emmy Award nominee ‘Forever, Chinatown,’ a complex portrayal of a man and his memory in association with Good Medicine Picture Company.

He has taught advertising courses at U.C. Berkeley Extension, San Jose State University, and graduate classes at the Academy of Art University. 


” Unlikely Hiking Buddy ” by Phil Chun – June 2021

Phil and Paul hiking at Mission Park, Fremont Hills, Ca.

Now that we are on the cusp of re-opening California, it is time to reflect upon the past year. No parties, gatherings, restaurants, movies, concerts, weddings or libraries. It was largely an introspective year; cooking, biking, reading, hiking, gardening, hobbies, projects and personal growth.

Much will remain with me for the ensuing years as we enter this new phase. Coinciding with my retired neighbor (ex Wall Street veteran) with 2 teenage boys, a wife that works, who is now flushed with free time. Previously, he was a daily gym rat which they have been closed. Paul and I would hike many of the Mid Peninsula Open Space District 26 preserves in the Bay Area. From Bear Creek Redwood Reserve, Fremont Older, Picchetti Ranch, Rancho San Antonio, Steven’s Creek, Russia Hill Ridge, Mount Umunhum and over to Mission Peak in Fremont. Many of the trails are filled with poison oak in the summer, fallen tree limbs, rocks and tree roots breaking the surface as we pass through.

My approaching 70 years of age and Paul, a healthy 55. My stamina is not as in previous years but quite acceptable. Many of our treks were challenging and by conclusion, I was spent. All the while, Paul was eating up the terrain with ease. We always kept a good brisk pace.

It was not at all surprising that I traversed up and down these Mid Peninsula Preserves but my hiking buddy has Macular Degeneration of his eyes since his late 40’s. He can only see shadows with little depth perceptions. Yet, it was always I that weaken or occasionally tripped on the trails but never him. Often times, he would assist me with an arm to get to the top. I am his eyes and guide on these hikes. The appreciation and of each hike is unique with the added dimension of needing to convey the views to my hiking Buddy; the sky, horizon, trees, ravines, hidden dangers on the trails, meadows, cloud formations, animals, flowers, etc., all that we encountered of which we normally take for granted, is now looked upon, analyzed and translated by me.

This makes for smelling the roses even more. Our love for nature, camaraderie, friendship, and conversations makes for the best of hiking partners. Most handicapped people would reside in their homes but not my friend. A hiking Buddy and good friend to boot is a good combination to have. With the upcoming re-opening, we are off to see the Giant’s/A’s game come the end of June. 

“Every day is unique and special”.


“WHAT A WONDERFUL WEEK !” by Billy Lee June 2021 – Many Things To Be Grateful For!

1    A Happy Birthday Greeting from my Dearest Cousin, Ah Millie, from Switzerland :

  ” With so much love, and untold amount of fondness..xxxxxxxxsqueese ”  

2    James Luce and Amalia Pellegrini discovered the term “Friendshipology Friends

“友学 同志

We are all potential Friendshipology Friends !

3    Cousin Robert, Yu Zhenguang, son of Li Yun-Shan in Li’s Family K2 Branch -from Shanghai – 坤二房  – 俞真光 – volunteered to be one of our Li/Lee Family Connectors

4    An Amazing Discovery while addressing my Andover Classmates at our 70 th Reunion ( a Zoomed webinar ) .

After I suggested that we as grandparents should really leave at least two IMPORTANT
WORDS to our children and grandchildren like PEACE & TOLERANCE, I thanked
them all, and sent my deep LOVE & RESPECT . The LOVE I felt in me led to a RARE DISCOVERY: The more I felt I was giving, the more I felt replenished inside me.


” Our Galactic Beach “

Milky Way Galaxy

A metaphor of the Earth, its inhabitants, and their symbiotic problems

Suggested by a new Friendshipology Friend

By James Luce

7 June 2021

7,068 Yin yang symbol Stock Photos, Images | Download Yin yang symbol  Pictures on Depositphotos®

Today an itinerant observer from outside our galaxy sent to me a few observations about our planet. Not surprisingly, this voyager in time, space, and place conceptualizes both the physical and the ethereal universe with senses and processes different than ours. To this observer, the distinctions between simile, parable, metaphor, and analogy have long-eons-ago been extinguished. Thus, these observations, presented just as they were received, may at first seem obscure. 

