HAPPY FRIENDSHIP WEEK – We recollect some wise words from Andy Rooney – by Billy Lee – December 2020


Written by Andy Rooney, a man who had the gift of saying so much with so few words. Rooney has passed away but used to be on CBS’s 60 Minutes TV show :

I’ve learned….That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person. 

I’ve learned….That when you’re in love, it shows. 

I’ve learned ….That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day. 

I’ve learned….That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. 

I’ve learned….That being kind is more important than being right. 

I’ve learned….That you should never say no to a gift from a child. 

I’ve learned….That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way. 

I’ve learned….That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. 

I’ve learned….That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. 

I’ve learned….That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult. 

I’ve learned..That life is like a roll of toilet paper.The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. 

I’ve learned….That money doesn’t buy class. 

I’ve learned….That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. 

I’ve learned…That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved. 

I’ve learned….That to ignore the facts does not change the facts. 

I’ve learned….That when you plan to get even with someone,you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve learned….That love, not time, heals all wounds. 

I’ve learned…That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. 

I’ve learned….That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. 

I’ve learned….That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them. 

I’ve learned….That life is tough, but I’m tougher. 

I’ve learned….That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss. 

I’ve learned….That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere. 

I’ve learned….That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away. I’ve learned….That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them. 

I’ve learned….That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. 

I’ve learned….That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life. 

I’ve learned….That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. 

I’ve learned….That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done. 

To all of you…Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence. It’s National Friendship Week. Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND.


From Googling, I learned that International Friendship Day is in July; U.S. National Friendship Week is in August; and Friendship Month for Women worldwide is in September. Okay, but for me Friendship Day is Everyday – especially Today !

BTW, my sister, Merle, and my brother, John, are amazingly supportive of my Friendshipology Website Project. Merle in fact sent me the wise quotes from Andy Rooney above. John coincidentally referred me to a N.Y.Times article, “Store Owner’s Kindness Is Paid Back When He Needed It The Most” (Friday, December 25, 2020 – P.A9 ).
The story is about a kind and friendly Chineses Immigrant who owns the Army & Navy Bags store at Lower Manhattan, New York City. One of his helpful friends exclaimed in joy : I was so happy we would get to have him in our lives still.”

“WATER and STONE….a chanting friendship” by Amalia Pellegrini- Genoa, Italy – Dec. 2020

Dear Bill,

l wish to share with your friendshipology  the “friendship between WATER and STONE the essence of a FOUNTAIN.

I have depicted this Friendship as per my photographic art-language expressing the synthesis of elements in a new scenario. I call  my scenarios COMPLICITAS…since expressing the complicity among elements.

I  have  narrated the friendship between water and stone, in  a 30 images  visionary portrait of the fascinating Roman ” urban mermaids ”  where the element of LIFE – WATER – interplays  with  the  manmade  elements of  the  traditional, even  archeological   city  elements…Fountains created by  famous   XVI-XVII  century  architects  such as Gian Lorenzo BERNINI  and Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Last but not least …WATER, in a more and more arid world –  is  becoming  an  ever   more precious”commodity”….the blue gold !!!

My  tale AQUAE DIVINAE discloses the fresh chanting friendship tied in a fountain: Water ‘n Stone-marble

enjoy! Amlia

PS: Attached six AQUAE DIVINAE 

Fontane Rome
Rome Fountain
Rome – Water
Temple -‘n – Water
Grabbing the Blue Gold


BILLY’S COMMENTS: Amalia and I have known each other for more than 10 years, but we have not yet met. She was introduced to me by Evertt Chen from Ningbo where Amalia had her special art exhibit. She is an inspiring person thru her art and her love in Global Friendship. Thank you, Dear Amalia, for your compassionate sharing.

Amalia – Lijain, China
Amalia with Friend
Amalia – in Taoist Temple


“The Billy Lee I Know About” by Jeannette Zee – December 2020

Billy and I at Ming-cho Lee’s 80th Birthday Celebration, N.Y.C. 2010

It’s been a long time since I met my cousin Billy Lee for the first time at Albert Chong’s Memorial in Great Neck, N.Y.. He called me “Little Auntie” for my cousin Yan Ren-mei was married to his uncle Li Zu-ming. We also showed up in the same photo at the 80th Birthday Celebration of my cousin Ming-cho Lee, who was the single most influential force in American stage design since the mid-1960’s, in 2010.

Ming-cho Lee (4th from left) receiving the National Medal of Arts, 2002
(Billy at extreme right). and cover of Ming-cho’s Book published in 2016

What surprised me most was that Billy had a clear memory of my older brother A Da1 in his childhood. For personal enjoyment, I have kept making and publishing my biography “My Story” on WeChat “Moments”, totally 420 episodes so far, for about two years. Billy got very interested in these stories and what he wanted to read first was about my older brother A Da. So I sent the 36 episodes with A Da’s photos and resume to Billy, as well as other episodes of “My Story” that Billy would like to read. He once wrote in his email to me:

“For a very brief time your brother and I were very fond of each other.

