Since the birth of this Friendshipology website https://friendshipology.net – September 2019 – I have collected about 130 essays – few written by myself, and mostly by my very supportive friends. The collection shines light on various aspects about Friendship, but indeed it has further deepened the love and bonding between me and my wonderful friends. Moreover, the deeper understanding about my friends’ thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and aspirations, has encouraged me to introduce many of them to each other – hoping to expand this “Good Supportive Feeling” generally, and perhaps inspire some of them to consider possible cooperation or collaborations on their worthy endeavors. Most enthusiastically, I decided to make  “CONNECTING FRIENDS TO FRIENDS” to be a major goal for this Friendshipology Initiative.


Here are three examples on what I did this past month:

  1. Letter to Allan in Shanghai and Hiro in Tokyo.

Dear Allan and Hiro,

You are my two very very dear and trusted younger friends !

Allan from Shanghai and Hiro from Tokyo, you really should know

each other as I believe that together you might collaborate on

projects that can truly promote Global Cross-cultural Bonding and


I shall leave it to you to introduce yourselves, as your credentials

are too long for me to list. Best to describe your aspirations and

see how you might be able to assist each other in the immediate or

long-term future.

BTW, I had earlier introduced Hiro to Ben who is a Fraternity 

Brother of both Allan and me. 

Cheer with warm affection always,


2. Letter to four Post Graduate Students from China.

Dear E, C, Y, and M,

You may be interested in the latest post by the President of CCIS in

<https://friendshipology.net> .

Please also note a short essay by my teen-age grand-daughter, Alana

–  two posts before the last one. It would be nice if you will write and  

give her more encouragement as she looks up to you guys as her


Thanks !


3. Letter to Mike and Li-Chun

Dear Mike and Li-Chun.

I am so glad to have introduced you to each other, as Mike was able to

edit and publish Li-chun’s  article, “Ping-Pong Diplomacy Led to Science

Exchanges” in the latest issue of US-China Review. I hope that recounting

in detail the history and the role of scientists played in normalizing

US- China relations (1965-1979 ) may help rebuild trust and goodwill.

Cheers always with warm regards,



“How Can We Respond?” by Annette Isaacson, CCIS President – April 2021

Annette Isaacson
30 year resident of Palo Alto,

Retired PAUSD ESL Teacher
CCIS President

CCIS (Community Committee for International Students at Stanford University) is an organization that provides support to International Grad Students, Post-Docs, Visiting Scholars and their families at Stanford.  Some of our popular programs include Homestay, English in Action (Converse and Connect), Friday Morning Coffee, English Classes, and so many more.  See: website: ccisStanfordU.org


Spring has brought blossoms to the trees and blooms to our gardens…so much beauty all around.  But Spring has also brought us a reminder that prejudice and bigotry are endemic in America.  We see it in the trial of Derek Chauvin and in the increasing episodes of violence against Asian Americans.  For those of us in CCIS who love having contact with internationals from all over the world, it is difficult to understand this level of hatred and bigotry. 

At first I wanted to think that this problem was happening somewhere else, not in Palo Alto, but my friend’s forty year old son was harassed just this weekend while jogging in the park.  Someone yelled at him to “Go back where you came from.”  He’s an Asian American, born and raised in Palo Alto. Sadly, Palo Alto is not immune to this kind of bigotry.  Just as we prepare for earthquakes or power shut-offs, we should all probably prepare for how we will respond the next time we see harassment.

How you respond will depend upon the circumstances, but thinking about how to respond before you find yourself thrust into that situation, will be helpful.  In the case of the murder of George Floyd, all the bystanders could do was document it with their phone cameras.  As we have seen, the evidence may be important later on.  Sometimes you may be able to get help to stop the harassment or the violence by calling 911 or by asking other bystanders for help. Bullies will often leave when confronted by a group.   If the harassment has not become violent, you may be able to interrvene by pretending to know the victim and saying something like, “Hey, old friend, long time no see. Do you want to get out of here and go get a cup of coffee?” If the victim takes the hint and leaves the scene with you, you may just find that you have found a new friend.  Sometimes you may only feel comfortable going up to the victim afterwards and saying how awful you feel that this happened to them.  Whatever you feel you are able to do, it’s most important to let the victim know s/he is not alone and that you don’t condone what has happened.


BILLY’S COMMENTS: CCIS and USCPFA-S.Bay are two communities where I volunteered to learn about Cross-cultural Bonding. Thru CCIS’s EIA ( English in Action Program ), Dr. Junichi Matsubara from Kyoto , Japan and I had almost three years of weekly conversations to practise English. We became truly intimate friends, and he named his son – born at Stanford Hospital – Little Billy. That is, indeed, my most gratifying life reward.