Here’s what the observer had to say:

          I first saw your galaxy from the side. It looked unimpressively flat, lumpy, and still.  The next time I cruised by, my vector was 90º from the plane. What a difference! Now it looked like an illuminated beach streaked by the tides and rotating counterclockwise. On the return trip my vector was 90º from the plane but from the other side. Same beach effect, but now naturally it was rotating clockwise.  There is no “up” or “down” in space, no “universally correct” view of things.  What something looks like is mostly a matter of perspective.  Same galaxy, different motion.

          Even the relative distance from the object makes a difference. From far away your galaxy looks almost solid, calm, and perfectly round. Getting closer you can see that it’s really made up of trillions of individual and widely separated stars, planets, moons, nebulae, asteroids, comets, even dust particles…an octillion of those at least…all swirling peacefully around an immense and immensely dense object from which no light escapes. All these galactic objects look different, act differently, but all have similar endings, and they are all part of the same universe.

          Once you enter your galaxy, it’s impossible to see how big it is, how vast, how varied. One’s view is limited and fuzzy. Yet one image becomes extremely clear. The adjectives “calm” and “peaceful” are not apt to your galaxy. Stars explode and destroy entire proximate solar systems, instantly ending all life therein.  Other stars expand slowly and swallow up all systems within trillions of miles, baking them to oblivion in white-hot plasma. Other stars just grow old and cold and all life on nearby systems freezes, crumbling into ice shards and then evaporating into space. In the end, entropy works, and everything will eventually disappear.

          Since I was here, I decided to wander through your galaxy at just below lightspeed. After several of my planet’s years, my sensors spotted a blue-green planet orbiting third from a smallish star. I was far enough away so that your planet looked solid, round, uninteresting, but my sensors noted characteristics consistent with planets that support life. Not a rare find in my travels, but always fun to visit such places, to see yet again how varied life can be.

Nearing your solar system, my sensors indicated an abundance of water/carbon-based life forms. Such planets are always intriguing because…unlike life based on methane/silicon combinations or ammonia/crystalline combinations…water/carbon always results in an abundance of species.

          Reaching the outer orbit of your planet’s solo satellite, your planet looked calm and peaceful, clouds drifting placidly in a thin coating of transparent gasses, floating over large expanses of water with scattered landmasses providing an interesting pattern. What a difference with a different perspective! Now your planet looked like an illuminated beach streaked by the tides and rotating clockwise. I noted that most of the landmasses were concentrated on the lower half of your planet.

After rotating my ship 180º your planet was now revolving counterclockwise, and the landmasses were concentrated on the upper half of your planet.  

          Intrigued, I moved inside your atmosphere on the sunlit side. It became increasingly difficult to see how vast and varied your planet is and virtually impossible to see back out into the vastness of your galaxy.

The peace and calm vanished as well. Everywhere you humans were doing your best to create chaos and your atmosphere was dangerously overloaded with heat and pollutants.

          It struck me that if only humans could step back from each other just a bit that they might get a different perspective on each other and their planet. “All the time in the world” is not as long as you humans seem to think it is.

GOES-16 Sends First Images to Earth | NASA
Response by Amalia Pellegrini – JAME’S new FRIENDSHIPOLOGY FRIEND :

Hallo  James,

I greatly appreciate how you have  gorgeously developed my hint in ” Our Galactic Beach.”.. disclosing the dynamism of galaxies ( what an adventure ! )

great the idea of the outside observer ! enhancing the principle of PERSPECTIVES… making all the difference…

With pleasure I share  samples of my artphotography. I develop themes.. t a l e s... each  as per its own perspective…as per  the language of synthesis..through complicitas…since  opposite  perspectives… . come together … expressing a  visionary,  intimate ,adventurous,  relationship…

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Displaying VENICE-at-NOON...jpg
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” Her Heart Full Of Love & Joy ” by Shaynee Sherwood – June 2021

This is Part II following Catherine Zhao’s Part I – “ABOUT FRIENDSHIP” posted Jan. 2021

Shaynee ( in Blue ) and Catherine ( w/ hat )

There are people you meet that change your life. There are people you meet that change your perspective. There are people that do both.

Catherine Xiaolin Zhao is one of those people.

I met Catherine in the late summer of 2016. I was fresh out of college and living in NYC. I was full of excitement and fear. I grew up in the Midwest in the United States and hadn’t traveled very much. I felt so overwhelmed by NYC, but I was in awe of it as well. As a kid who once lived in a house that was surrounded by cornfields, I was amazed at the amount of people, places, and cultures in the “concrete jungle.” I was eating alone on the back patio area of Webster Apartment, a wonderful place in midtown Manhattan that provides safe and affordable housing for female professionals, when we met. As an introvert, I remember wanting to quietly eat when along came a chatty and friendly person who ended up becoming one of my best friends. She asked me questions about Oklahoma, and I asked her questions about China.