It was around 1945-46. Our fathers first introduced us, and we lived not far from each other along Shanghai’s Fugerson Road. I remember playing at Jin Da’s2 home once or twice. We lost touch since he moved, and we unfortunately did not keep in touch.

Much later I heard from Jeanette Wei3 (another cousin of yours?) that he passed away rather tragically in China.

Wow, you kept good records on his grand achievements. I wish I had gotten to know him better. Admirable Brother of yours! Admirable!

 I loved his Friendly Smiles.”


After reading my biography, he replied my email as follows:

“You mentioned a grandson of Zhou Tso Ming. The banker’s house was immediately next to ours in Shanghai. I used to play with the No. One grandson Albert and his younger brother, whose name I have forgotten. Could the younger brother be that guest at your mother’s birthday celebration? He should be between 82 and 85 years old now.

I was known to them as Lee Min-xin4 at 123 Furgerson5 Road. I also noticed a picture of David Kwok who now resides at Walnut Creek. He is my F.F.6 contemporary.

In No. 116, you visited Pan Chang Lo Lo’s home in 2014. She was just sitting next to me at a dinner last week. Her daughter Sandra brought her there. She told me about her youthful days in Shanghai playing softball at a softball field close to my home.

In No.117, I noticed a DISTINGUISHED photo of Shirley Young on the wall of her Shanghai home. She certainly is a Distinguished Person in our Generation. Say ‘Hello’.

I also noticed singer Hou Jia Tien’s photo in that chapter.

In No. 118, I noticed Diane Tang Woo’s photo taken as recently as 2018. She is a special friend, as the rumour had it, my mother almost married her father.


Received Story No.31 to 50, missing No. 46 and No. 48 however.

Noticed that we are also connected via Ningbo7 and Andover.

I was at Andover for 4 years from -1947-51-graduated the same year as your cousin, Shirley, who was attending Abbot.

Amazing, I noticed my mother’s younger sister, Woo Weize, in your Story No.20 – pictures at the very bottom. I think your mother’s sisters and my mother’s sisters were well-know young ladies from Dee Fong Lu8.

 MK Loo became Fay’s husband. Jonathan Lu worked at IBM with my wife, Lucille. LC Chen was an associate at I.M. Pei’s office and later became a partner of mine at Copelin, Lee & Chen Architects. All three ( MK, Jonathan, and LC ) are in Heaven now!”

Although long retired from architecture career, Billy still has a keen interest in Design, even in Men & Women Fashion. He said, “I designed mostly residential projects. Below is one of my favorite – in Napa Valley, California. (Two links below – the first one has verbal descriptions – the second one has better photos.) 

And he sent me greetings for each festival through emails,

“Happy Chinese New Year!”

“Happy New Year, Jeanette!”

“Merry Christmas, Jeanette!”

“Happy Thanksgiving!”

Billy also enjoys sharing his personal moments with me, like,

“…had dinner with Jeannette Wei last week.

She and Jim Caldwell will be moving to Austin Texas soon.”

We also talked about F.F. Fraternity together, “…So you are Sister Jeanette now, since Uncle T.T. Zee, your father, was an F.F. Brother.”

I also found a brief introduction and many photos of Billy and his wife in a book: History of F.F. Fraternity: the Evolution of the first Chinese Fraternity in the United States (1910-2002), which informs me more about his lively life in the US.

     He also told me,

“The last one, John MY Lee, is my younger brother, the architect who designed the first mega-structure in ShenZhen-the city plaza and civic center.

Please say ‘hello’ to Niuniu – Lee May, and husband Zhang Goon for me, when you see them!”

When he learned the relationship between Shirley Young and me ( our mothers are sisters ), he happily told me that he, Lee Tsu Yung’s no.2 son was Andover ’51 while Shirley was Abbot ’51. ” Please extend my best regards to Shirley. She remembers me only as that skinny Andover Chinese Boy who went to Yale.” he requested.

Billy is an energetic man indeed, and I really enjoy the moments of exchanging news back and forth with him; especially in recent years, we could share moments anytime and anywhere by using WeChat. Those memories in old days tie up Shanghai and the other coast of the Pacific Ocean closely and give a happy and abundant life to both of us. I only have a little wish that all my relatives, friends and our children could keep in touch with each other, like Billy and me, to explore more about Ourselves, China, and the World.