” THE TALE OF FOUR WAGS – The unfinished Memoir – Author – John “Jocko” Denison – by Andover ’51 Class correspondence secretary George Rider

Jocko passed away 6/6/2020. The title could have been, “THE TRAVELS OF A BULLDOG AND 3 TIGERS ”

The year was 1953. Four 1951 Andover Classmates reunited in the
bowels of the S.S. Zuiderkruis, a converted World War II Liberty Ship.
Jocko was the sole Yalie. Doc Castle, Gordon Douglas and Roger Gilbert
were Princeton roommates.

In Jocko’s words: “The crossing from New York to Rotterdam took 16
days. The passengers were all college students with a female/male ratio
of 7 to 1. Heineken cost .10 cents a bottle, hard booze .17 cents.

“We mixed martinis in the small sink in our below-the-waterline, 4-
person cabin, and never knew if it was night or day, probably ushering
in what is now known as Spring Break. On landing in Holland, we
bought a Citroen on an 8-week buy-back. The total cost for 8 weeks was
$400 dollars. We toured England and Scotland, and most of the
countries in Europe, sleeping in hotels only 5 nights.

“We searched out farm lands, slept on a Loch Ness beach, any other
open space we could, under the stars. One night we were awakened by
a farmer pointing his pitchfork at us. He herded us back to the
farmhouse, and made us clean up at the outdoor water pump. All the
while, his wife was making breakfast for us.”

Jock sent me this with a poignant note hinting about the future.
“George, if I had your newfound talent, and more time left, I could
write a lengthy memoir of that trip. I am in hospice with no guess as to
how long, but am being kept relatively free from pain and in fine
mental shape except for short term memory. Keep up the good work!
I haven’t seen Doc or Gordie since our 50 th . If they are still with us,
maybe they could write a memoir of that trip.”

Gordon responded. “Jocko, you did a great job telling our story.
There are lots of others, the rabbits in the UK, the dog in Italy, the
German motorcyclist, and the time our sleeping bags were stolen in
Paris. I met my first wife on the trip. Rog is not faring well. Glad to hear
you are doing relatively well.”

Doc added, “The good old days. Wonderful memories! Rog, Gordie
and I were Princeton roommates, and Cap & Gown club mates. Jock
was first cousin of Marty Moore, Roger’s bride-to-be several years later.
Roger was best man at my weddings, first and second, 33 years apart.
My life has been productive in banking, law and government, I’m
blessed with good health. I’m very fortunate.

Jocko responded very quickly. “Thanks, Gordie, wonderful to hear
from you and Doc, and happy to hear you’re both still at it. More and
more of that trip is coming back as one of the highlights of a long life.
George, if I had your late-in-life learned talent, I, with Doc and Gordie’s
help and perhaps censorship, would write a companion book to yours.”

“Three more snippets for Gordie and Doc: Roger competing bravel
but falling badly throwing the hammer at the Highland Games in
Inverness; one more of us, (I know it wasn’t me) trying to rock climb the
cliff to the Edinburgh Castle at night; and drawing straws as to who had
to sit in the front seat with our terribly boring tour guide in Holland. He
did get back in our graces when we ended up with a wonderful
Indonesian meal, and a non-participating tour of the red-light district in
Amsterdam. Best wishes and thanks to all for the memories to all.”

All of the above back and forth took place in two days, December 8 th
and 9 th , 2019.
Billy Lee emailed Jock, 12/8/2019, “What a great story,
and so animatedly told. I can’t believe you are in hospice! Sounds like
you are in a bar with friends, telling great stories as usual!” Our dear friend Jocko may have passed, but his stories – like our friendships –
live on.


‘FRIENDSHIP REFLECTIONS’ by Alana Lee – April 2021

ALANA ( Billy’s No. One Grand Child ) with parents

What I find so lovely about friendships are how unique yet equally strong each one is. There are three friendships that particularly stand out to me right now, each that have begun at different points in time, but are all among the most special relationships in my life.

Friendships are beautiful in the way they live for so long. The first true friend I’ve ever had is Sequoia, whom I met in preschool, where we’d spend our play time acting as characters in another world. Even though we split off to different schools, we stayed close though playdates and winter and summer vacations with our families. As we got older, we were able to communicate through our phones and make more plans to hang out. Even when we haven’t seen each other for a few months, our level of closeness comes back as though no time has passed since the last occasion. Our most recent excursions have been walking through town together and going to the beach, and we still text almost every day. Sequoia is the friend I get to be silly and adventurous with, but also provide for each other the strongest of support. 

Friendships are beautiful in the way they change over time. Another close friend of mine is Rosy, whom I met in middle school, where we were both part of a small friend group that would eat lunch together and hang out after school. I wasn’t particularly good friends with her at first, but we gradually realized that we had similarities in our interests and overall attitudes towards school, people, and life in general. We spent more time as just the two of us in freshman year of high school, and continue to make plans to see each other this year. Rosy and I often go on bike rides or do other forms of exercise, having refreshing and fun conversations. When we text each other, our messages are long and meaningful, expressing care and prompting a true reflection on how we are currently doing.