When I was in elementary school and living in the above mentioned farming community, my family briefly thought we might be relocating to China for my father’s job. I was beyond thrilled. This was right before the Internet started slowly becoming a part of our daily life, so I had to grab the “C” labeled encyclopedia to read up on China. Sadly, we didn’t end up moving there, but my passive yet strong curiosity about China remained. I ended up growing up mostly in Oklahoma.

Catherine knew about the famous musical Oklahoma. Meanwhile, I didn’t understand what Chinese New Year’s really was, and wrongly thought sushi was a popular dish there. Afterwards, I remember calling my mom to tell her that I had made a new friend from China. Over the next few months, Catherine and I, along with some other women, played the role of “tourist” in the Big Apple. Those few months are filled with some of my favorite life experiences. I grew a lot as a person. Being around so many women from so many different countries gave me a different perspective on how America is perceived, in both positive and negative ways, abroad. It made me think more critically about America’s healthcare and college education system. It was such an eye-opening experience in so many ways.

One of the darkest and most surprising moments for me happened on a city bus. Catherine, our mutual friend from Germany, and I were on our way back to our apartment after a fun and adventurous day. Mere seconds after finding our seats, an older woman grew visibly upset that she was having to sit near Catherine. She angrily muttered something as she moved to a different seat on the bus. I was shocked. I couldn’t tell if Catherine had noticed or not. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know what to say. Was this gross and uncalled for interaction a common experience for my friend? Then I got mad at myself for my own naivety towards the situation. One of my greatest hopes for our present day and future world is that the hearts and minds of hateful individuals begin to soften and open. That they begin to embrace,respect, and love other people and cultures.

Tragic and horrible events continue to teach me the injustices and hate that the Asian community continues to face on a daily basis in the United States and abroad. My sweet, hilarious, and brilliant friend is so much more than a statistic, but every time I hear of violence or racism towards Asians, I think of her. I think of her family. I think of her heart that is so full of love and joy.

May all hearts be more like hers.


Shaynee Sherwood lives in Kansas City, Kansas where she teaches at a private school that specializes in helping students with learning differences. As someone who is dyslexic herself, Shaynee is a strong advocate for the neurodivergent community. In her free time, Shaynee enjoys writing, yoga, and learning more about herself and the world.


” Multiculturalism – a Metaphor ” by James Luce – May 30, 2021

Have you given much thought to a beautiful beach ?

When the average person without any geological training is standing on the shore they see a beach, a wide and long expanse of undifferentiated sand.  The beach in this metaphor represents all the thousands of cultures in the world. The geologist is a metaphoric multiculturalist expert.

         If a geologist asks the person to describe what they’re looking at, the response will be “a bunch of sand”.  If asked whether they see anything in particular about the sand, they will note that there are different colors of sand. If pressed for more details, they may suggest the existence of different textures of sand. Pressed harder, they may even mention the fact that not all the grains of sand are identical in size and that there are bits and pieces of things on the beach that aren’t sand.

         Never will they observe that each single grain of sand is unique. The chemical and mineral composition; the origin of each grain; the age of each grain; the shape and reflectance of each grain are all slightly different. However, one grain is no better than the other. One is no better at building the beach than any other. Yet each grain collectively gives the beach its own character. Some beaches are all black or even green. Some are permanent, some temporary. All these differences are to be observed in all our cultures, past and present and most likely future.

         The problem is that unless prodded, people generally just see a beach, their beach, the perfect beach, the only beach the world needs…rather than understanding that their beach is really an amalgam of billions of grains of sand from around the world. When they see “their” beach, they do not understand that what they’re looking at is the world’s beach. Their beach is in fact the result of many thousands of years of cultural change, exchange, and experimentation.

         To walk along a beach is to take those first steps of a thousand li journey across time and space. Some of the grains of sand will irritatingly get clogged between your toes. Sand flies, blood worms, and deer ticks add to the discomfort. Yet the journey overall is one of pleasant discovery…if one ignores all the irritations. The uniqueness of each grain of sand is forgotten in the general joy of being alive on this planet while being caressed by a gentle wind and a soft sun…just as everybody everywhere from all cultures experiences walking along the world’s beach.

The End


BILLY’s COMMENTs: What I admire most about my dear friend and old colleague from The 1990 Institute Board is that he always thinks as broadly and deeply as about Black Holes, but somehow always relevant to our hearts and our humanity. I love especially many of his poems and shorter essays.