  1. A Da: 阿達,the best-known name of my older brother Jing-da Zee, a very famous animator in China
  2. Jin Da: the pronunciation of my older brother徐景達Jing-da Zee’s given name, should be “Jing Da” according to the latest Chinese phonetic system
  3. Jeanette Wei: the god daughter’s sister of my parents
  4. Lee Min-xin: the pronunciation of Billy Lee’s Chinese name李名信, should be “Li Ming-Xin” according to the latest Chinese phonetic system
  5. Furgerson Road: normally spelled as “Route Furguson” 福開森路, the former name of “Wukang Road” 武康路 in the French Concession of Shanghai
  6. FF: F.F. Fraternity, the first Chinese Fraternity in the United States
  7. Ningbo: 寧波,a coastal city in China where our family origins from
  8. Dee Fong Lu: the pronunciation of “Tifeng Road” 地豐路 in old Shanghai, which is now named “North Wulumuqi Road” 烏魯木齊北路
  9. T.T. Zee: my father 徐振東


BILLY’S COMMENTS: Jeannette’s MY STORY with more than 420 episodes is an amazing collection of photos and stories about her amazing Friendship Span. I implored her to write an article on ” How you sustain your links with so many Friends ? ” She just showed us how. SIMPLY: KEEP IN TOUCH, ENJOY, APPRECIATE, AND REMEMBER YOUR AMAZING CONNECTIONS !


“MORE THOUGHTS ON FRIENDSHIP & FRIENDSHIPOLOGY” offered by Fred Pratt – December 2020

My dear Billy,

For your collection of commentaries on friendship/friendshipology, I 
offer these thoughts:

the wise men of old (be they Greek, Roman, Christian, Hebraic, Buddhist) 
all pretty much said the same thing; we don’t need to invent or discover 
new wisdom, we need only heed  that which has already been discovered

love abides only if it is grounded in friendship

being friendly to others, even strangers, leads to empathy

attached are chapters from my chronicle which illustrate what I mean by 
these commentaries

your friend,



BILLY’S COMMENTS: Fred is a dear Andover classmate. The chronicles he sent me recorded various trips he took around the country as a devoted Birder. I never imagined that a fast skating and never yielding varsity hockey player at Andover can also be so patient, caring, and compassionate. His chronicals focused on the people he met as well as the birds he was hoping to spot. In Savana, Georgia, he met a Black Senior who gave him $20 just because they had a friendly conversation.


“My Sister Merle’s Thoughts On Friendship” by Billy Lee – December, 2020

Merle ( w/ glasses ) visited cousin Millie 2017

Hi Nee Goo Goo , ( No.2 Elder Brother in Shanghainese )

My education is built on sand . 
Scanty home schooling from mother and sit-by auditing with old Chinese masters  ( engaged to teach the boys )
Nobody paid me no mind !!!!
I was but a little girl . 

Attended 1 year at Shanghai American School then 3 1/2 years in Hongkong where I was supposed to have covered 12 years of education .
In college I slipped and slide .
Working more hours then studying . 
There was no formal structure , 
Years in America didn’t help , I write as I think … no grammar at all 
Besides I am not gifted with Tommy’s intellect and talents you and John share  . 
I wrote this below for you to read. Please do not share or print . 


Friendship is share, trust, comfort , an assisting hand, and seeking guidance all roll into one handshake, one hug, one smile or a tear . 
Friendship is cultivated, or extended to strangers is none the less irrelevant if not given with sincerity.
Friendship is never to hurt. 

Friendship is found in marriage 
Friendship is found within family 
Friendship is found within communities
Friendship is found across the oceans

Reaching out a hand or bow in search of a will to negotiate , to understand , to help or give help is reaching out for friendship .
If one understands one’s enemies there will be no enemies . Problems shared, problems can be solved . 
So who but everyone of us needs friendship .


Friendship is to share a laugh over joy, to soothe a mistake or at nothing at all. 
Friendship is to give , expecting no favors returned 
Friendship is trying to understand but not understanding yet respecting the differences held . 
Friendship is free to give but at times difficult to accept or let go the pride that gets in the way . 

Friendship is never to hurt but lay out the reality as one sees it, gently across the tab .

Friendship is without touching yet hearts held strong 

Let Friendship grow .
Let Friendship spread. 

Open your arms, reach far your hands and  search for 
Friendship with open minds


BILLY’s COMMENTS : Merle is just a year younger than I. She first asked me

not to share or print what she wrote for me privately.  I found her writing so

compassionate and full of wisdom. As a Little girl nobody minded, she actually learned much more by only sit-by auditing from the Old Chinese Masters than her supposedly smart brothers.

I wrote back to her and begged for special permission to have her writing included in this Friendshipology Collection. I am so glad that she consented.

Thank you, Dear Sister, Dearest MLK , ( Merle Lee Kwong ) !  Thank you !