Friendships are beautiful in the way they emerge unexpectedly. I met my good friend Hanna a few years ago at a Berkeley running club. We went to different middle schools at the time, but would see each other at workouts and talk occasionally. We got to know each other better in freshman year on the cross country team, and became close friends quite quickly. I learned that we have similar personalities, which helps us understand each other’s challenges and goals. For instance, as both reserved people, we talk about how we hope to become better at speaking up in group settings and work together on becoming more outgoing. Hanna and I love to have deep conversations for hours over picnics, take long bike rides, check out new stores in town, as well as encourage each other in school and on the running team.

My friendships are what excite me for school, exercise, and adventure. Every friendship, no matter how close, is such a motivation for me: to be there for someone and to make memorable experiences with, to learn from and to deepen.


BILLY’s COMMENTS : Alana is my No. One grandchild. She is now a blossoming teenager. I love her calmness and thoughtfulness gaining steadily more self-confidence and socialabilty. For sure, she is a most reliable young friend of mine. I thank her for writing this essay for my FRIENDSHIPOLOGY website.



 After the pandemic be sure to start hugging again! Why? Because hugging is practically perfect.· It helps the body’s immune system.· It cures depression.· It reduces stress.· It’s rejuvenating.· It has no unpleasant side effects.· It is all natural—contains no chemicals, artificial ingredients, pesticides, nor preservatives!· There are no parts to break down, no monthly payments, non-taxable, non-polluting, and best of all it’s fully returnable!

In case you need a refresher course on how to give and receive hugs, take a look at the pictures below.


‘Learning to Speak a Language of Family, Home, and Community’ by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

( Originally published at 1990 Institute, reprinted with permission of the author.)

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a journalist, essayist, and poet focused on issues of Asian America, race, justice, and the arts. Her writing has appeared at NBCAsianAmerica, PRI GlobalNation, Cha Asian Literary Journal, Kartika Review, Drunken Boat. She teaches Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at University of Michigan and creative writing at University of Hawaii Hilo. She co-created a multimedia artwork for Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. She is a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit artist. franceskaihwawang.com @fkwang .


Women’s History Month started with a bang as Chloe Zhao won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director of a Motion Picture and Best Picture Drama for Nomadland. She is the first Asian woman to win the award, and only the second woman (following Barbara Streisand for Yentl in 1984). Chinese in China and Asian Americans celebrated, although some Chinese pushed back because although Zhao was born in Beijing, she left China at 15 to go to school in the UK and the US, asking if she was Chinese enough.

Adding to this year’s Golden Globe excitement was Minari’s win for Best Foreign Language film, although this categorization was controversial. Asian Americans felt the sting of not being considered American enough because the characters spoke Korean, even though the film was set in America, made by American production companies, directed by an American, starred American actors, and told the classic story of the American Dream. 

“Minari is about a family,” said director Lee Isaac Chung while holding his seven-year-old daughter during the award ceremony. “It’s a family trying to learn how to speak a language of its own. It goesdeeper than any American language and any foreign language. It’s a language of the heart, and I’m trying to learn it myself and to pass it on, and I hope we’ll all learn how to speak this language of love to each other, especially this year.”

Learning how to speak a language of family, home, and community is powerful, especially as Asian Americans seek community solutions to recent violence against Asian Americans

After Haijun Si and his family moved into a new neighborhood in Orange County last fall, teenagers and children repeatedly rang the doorbell, pounded on the door, threw rocks, yelled racial slurs, and told them to “go back to your country.” Then neighbors volunteered to help stand watch outside the Sis’ home every night so that the Sis can finally eat dinner in peace and their children can sleep through the night. For Lunar New Year, the entire neighborhood came together as a community to celebrate with
lanterns and lion dancing.

“Communities can take care of one other,” said Lateefah Simon, President of Akonadi Foundation, at the 1990 Institute webinar, Beyond Headlines: Protecting Asian Americans during Violent Times, last week. “I am so inspired by our folks reclaiming the narrative. That our folks are not pitted against each other. Yes there is deep violence, there is deep hurt, there is deep pain. But that must not be the end. When communities come together, as they have in Oakland and across the country, we continue our lineage of a human and civil rights movement in this country.”

“What has really encouraged me is to see the Asian American community flock together, said Russell M. Jeung, San Francisco State University Professor of Asian American Studies, Stop AAPI hate Co-Founder, and the 1990 Institute Advisory Council member at the 1990 Institute webinar. “They are standing up at whatever organization they belong to – whether it’s a church or a school place, they are taking leadership in saying, ‘This is wrong,’ and they are getting their local institutions to pass resolutions to say
anti-Asian racism is not condoned.


Billy’s Comments: I am a Chinese American. I am a big fan of Frances and truly admire her Community Spirit and her scholarship. I truely believe that however difficult it is, we must focus on building Global Family, Global Community, Global Friendship, and United Global Language as our ultimate goal together.