Introducing My Good Friend, Linda Tsao Yang at the FF Fraternity Zoom, Thursday May 20, 2021 – by Billy Lee

Linda Tsao Yang 2016

My dearest older cousin, Millie Yung, and Sister Linda were friends at St. Johns University, Shanghai. Linda was Ms. Linda TSAO then, so I would cheerfully address her “TSAO GA JIA JIA“ in Shanghainese.

Since Yuelin Yang became a FF Brother, his Mother naturally became my “YANG GA MM MA”. But, by FF Fraternity’s simplistic logic “ All immediate female relatives are “FF. SISTERS”.  So in FF circles, she automatically became my “Sister Linda”.

But since Sister Linda is my most admired old friend and colleague from The 199O Institute, I sometimes salute her “ AMBASSADOR YANG “ for her prominent role as the U.S. Ambassador at the ADB (Asian Development Bank – appointed by President Bill Clinton – 1993-1999 ).


I first want to take this opportunity to thank “Sister Linda” who in 2003 helped arrange an opportunity for me to visit UC Davis’s Mondavi Center for Performing Arts ( one of the best acoustical chambers in the U.S. ) – as I was trying to persuade Ningbo University ( Ningbo is my ancestral home ) to build a First Class Music Center.

“Sister Linda” treated me graciously with her delicious home-cooking at her home in Davis. To this day, I still remember her succinct advices, her warmth, her fantastic Chinese paintings on the walls, and an unusually large and beautifully bonded book titled: “SUN TZE BING FA. ( The Art of War ).  I was profoundly impressed.


Many of us already know about Sister Linda’s many spectacular achievements. They were mostly mentioned in the FF Announcement for this FF Strong Town Hall Zoom.

However, I think we all want to learn HOW she accomplished WHAT she did, and from Where came her MAGIC ?

I would first examine why she was awarded the “Distinguished Service Medal” by the U.S Department Treaury and the “Honorary Citizen & City’s Favorite Daughters Award” by Shanghai’s People’s Congress.

It had been explained that the “Distinguished Service Award” was for her steering the bank towards policies and practices which made development assistance more equitable, and enduring, and her key role in defining the bank’s participation in the international response to the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997-98.  

The  Shanghai “Honorary Citizen Award”- was for her bringing international technology and standards in water quality management to the Suzhou Creek environmental cleaning and revitalizing Project – most beneficial to China and to Shanghai, her Ancestral Home.

It seems to me, to accomplish what she did required: first having deep purpose and foresight / then ability to analyze complex problems – technically, economically, and diplomatically / optimizing and prioritizing various opportunities / providing persuasive policy ideas and plans / and finally leveraging her personal integrity, credibility, and charm. I think the last aspect may be the most unique about Sister Linda that we should learn from her.

Indeed, at this Zoom gathering, we can learn a lot by LISTENING closely to WHAT Sister Linda has to say, and WATCH closely on HOW she tells her stories.  I would pay close attention to her VERBAL & FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.

If we seriously wish to learn from her, we must watch her Manners and Composure and capture her Inner Spirit : her Compassion, her Dedication, her Optimism, her Constant Striving, her Pride & Modesty, and her unique Shanghai Sentimentality.

Now, Let us Watch and Listen Closely to Sister Linda.

Welcome, Sister Linda !



Why she sings ?

What she sings ?

How she sings.

Learn from her Songs

Learn from her High and Low Voice Control

Watch her eyes, lips, and body movements

Catch her Passion – Style – Effects

Confidence – Trustfulness – Optimism.

Totally void of Pretense & Arrogance !



Mike Crisp and wife Leslie in Ladera, Portola Valley, Ca. Bio : Born in Kentucky. Raised in upstate NY. Colgate University graduate (Philosophy), Officer in U.S. Coast Guard, Editor-in-Chief, McGraw-Hill College Division, VP and Publisher, Science Research Associates (IBM), Chairman and CEO Crisp Learning. 



A few months ago I wrote an article for our local community newsletter featuring Billy Lee and his family. Part of the article focused on Billy’s website Friendshipology.net. In reading several of the blogs on his site, I became intrigued by the concept of friendship; what it was, how it occurred and why it was so important. Following are some of my thoughts on friends. 

What Are Friends? 

I think they are someone that you can rely on to be honest with you. Individuals that you trust. People you can laugh and or cry with. A person that can provide empathy and comfort. And someone you enjoy sharing experiences with. Friends are also those who can teach you about new things, including cross cultural customs and lifestyles.

Types of Friends  

Friends come from a variety of sources. There are childhood friends; school friends; work and or military service friends; family friends and friends of the family; couple friends; casual friends; neighborhood friends; old friends and new friends; and finally best friends. 

Making Friends  

The most important thing in making friends is that the process should be natural – not forced. Friends are individuals that you enjoy being with. Often friends will have a shared interest. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing regardless of how much time has passed since your last interaction. Making friends requires follow-up and communication. It also should mean that you care about your friends well being. 

Keeping Friends  

My wife is especially good about making and keeping friends. In thinking about how this works, I have noticed that in addition to showing an interest in the other person and being a good listener, she often follows up with a phone call, text message or letter to let her friends know they are in her thoughts. True friends are those who connect with you in good times or bad. True friends value your opinions.  

The Importance of Friends 

My Dad often said, “there is no honor in being the richest person in the cemetery”.  As we age and experience ups and downs, it becomes increasingly apparent how important friends are. Much more important than money or possessions. More important than social status. I believe the best marriages are based on friendship. In conclusion, friends are perhaps the most important element in this thing called life.   


BILLY’S COMMENTS : Mike and Leslie have been our old friends and neighbors in Ladera since early 1980s, We actually got acquainted on the Ladera Tennis Courts. I remember Mike had a very strong forehand strike and ran like a basketball forward for every ball conceivable. Leslie was definitely one of the steadiest players in our group. Everyone wanted to partner with her at our famous July 4th Ladera Doubles Tennis Socials.


“HOW DOES OUR COMMUNITY INDUCE FRIENDSHIP & BONDING ?” ( Question by Billy to Di Gow and Linda Fornaciari at Ladera, Portola Valley, Ca. – Nov. 2020

Di and Linda did a mini-survey among a number of long-time Ladaera residents and summarized their findings below :

From Lennie Roberts :

Hi Di, This is a bit tangential to Billy’s questions, but I think our community spirit is rooted in the vision of the Founders who formed the original Cooperative. The early days had people sharing lots of resources. When we moved here in 1965, there were monthly square dancing nights with a live caller – for all ages and abilities – at the school multi-purpose room.  In the 1970’s the “lady Managers” organized a great variety of summer arts and crafts, and fun sports activities for kids of all ages. Lowell Johnson organized Movie Nights there as well- geared primarily to the kids,
But adults used to go too.
All of these have kept evolving, and I never fail to be impressed by the LRD’s key role in the community, and every issue of the Crier which knits our neighborhoods together in myriad ways.

 From Noel Hirst :
Thank you for asking this question. Friendship in Ladera is the ability to create your village, that group of people that comes together to support each other’s families, children, neighbors with words of wisdom, actions, caring acts of kindness. I takes a village and we create our special village in Ladera.
No matter how long it has been since you have seen a neighbor, you pick up where you left off and have shared knowledge of the community and experiences.
The Ladera community creates and nurtures a desire to volunteer and support the community, community events, and each other’s causes.
The goodness in our community drives us to want to see one another, to gather on our blocks, at events, or at the shopping center to chat, to catch up, socialize. Many other neighborhoods do not have this draw to meet and greet new and long time neighbors.
We have comradery at our neighborhood events. We have fun with our local friends. Ladera has a special shared vibe of connectedness.
Craig and I do believe that he Rec Center is a major draw that helps to build these connections, as it is where you meet much of the neighborhood when you first move here. However, the spirit or vive allows you to be connected even if you are not a Rec visitor. You can connect on your block, and on the paths. ( See Billy’s comments regarding paths )now
From Conversation with Another Longtime Resident :
She said she didn’t want to respond in writing because she felt that the “Newcomers” make no effort to be friends with the “Longtimers”. She says every time she has new neighbors, she brings them cookies or does something to welcome them, but never feels like they ever respond or reach out in friendship which she thinks is so much different than when she moved here 50 years ago.

Overall Observation:
On many Ladera streets and cul de sacs, there is still good interaction between the old and the young neighbors.  But clearly people today seem to be much more preoccupied than before.
Billy’s Comments:
As a student of Architecture and Planning, I learned that this hillside community of approximately 540 families now was cleverly planned with basically “the main loops with stings of cul de sacs attached”. The concept is very much like that of Yale University’s Residential College System.  The smaller colleges allow the development of more intimate relationships, yet they are pulled together by the centralized library and athletic facilities. Furthermore, an unique Ladera Pedestrian Trail System, crisscrossing the entire property, has allow neighbors to take short cuts – favorite pathways for imaginative children, especially.